Top 5 Software Failures in Recent History

Top 5 Software Failures in Recent History

Dealing with different types of errors is inconvenient and software errors are not an exception as  they may have significant consequences and even result in financial loss. Many factors can lead into a big error and one of them is the coding process as human mind does make mistakes. Technology advances continuously, and while prevention through modern technology tools and constant testing is the best option to avoid such errors,  mistakes are still something to expect. We suggest you look at the following examples of software failures in recent history:

The British Airways Case
In August 2019 a huge system issue occurred with British Airways due to which hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed. Passengers were left with a manual check-in system and had to wait long hours in the airport. Unfortunately, BA has had other cases of IT errors causing massive issues. 

Mars Climate Orbiter Case
Another coding mistake led NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter into being lost in space. Launched on December 11, 1998, the orbiter crashed because of failure in using metric units, causing a costly damage. 

S3 Outage Case
In February 2017 AWS servers went down resulting in a big outage for many websites as AWS is the provider for numerous sites such as  Medium, Quora and Slack. Several hours of  S3 outage resulted in many websites going offline, causing huge financial loss. 

Northeast Blackout Case
There was a big power outage in North America in 2003,which affected 8 US States and Southern and Central parts of Ontario, Canada. Due to the alarm system failure, the accident left over 50 million people without power for two days. Not only did the blackout hit the industry, but also took 100 human lives.

HSBC Online Banking Case
On January 4, 2016 HSBC banking services stopped for 2 days including both mobile and web systems. An internal technical error caused the customers major inconveniences. Although the actual cause of the problem was not explained, the bank implemented all the required actions to protect the customers from any fees arisen due to the system error.


Modern technologies definitely do provide us with all the essential information and services we need for our everyday life, but we do face such errors, which cause disruption for both sides - the business and the customers. Learning from history and providing excellent quality assurance, thus, could minimize the chances at least for internal technical errors, and therefore, for unpleasant experiences.