Failure Modes

25/01/20, modified 25/01/20

To name some; going awol, going off on an inconsequential angle, moving in circles or in short "being an engineer", or "engineering". All failure modes1 that I have discovered also apply to me.

At a previous job I made the asked for product but also 2 Integrated Development Environments out of parts laying around. Including a parser framework, a web based UI, a structural editor, an automatic test executor. When the first one became functioning for a while and my production level improved because of it, I decided it needed a rewrite. I was doing my required job and to the outer world productive (and I seemed to be sought out for what I did) but, I could have spent all that time to pull myself out of software engineering.

This past year, I've tried to get better. Not better as in improving myself, but get better as recovering from an illness. So, no engineering, but figuring out what we need to do and then deciding how to do it and making sure someone does it. Plus, communicate to all involved, committing to goals, setting goals. In short "management". I've loved it and this and will continue, but I still have engineering sickness. I wanted to make a package to make box diagrams. I did not communicate in the logs or at work, when the outcome would be too much unknown. I started to learn 2 programming languages; Lisp and Erlang. All off these, flight into save and known activities. Relapses into engineering.

So more convalescent therapy this year.

  1. In our effort to build a working production machine we have a todo list per sub-project. This todo list contains for at least a year a work-item to figure our all the ways some system might faile. With the tool almost done we have still not made this list of "failure modes". []

3 Responses to “Failure Modes”

  1. Diana Coman says:

    Why not actually speak up in #trilema or in #ossasepia or in #trilema-hanbot, you know? I'd even say part of curing this particular illness is exactly talking to people and since you have on irc so many people who want to talk to you, why don't you?

  2. Glad to hear you're alive and good for you for publishing this, I'm sure it wasn't the easiest to do, but I hope it helps begin the catharsis.

    Echoing Diana's comment and drawing from my experience of transitioning from torturing myself by lingering in the shadows to now having more opportunity and excitement than I dared to dream about 3-6 months ago, I'm seeing her comment :

    diana_coman: eh, speak, there's nothing worth keeping that you might lose just for the speaking; quite the opposite
    diana_coman: (and in fact the whole world to lose for keeping silent)

    as more true as each day passes.

    I'm not going to pretend I know what it's like to be you or exactly what you're going through, but take heart that you're not alone and have people that're interested in learning about how they can help you be a better you. Try focusing less on the illness and more on the cure, cheers!

  3. [...] Feedback modes are a sign of life, let's see the extent to which he can shorten the loop. First things first is conversations, I don't want to pressure him into a situation to trigger his beings an engineer until he's ready. [...]

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