Failure is Always an Option
Just make sure you learn from it
Issue: 8.6 (September/October 2010)
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Article Length (in bytes): 3,664
Starting Page Number: 78
RBD Number: 8611
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Excerpt of article text...
I recently read an interview of Fred Brooks who wrote the 1975 classic, The Mythical Man Month. In the interview he is quoted as saying, "You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you're forced to find out what part did not work."
If you are a MythBusters fan, like me, you know that "Failure is Always an Option" is one of their slogans. Because the show is exploring if weird accidents are possible, failure is instructive, and perhaps more so, than a successful test. I believe this to be absolutely true and not just for the MythBusters but for us REALbasic developers as well.
In my engineering days, failures happened (hopefully with no one getting hurt) and when it did we performed some intense research to figure out how to eliminate the failure so that it didn't happen again or how to warn people when it failed again (because sometimes you can't stop things from failing).
Software development is no different. Failure is a good way to address what you could or should have done better and correct it before it happens again. Software development is a process and it starts with the estimate. Assuming you have a good set of requirements (and sometimes that's a big assumption) your estimate is based on how long you think it should take. I guarantee you're always wrong.
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