[trustable-software] Exploring the "Hypothesis for software to be trustable"
paul.sherwood at codethink.co.uk
Wed Jan 3 16:29:12 GMT 2018
On 2018-01-03 14:04, trustable at panic.fluff.org wrote:
>> A surprising amount of crucial decisions need to be taken based on
> I'm not disputing this, however, if you want your decisions to
> be reproducible, that is to say capable of being assessed for validity
> they require some form of reproducible measure.
Have we established somewhere that all decisions need to be
reproducible? If so I think we are may be doomed to remain a
I'm currently of the view that decisions need to be **traceable**, i.e.
we can assess evidence of who made which decisions when etc. But I don't
expect that all decisions are going to be objective, or that we can
retrospectively assess all of the factors that influenced a decision.
> You could argue that we regular fool ourselves and suffer from
> oberver bias because we never record what our measures are for
>>> To quote a conversation elsewhere discussing the following volume
>>> " 1. Management cares about measurements because measurements inform
>>> uncertain decisions.
>> Measurements can inform. Often they misinform.
> Again I don't disagree with this, but we can ONLY learn whether
> these measures are misinformation if we record them and apply them.
> Their value is in the ability to look with clarity retrospecively and
> assess the usage of those measusres
I agree with the concept of measurement, but that doesn't mean that we
should attempt to measure everything.
>>> 2. For any decision or set of decisions, there are a large
>>> of things to measure and ways to measure them but perfect
>>> is rarely a realistic option.
>>> 3. Therefore, management needs a method to analyze options for
>>> uncertainty about decisions. "
>> OK, but it doesn't work for everything, and IME management cannot
>> reply entirely on any 'method'. We have to make decisions in the
>> presence of uncertainty.
>>> I'd make the point that though designing experiments which allow us
>>> measure things can sometimes be complex, without being able to do
>>> we are unable to confirm our findings and verify that the cause of
>>> aberrant behaviour in the systems or the construction of the systems.
>> If you're holding to the line that we have to measure everything, I'm
> I believe that the it is VERY complex to assess whether one has
> achieved anything without some measure to assess against. I also
> strongly hold the view that for a system to be reproducible, such as a
> system which builds software, then that system must be composed of
> measures to ensure we are agregated and presenting consistent data
Maybe you are avoiding my question :)
Currently I think we can and should collect measurements, but I expect
them to be incomplete and imperfect. Does incompleteness/imperfection in
itself already invalidate the hypothesis? I'm assuming not, given that I
don't believe we're aiming for a binary yes/no measure... more likely
we're initially aiming for some kind of scoring mechanism.
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