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Operating in Failure Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 8:11 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Operating in Failure






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Post #1046957
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:19 AM


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Good Article. I started out my career back in the 80’s as a maintenance mainframe programmer and I still work with existing systems both mainframe and web. So I am always thinking of maintenance when I have to dig into code, database design, or the architecture. Sometimes the best way to do something is not always the quickest or most “slick” way. Time and time again I see new applications being created by third parties and then maintained by the “maintenance" staff. Then it takes some time years for that system to become stable (if ever). What a great world it would be if the developers of new systems would have to maintain their work for the first couple of years. Then they could maybe learn about what its like to fix something after it fails, which like you said, it will fail.
Post #1047206
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:08 AM


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"So plan to fail and you'll be better off." and I would add "and have your notifications processes well in place so that your teams are notified in a timely matter when this does happen."

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Post #1047247
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:42 AM
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TravisDBA (1/13/2011)
"So plan to fail and you'll be better off." and I would add "and have your notifications processes well in place so that your teams are notified in a timely matter when this does happen."


Perhaps it should be 'plan for failure...'. 'Plan to fail' sounds too much like the system is expected to fail. Failures will happen, but the system needs to tolerate failure.


...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
Post #1047283
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 9:06 AM


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Good to remember, though I agree with the above, it should be 'Plan FOR failure.' The planning to fail is a funny little catch phrase but enough of those in the work place can get you down (or turn into an enterprise, ie. www.despair.com).

I find it valuable when testing to have my manager make a run. He's really good at messing up the intended use of a program, entering wrong data, attempting unintended processes, and sometimes he'll just bang on the keyboard and hit enter. It's also quite entertaining. But even after all that, there are still failures that we hadn't planned for. Maybe the phrase should just be, 'Life happens, what the heck?'
Post #1047375
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 9:36 AM


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A primary measure of any application should be it's ability for "GRACEFUL DEGRADATION".

Tom Garth
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Post #1047400
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:48 AM


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Tom Garth (1/13/2011)
A primary measure of any application should be it's ability for "GRACEFUL DEGRADATION".


Too true, and too often I see developers that don't ever expect a query to fail or a connection to fail and don't include a reasonable retry, or option to retry.







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