Payroll systems, not yet a solved problem

I’m simultaneously unsurprised and shocked about this story about how SAP failed to deliver a payroll system that could properly handle 1300 employees, after the state of California spent $50 million on system development. We’ve been building payroll systems for decades now, and I believe that SAP is the largest software company on the planet that builds these kinds of systems.

This is a useful counterweight to Bertrand Meyer’s recent blog about how most of the software we interact with on a daily basis works well. He’s right, but we must also avoid falling prey to survivorship bias.

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