I travel a fair amount for work to speak at various events around the world. Traveling can be quite a disruption to my life, and I do work to limit the amount of time that I’m gone. As my kids have gotten older, I’m have less commitments at home and an extra night during a trip isn’t as much of a burden. It’s even enjoyable when my wife can accompany me to enjoy a few days visiting another part of the world.
I still get on airplanes enough that the scheduling matters. I often plan trips to limit the number of hours I spend in transit, which means I depend on the airlines to keep to their timetable. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t experienced many delays, usually localized to a specific airplane, but I do worry when I see reports like this about computer glitches for the airlines.
There are numerous computer systems that airlines share, some of which are still running on large mainframe systems. As the travel industry has grown, the software managing it has changed. From a single system (and company) coordinating all flights to a distributed set of applications that must interact and share data.
Do we think this is going to happen more frequently in the future? Is the state of software development improving enough to prevent large scale issues and disruptions? As much as I’m pleased by the advancements in software development and the higher quality of code, I still think that companies often take too many shortcuts, without enough testing and evaluation in their quest to build systems quicker.
I hope nothing goes too wrong as I’m traveling this year. I’m sure I’ll have a few delays, but if I do, hopefully I don’t miss any of the speaking engagements.
Listen to the podcast at Libsyn.