CppCon 2021 – Failing Successfully: Reporting and Handling Errors

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Writing code which successfully accomplishes a task is difficult. Four year software engineering degrees are, after all, spent learning something of substance. This difficulty only compounds as the code in question becomes less and less trivial. Successful accomplishment is not the only outcome of well written, real world software however: Tasks can fail for a variety of reasons.

From a certain point of view success is the least interesting outcome in software engineering. No one is woken up in the small hours of the morning because their software succeeded. Much gets said about the Ariane 5 but have you heard of the Ariane 4 or 6? It’s plausible that dealing with errors appropriately is the most important responsibility of a software engineer.

Robert Leahy, lead software engineer at MayStreet, will discuss errors and exceptions, how, when, and why they should be generated, how code should be structured to handle them, and what techniques can be used to ensure such situations are reported with sufficient context that the cause can be identified and addressed with minimal software engineer involvement.