Where do bugs come from? Part II

Gil Zilberfeld talks more about bugs, quality and a bit of organization culture and safety
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This series is about the origin of bugs. Although they did not come from an apocalypse, they are sure leading us towards it.
Part IPart IIPart III
Part IV
Part V

While we’re on the subject of favorite excuses, let’s talk about a couple more I got.

It looks more like an escape pod than a bug. Ironically, “don’t look at me” does the exact opposite. It looks very unprofessional. But let’s dig deeper.

We need to ask, how this became a “who”, rather than a “how” thing. Even if you isolate everyone in the process, and have them contact each other through taped recording, it would be very hard to prove that the bug is specific someone’s fault. But that doesn’t matter really, is it?

If the organization looks to blame someone, it will find someone to blame. “It wasn’t me” is defensive for a reason, a safety-less culture. Bugs can come from systemic failure. The excuse is just a symptom.

Let’s carry on to James’ second contribution:

Again, another symptom. My guess it wasn’t a typo.

If it wasn’t, why would he say that? Feeling no safety to take responsibility, acknowledge a mistake, and learn from it – this is probably not a specific someone’s issue. It’s an organizational issue. People tend to cover up. if they are feeling they are going to be persecuted and judged. If it was a typo, using “only” to diminish the problem, gives us a hint on how the programmer might have felt.

The next one I got actually leading to the next post.

Was it really a prototype?
Was there ever a situation where testing (at all, not any more testing) was not required?
Was there ever a first anything that doesn’t need testing?

That’s culture related as well, but needs more digging. In the meantime? Leave some more excuses in the comments. We love excuses.

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