Characteristics of Robust Programs

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

In this lesson, we will give a definition of a computer program and describe some of the characteristics that make a computer program a robust computer program.

Perpetual Motion

We live in a world that is constantly in motion. In fact, some say it moves twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. It isn't so hard to imagine. Just look at how busy you are. We also expect the technology in our world to move at the same speed. But there is a price, a toll we must pay for that ability. No pausing for a breather, and no stopping for faults or failures! It follows that this applies to our computer systems and the programs that make them run. As a result, we apply terms like robustness to describe this ability.

What is a Program?

A program is a collection of commands that a computer executes in order to perform some focused activity. Some contain only a few of these commands, while others contain hundreds, if not thousands. Regardless of the size, programs provide the game plan a computer system needs to be effective at whatever task is required of it. For example, the development teams at Microsoft have created Windows, a program that controls the basic operation of a computer. And they are not alone, similar teams exist at Apple for MAC OS and companies like Red Hat for Linux. These are only a small sample, as programs form a fundamental part of a computer's ecosystem.

What Does It Mean to Be Robust?

The term robust is used to describe something that is lively, strong, or steadfast. For example, one might consider a table robust if it has thick, sturdy legs and a solid top. It can also mean that something has the ability to perform without failure under a variety of conditions. Your vehicle might be considered robust if it starts every day and gets you to work without incident, rain, shine or snow. Robustness is a measure of how well something performs the task it was designed to undertake.

Characteristics of a Robust Program

With respect to a computer program, the term robust is used in a similar fashion. It describes the ability of a program to handle the many inputs (good and bad) that can affect its operation. As such, some of the more notable characteristics that a robust program includes are:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account