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Communications of the ACM


Software Development in Disruptive Times

coronavirus molecules on world map, illustration

Credit: Blue Planet Studio

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The recent pandemic has brought challenges rarely seen before. It has made evident a world that is strongly globalized, capable, and characterized by a high interdependence of resources and means, but that is also fragile and has a high potential for contamination—not only in the physical sense but also concerning information, ideas, processes, and other aspects.

Given the novelty of the situation, one may be tempted to think this is a unique situation that will soon be overcome, returning eventually to the (apparent) stability that existed previously. However, the reality indicates this view is, at best, illusory and that we live in an age in which societal fragilities and instabilities will be increasingly evident (optimistically, awareness of them will also become more acute). In other words, crises have always been part of human evolution, and they must be seen as inevitable and recurring realities that need quick and effective responses. The key is to be prepared for them and act accordingly.


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