Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

This attitude is not just wrong, it's dangerously wrong.

It's this sort of blame-driven, individual-focused, ask-the-unachieveable answer that makes it completely impossible for organizations to move beyond a relatively low level of quality/competence. It's satisfying to say, because it can always be applied and always makes the speaker feel smart/superior. But its universal applicability is a hint that it's not going to actually solve many problems.

If you'd like to learn why and what the alternative is, I strongly recommend Sidney Dekker's "Field Guide to Understanding Human Error":

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Understanding-Human-Error...

His field of study is commercial airline accident review, so all the examples are about airplane crashes. But the important lessons are mostly about how to think about error and what sort of culture creates actual safety. The lessons are very much applicable in software. And given our perennially terrible bug rates, I'd love to see our thinking change on this.




> It's this sort of blame-driven, individual-focused, ask-the-unachieveable answer that makes it completely impossible for organizations to move beyond a relatively low level of quality/competence.

Keeping one's finger off of the trigger is not unachievable; indeed, every infantry organisations instils that from the beginning in its riflemen. It's really Not That Hard. And indeed, one sees that negligent discharges are actually pretty rare, even in war zones.


You seem now to be talking about something different than me. I'm referring to your notion that "better, sterner discipline" will help. It won't.

That approach quickly plateaus. Then more discipline harms improvement because people just start covering up mistakes to avoid punishment. In addition to being covered in the book on air safety I already mentioned, your "beatings will continue" theory is basically why Detroit spent decades trying and failing to make cars as reliable as Toyota's. This was true even when Toyota went to great lengths to teach GM how to do it.

That experience was covered engagingly in This American Life's episode NUMMI:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/n...


Yes you do seem to be having a different conversation. We were discussing firearm safety. There is a right way, and that way is well understood. States which encourage cavalier firearm handling in their soldiery (I don't propose firing this soldier, but certainly let's fire whoever trained him) are explicitly valuing some other goals over the lives and health of residents.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2022

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: