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  • Published: 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM

In many corners of the software industry the word bug has extremely evil connotations. Even I prefer the word issue over bug. It is not exactly known when the term bug was first coined, but it is clear it was in the dark ages of computing when computers were massive foreboding castle like structures. Problems loomed behind those metallic frames of electronic circuitry with a new problem popping up in the same way that cockroaches scatter when the lights are turned on.

Rumour has it that ever since the day Grace Hopper in September 1945 found a moth stuck between some relays which prevented the Harvard Mark II computer from working, computer problems are called bugs. Thomas Edison in 1896, before computers were invented, referred to the word bug to describe problems with electrical circuitry. But wait, what about William Shakespeare? Surely he had no idea about computers or electronics, yet if you check Henry V1, part iii – Act V Scene II King Edward calls Warwick a – you ready – a “Bug”.

It would seem that etymologically bug refers to anything that is frightful or annoying.
 
To me it is certain that when software goes wrong it fits the bill of being annoying to the user and somewhat frightful to the developer – so I am going to go back to calling those issues bugs.

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