• Industrial Automation Engineer (unregistered)

    I'll repent this comment...

  • Prime Mover (unregistered)

    Surprising the number of computer "professionals" are ignorant of basic propositional logic. And because they're ignorant of it, they don't understand when they get it wrong.

  • 516052 (unregistered)

    I said it before and I'll say it again. We software developers need a proper guild with proper certification and everything like engineers and lawyers and doctors. Until that happens idiots like this will besmirch our profession and drive down wages through competition.

  • kaewberg (unregistered)

    In one project we had a long standing bug which was sent to the off-shore guys. A week later a pull request appears with a logic rewrite in a very unlikely place claiming to fix the defect. But... The after some head scratching, the quite rewritten logic seemed to be completely equivalent to what it replaced.

    The submitter flatly refused to accept this. Figuring I had made a mistake I wrote a unit test exhaustively going through all possible parameter combinations and running the old and the new logic, displaying a 100% equal behavior.

    Submitter STILL flatly refused to admit the code was equivalent. In the end I quietly found and fixed the actual defect, and let the submitter have his modifications :-)

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to Prime Mover

    Exactly. Code isn't meant to be read by "mere mortals", but by other programmers, and a programmer who doesn't get Boolean logic (including distributive law and de Morgan's law) is like a mathematician who doesn't get "+" and "*" and their precedence, i.e. ridiculous.

    Dumbing down our code is not the solution, it will just enable more wannabe coders. The solution is for them to learn the basics, even if it means for them to do some textbook exercises and draw logic tables until they get it. It's not that hard if they actually want to learn it.

  • (nodebb)

    While I agree with 516052, about needing a true guild, I disagree it should be about certifications [at least in the USA, none of the other professions have real guilds either].... The test would be that a resume could be largely reduced to: "Who did you apprentice under?" "How long were you apprenticed?" then "We will get back with you after talk with your Mentor....

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    Not really. It would exclude self-taught programmers (there are good ones, just like there are bad, formally educated ones), and more problematic, it would open the door for networking and bribery (rich people would have no problem buying a "mentor" that says whatever they want).

    Testing actual competence is better. Of course, nothing's stopping companies from doing it now. Instead of asking about Chicago piano tuners or the gazillionth FizzBuzz implementation, they could ask candidates to understand and explain (like Remy did in the article) a slightly complex logical expression like this one and then rewrite it, say as a series of simple if's (but correctly :), or vice versa. Their answers (and the effort it takes them) would tell a lot about their competence as a programmer. (Of course, similar tests could be done for bit fiddling, floating-point traps, database queries, race conditions etc., but they tend to be more domain-specific while Boolean logic is rather universal in programming.)

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to 516052

    Software developers need a trade standards body, not a professional institute - what with being tradesmen, not professionals. Except no-one bothers, because it's not like most programming matters. If someone gets it wrong, you don't pay them and find someone else.

  • Brian (unregistered)

    The last thing our profession needs is some kind of heavy-handed bureaucratic oversight. When you drive over a bridge, you trust that the architect who designed it and the engineer who certified it won't send you plummeting to your death. When you visit a doctor, you trust that he's not going to amputate your foot for a sniffle. When you employ a lawyer, you trust that he can navigate the labyrinthine complexities of the law to get you the best possible outcome. When you post long-winded comments on a humor website, do you really care whether the code underneath is the best it could be, so long as it's "free"?

    Yes, there are some software applications that have serious life-or-death (or at least financial) implications, but those are by far the minority, and they usually have their own oversight set up already. For the rest of us, as Dave says above, it really doesn't matter. On this site, we like to point and laugh, and imagine a utopia where everyone writes perfect code, according to our own definition of "perfect", of course. But in the real world, requiring certification reduces the pool of available labor (which raises the cost) and adds in the cost of the certification to the end product, both of which are bad news for a world built on software.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Foo AKA Fooo

    Foo AKA Fooo - Looks like we will have to disagree. I have yet to see a single certification (or suite of same) that is an accurate measure [and heck, I have been hired to write my share of them for many organizations over the past 40 years]. On the other-hand, if I talk with someone who has worked with the person for a few years I almost always get a very good idea [far better than I get from an equal amount of time with a candidate].

    Yes, there are some truly self-taught, but I can count on one hand (literally 4) times that I have encountered one that did not have serious holes in their experience. The worst is when they started with an misconception, there was no one there to correct them, and much of what they have done since is based on that faulty foundation.

  • (nodebb)

    Amazingly enough, something I learned in college would be useful here. Write out a truth table and you can easily see that the behavior isn't the same.

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    Huh, I didn't argue for certifications (FWIW, I basically agree with Brian on that). I said to test your candidates yourself in a meaningful way (as opposed to silly interview questions and stuff).

