Chapter 16 Embracing Failure Successfully

Chapter 16

Embracing Failure Successfully


Bullet Failing fast (and well!)

Bullet Embracing a growth mindset

Bullet Reviewing incidents as a team

One of the gifts of software engineering is that the industry has emerged far later than other engineering disciplines. If you look to those older, more experienced industries, you can see many of the problems you face have been solved — or at least identified. (And isn’t it nice to put a name to a problem?)

At some point along the way, executives adopted this concept of fail-fast and tailored it to startups. (You may recognize the term from Eric Ries’s book, The Lean Startup.) Although perhaps overused and misunderstood, failing fast originates from system design. A fail-fast system quickly notifies the administrator of any indication of failure. This requires advanced detection of even a whiff of danger. These systems verify state along the entire process to ensure safety.

In this chapter, I dig into the origins (and misconceptions) of the commonly heard phrase failing fast. Chapter 17 offers ways to prepare for failure and learn from mistakes, and Chapter 18 tackles post-incident reviews.

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