Another perspective on "engineering" in IT

Found a nice article about Margaret Hamilton, the lady who coined the term "software engineering".

Engineering—back in 1969 as well as here in 2020—carries a whole set of associated values with it, and one of the most important is the necessity of proofing for disaster before human usage. You don’t “fail fast” when building a bridge: You ensure the bridge works first.

Now be a good "networking engineer" and go and stretch another VLAN around the globe... ;)


  1. I think “fail fast, fail often” get’s a bad rap because it’s perceived has meaning “be wreckless” while it’s really intended to mean (and should be worded as, imho) “fail early/small, try/test often”. As such, it’s actually sound engineering and business advice... Don’t wait until the very end of a project to learn that it won’t work and where fixing it (if possible) will be much more costly...

  2. And what about making proper design, in the first place.
    On the opposite side, I prefer to (quoting Linus):
    "do it right way."
    I can only add: ", first time".
    Of course there will be mistakes, we are all humans,
    but bad design will generate endless technical debt.
    And there is no escape from that.
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