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Discussion on: Software Engineering is a Loser’s Game

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GG2021

Great article! Some other things that may fit into this list:

  • Who is playing the game? Are you playing singles (tennis), doubles (badminton), or team game (soccer)?

Singles: making the mistake of not having someone check what you’ve produced

Doubles: not knowing your partner well (or communicating effectively) leads to mistakes, e.g. both running for the same ball at once (accidentally working on the same task at the same time)

Teams: bad communication can cause mistakes. Having a team of totally different skill levels and not managing that carefully leads to mistakes (passing a difficult ball to an inexperienced player). Not making team members fully aware of the direction you’re heading leads to mistakes (own goals).

  • Time management issues: when under pressure, people cut corners or make silly mistakes. If developers have enough time, they can do a good job the first time. This could be considered a business/management issue… but in some workplaces there is often too much time time pressure.

  • Not re-testing the whole solution after making changes. Sometimes you change one thing and another thing breaks. A well known plane manufacturer reduced testing time (in an effort to save costs) and didn't test thoroughly after making changes. It is speculated that this led to two separate plane crashes from same failure.