Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Quality Software (QSIC'06). Copyright 2006 IEEE. Used by permission.


Not long ago, most software was written by professional programmers, who could be presumed to have an interest in software engineering methodologies and in tools and techniques for improving software dependability. Today, however, a great deal of software is written not by professionals but by end-users, who create applications such as multimedia simulations, dynamic web pages, and spreadsheets. Applications such as these are often used to guide important decisions or aid in important tasks, and it is important that they be sufficiently dependable, but evidence shows that they frequently are not. For example, studies have shown that a large percentage of the spreadsheets created by end-users contain faults, and stories abound of spreadsheet faults that have led to multi-million dollar losses. Despite such evidence, until recently, relatively little research had been done to help end-users create more dependable software.