Chapter 8. A Human-Oriented Perspective

To err is human.

SENECA

8.1 The Human Element

Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else.

In the earlier chapters, we discuss various system-related disasters and their causes, both accidental and intentional. In almost all cases, it is possible to allocate to people — directly or indirectly—those difficulties allegedly attributed to “computer problems.” But too much effort seems directed at placing blame and identifying scapegoats, and not enough on learning from experiences and avoiding such problems. Besides, the real causes may implicitly or explicitly involve a multiplicity of developers, customers, users, operators, administrators, others involved with computer and communication ...

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