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Friday 11:30 a.m.–noon

What can programmers learn from pilots?

Andrew Godwin

Audience level:
Best Practices & Patterns


What can Python-based software teams learn from aviation? Why should software always fail hard? What's wrong with too many error logs? And why are ops people already like pilots? Learn all this, and about planes, too.


Aviation has one of the best approaches to safety and accident response in the world - and programming has some of the worst. Blame culture, lack of testing, numerous deadlines and failing to plan the worst cases mean that software design and runtime problems are a routine thing, rather than a freakish occurrence. As a private pilot, I was thrust into the world of aviation over three years ago, and the difference to software development was immediately obvious - and there are many things we can take away. Learn about: * Why aviation accidents happen, and how the causes relate to software * How to start eradicating blame culture and empower junior developers * How hard failure is preferable to soft failure * How to test your software without breaking the bank * Why too much noisy logging is worse than none at all * Why ops people are basically doing the same job as pilots Plus, there'll be some revealing discussion of how aviation works, and some pictures of planes. Who doesn't like those?
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