By Mark Bettex
Here at Frontiers, we do give names to our meeting rooms. Names of great scientists. Next to Marie Curie, there is a small one that is called Grace Hopper, after the famous computer scientist. Among the many stories that she enjoyed retelling, one happened exactly 68 years ago, on September 9th, 1947.
At that time, she was working on the Harvard Mark II computer. An incredible machine, 51 feet long, 8 feet high and 8 feet deep, capable of doing as much as 8 additions per second! That day, engineers spent hours investigating an error and finally found its cause: a moth trapped in relay #70, panel F. Somebody grabbed the insect with a pair of tweezers, taped it in the computer’s log book and labelled it “First actual case of bug being found”.
This story became the founding myth of a whole subsection of the IT industry: software testing. This branch is so important today that we have a whole team of people dedicated to it at Frontiers. They are Kokila, Raquel, Gabriele and Sergi in our Lausanne office, and over there in our Madrid office, they are Christina, Laura, Marina, Sandra, Gonzalo and Pau. They don’t use tweezers and a flashlight anymore, but still, they spend every single day meticulously looking for bugs and defects in our software to make sure that they don’t reach the user.
Today is Software Tester Day, and we wish to thank all our testers for the hard job that they are doing. And what better way is there to show them our appreciation than getting them cake. And not just any old cake. No. They will get the special cake.