This fascinating lecture is the third in a series of lectures by Martyn Thomas, the inaugural IT Livery Professor of Information Technology; it can also be found at http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/how-can-software-be-so-hard. Transcripts can be found there or at https://www.wcit.org.uk/networks/154/item.html?id=3083.
In his third lecture, Professor Thomas asks how can it be possible for teenagers to write smartphone apps that make them multi-millionaires when many commercial and Government IT projects fail, despite employing the skills and resources of international IT companies? What is software and how is it developed? How confident do we need to be that it is sufficiently correct, reliable, usable, safe or secure? What evidence would we need? The main reasons why software projects overrun, get cancelled, or deliver inadequate software are explored, using examples of project failures and the litigations that often result.