What developers can learn from the rules of the road

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Traffic laws are actually quite simple: You stop on a red light, honour the speed limit, and of course, you do not enter a one-way system from the opposite end, or park in a restricted area. Despite the vast number of individuals who make up the daily traffic, the aforementioned rules usually work out well. Basically, because everybody knows that they exist and they more or less adhere to them.

It seems quite obvious that bending the rules would not exactly be a smart thing to do during your driving test. But after passing it? When driving through the city the other day, all of a sudden everybody was slowing down for no apparent reason. Sure enough, a „flash“ later and some guy who was not paying attention received a rather expensive photo – for speeding within city limits.

As it seems, merely having rules is not enough, there has to be someone to enforce them and to enforce the rules, someone has to patrol the roads. What seems to be obvious for drivers seems to be less obvious for many web developers. They tend to slack on defining (and monitoring) what is happening at the application level as well as the infrastructure level of their application. It is not enough to run a default install of your operating system of choice, add whatever services you need, and hope for the best. Considering the amount of money spent and the damage to your reputation, which is caused either directly due to fraud and abuse or indirectly by time lost to recover a hacked system or software, the “let’s hope for the best” approach is of arguable quality. We are not even considering general bugs here.

THIS IS A PREVIEW. DOWNLOAD ISSUE 7 TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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