Wednesday, July 28, 2021

On The Road Again: Speaking Today at the @XPansion #QASummit (Live Blog)

 Hi all!

I confess I have been struggling to participate with this blog. I just haven't felt mentally in it. Additionally, it took me a little while to get things sorted out with my Twitter handle (in a neat twist of fate, the person who took the account decided to give it back to me, so I will be putting mkltesthead back into my bio again. It took me a while to make sure that the gift of my account back didn't come with some "extra stuff" that would have made my reality unpleasant but thankfully that was not the case).

A couple weeks back I was asked if I'd like to speak at the XPansion QA Summit being held in South Jordan, Utah, USA. Seeing as I had a number of friends participating in the program and I hadn't spoken in a live setting in nearly two years, I decided it was time to say "yes" and get back to live speaking. That is part of what I will be doing today. I will be giving two talks today (actually, I'll be giving the same talk twice) about "Sef Healing Automation" or more to the point "what self-healing automation actually is (in most cases) and how it's basically a switch statement that rebuilds itself.

The first talk is being given by Andrew Brown and the topic is "Why Do People Break Software Projects". Andrew predicts that software development in 2031 will have about 20% of projects fail. Many will be late or over budget. Some projects will take crazy risks. Many will work in silos. They will develop too much technical debt, they will add more processes that will have no effect on quality, and their regression tests will be filled with junk. Sounds like today, huh? Well, that's the point. We've had these same problems for fifty-plus years. What are we missing? First, there's a technical part and that changes all the time but there is also a people/human part and those problems don't really change. What's worse, we don't change them because we don't really understand those issues. The key to realize is the human brain was never really designed to develop software. The fact that we can do it is kind of remarkable. The human mind is amazingly adaptable but the technology we create quickly outstrips our effective understanding of it. Our thought processes have deep evolutionary roots and many of our thoughts are much more primitive, tribal, and segmented. We are focused on survival and reproduction, and those aspects we do quite well. Those are far and away removed from the thought processes that help us develop software. The technology far outstrips our actual understanding. 

There is a lot of historical fears and issues, some might call this the lizard brain. Those fears and issues are the ones that get to the heart of being human and why we struggle with getting things done effectively. Often, we are overconfident. We see things the way we are, not the way they should be seen. 

Overall, this has been a neat discussion and some interesting ideas shared. I see, and agree, that the areas we need to spend more time on are not the technological issues but the human issues.

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