Garbage In, Garbage Out

… so the ancient Charles Babbage once authored.

Data Validation is a very, very, very important aspect of any user facing application, be it a website, be it a program, be it a simple calculator. The data must be validated to ensure it conforms to the expected input, prior to being used for logic processes and resultant output.

So, when I recently went through some data and saw such elementary and simple things like postcodes not being checked against ‘states’ and suburbs spelt incorrectly, I was immediately thinking – who the heck gets paid to write such garbage..

Unfortunately, that is the case, and as is the reality in many workplaces, one which isn’t easily overcome.

I’ve always held the view that a user, be it malicious, incompetent or just plain lazy, can and often will supply applications (website pages, actual programs, scripts, anything) with garbage data.

The responsibility for testing the validity of that data lies wholly with the application author, and where they fail to do that, they’ve failed in the development of that application.

.. Another reminder of the complete incompetence of some of the people who somehow manage to hold jobs in Australian workplaces for so long.

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