Books like Predictably Irrational (and its sequel, Upside of Irrationality) painstaking document the ways that we fall victim to our own cognitive biases, tripping over our own brains.
In an excellent 2013 article, Jonathan Klein lays out the many ways in which cognitive biases undermine the software development process. Whether it's fundamental attribution error ("my bugs are easily excusable mistakes, your bugs are the result of unforgivable sloppiness"); confirmation bias ("that's enough testing, we know that this works!"); bandwagon effect ("Bob's the bull-goose devops person, it would be silly to doubt his views on this software"); hyperbolic discounting ("a shortcut that saves me a day's work now is OK, even it costs me ten days' fixing in a year") and negativity bias ("the last time we did this it was a huge pain in the ass, screw it.")
But more importantly, Klein also suggests ways that you can mitigate these universal biases in your own software development practices -- procedures that you can follow to make sure that when your stupid brain tricks you, you can spot the slight of mind.
Cognitive Biases in Software Engineering [Jonathan Klein]
(via O'Reilly Radar)
(Image: brain 2, J E Theriot, CC-BY)
Just in time for the holidays, the China Law Blog (previously) rounds up the three most common scams in China that target foreign firms: "Come to China and celebrate our deal" (foreign business person concludes a deal, goes to China, and is roped into paying for a banquet, gifts for the Chinese company boss, and […]
I have but one question. Are they hiring? Sounds like a great place to work.
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There are a lot of high-tech drones and RC planes flooding the market lately, and the innovations are coming so fast on each new iteration, most of them forget one crucial thing: Flying these is supposed to be fun. Here’s an alternative that keeps that ethic firmly in mind: The Moskito Smartphone-Controlled Plane. This thing […]
There are few intellectual exercises better than a good game of chess against a capable opponent, which is why a lot of old hands at the gameplay it online. But there’s still nothing like the tactile thrill of moving a knight into checkmate. (Or sweeping the pieces off dramatically when you lose.) That’s why we’re […]