"Software Engineers are useless. I'd rather hire radar specialists and teach them how to program than hire programmers and try to teach them about radar signal processing."
This rather strong statement was spoken with conviction by the manager of large government project after a software system in his department incorrectly warned of an incoming ICBM missile! The manager's frustration was exacerbated by the fact that the programmer would not accept any responsibility for the incorrect functioning of the system. The programmer claimed that it was not his fault, but the fault of incomplete specifications. The manager acknowledged that the requirements document did not treat the specific circumstances that led to the incorrect warning, but felt that any programmer working in his department should have had enough basic knowledge about interpreting radar data to read between the lines of the requirements document. "No radar specialist would have made such a basic error" stated the project manager.