    Asking a mentor might work if you know that mentor yourself, but that again would limit your choice of candidates severely. If you just ask someone they named as a mentor whom you don't know, chances are they'll sweet-talk you and get paid for it nicely. (No, you wouldn't know, don't fool yourself.)

    (Posted some time after I wrote it, probably, because fucking stupid idiotic reCAPTCHA claims I'm sending automated requests on my VERY FIRST click on "I'm not a robot", before I even get to see those fucking hydrants. Really, what's wrong with that stupid shit, can't you get fucking rid of it finally?)

  • Jackson 5 (unregistered)

    Ok, so if the logic is sketched out using A, B and C in lieu of the actual conditions and the one programmer doesn't get it, it seems like management should be informed...

  • Anon E. Mouse (unregistered) in reply to 516052

    Oh, just wait - if you want to see a solution searching for a problem, go read PMI's "Citizen Developer" white papers.

  • (nodebb)

    I think licensure is intended to be about merit, but in reality usually turns into 20% being merit and 80% being protectionism. Look at medical doctors, yes we want knowledgeable doctors, but in reality there thousands of terrible mistakes made by licensed doctors every day, and the expense of becoming a doctor keeps many out, which in turn reduces the pool of candidates. There are definitely poor people who could've become good doctors, but can't afford to embark on it. And there are bad doctors who got into it because they had the money to do so. Yes we don't want any Joe Shmoe to cut into patients, but the licensing system barely solves the problem.

    Addendum 2021-08-18 14:58: If at all.

  • (author) in reply to Mr. TA

    While I'd agree that systems like licensing medical professionals don't succeed in keeping out bad actors, that's only a portion of their purpose. The other portion is that it allows us to respond to bad actors. Bar associations and medical societies can censure, fine, and even expel individuals who do not meet their community standards.

    Which is not to say that these solve the specific problems in tech. The vast majority of code (much like the vast majority of legal work, honestly) isn't important, and doesn't require a high degree of expertise to be performed acceptably. Gatekeeping doesn't really benefit anyone.

    But there is an advantage to a community system that can lay out community standards and enforce compliance with those standards is some way. Then again, if we had a community system with a bare minimum of ethics, half the large tech companies wouldn't exist.

  • k19 (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA

    Instead of yanking an 80/20 out of the ether, you could just look at how the medical field was before licensing.

    Hint: it was HORRIBLE. Medical licensing isn't perfect, but it's far far better than the alternative.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Remy Porter

    That's a valid point. Make it easy to get the license, but also ensure that malpractice leads to fines/ suspensions/revocation of said license.

    I also agree that there are very few professions where it even makes sense. Healthcare to an extent; civil engineering and architecture of large objects; that's it really. Programmers should not be licensed.

    Also, there's a big difference between requiring an examination, and requiring college attendance. It should be that whatever criteria employers want to employ to weed out bad candidates, they should be based on testing the result of the education, and not on the candidate having gone to this or that college. It should be possible for a poor person to self teach programming/law/ etc. and attain certification/licensing by passing a cheap but difficult exam. Having $160K does not prove one is good at what they want to do.

  • (nodebb) in reply to k19

    Medical field was horrible before licensing mostly because the sciences behind healthcare (chemistry, physiology, anatomy, etc.) were very undeveloped. You're committing a correlation fallacy here. For centuries, even the best doctors had no idea what to do (judging by modern medical knowledge). For example, there were rampant infection spreads because of lack of sanitation at hospitals. Licensing doesn't solve the problem of lack of knowledge. A society where nobody has a good grasp of the science will never be able to produce a licensing body which ensures that the professionals know what to do. In fact, the opposite is true; if there were doctor licensing requirements in the 19th century, and they were forcing doctors to do things the way most people thought was correct in the 19th century, the result would have been absolutely catastrophic.

  • Loren Pechtel (unregistered)

    Licenses show that you have the knowledge. They don't show that you use the knowledge and they don't ensure against mistakes.

  • Simple Simian (unregistered) in reply to Brian

    Funny thing - each of the examples you cite have professional organizations that have legal clout.

    You may be interested to check out Uncle Bob Martin's discussions about a "Programmer's Code of Conduct."

  • Barbers (unregistered)

    Barbers supposedly have licenses... Oh there was a great case about a woman who braided hair who was challenged by the local hairdressers union/license group. She was forced to cease operations until she took a hairdresser's training course, none of which included hair braiding... Ok, it's possible she needed training on lice maybe??

    Remy makes good points about being able to revoke someone's license as being a real benefit, because we already have degrees that are equivalent to "getting licensed." Then again, a resume check pretty much covers past issues. Ironically, some companies avoid checking past employers because they are looking for a "sucker" to work on some old system where they are legally required to have a butt-in-a-seat or are simply passing a hot potato.

  • löchleindeluxe (unregistered)

    Ah yes, we're using that CMS.

  • scintilla (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • lalitha (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • swetha (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • 516052 (unregistered)

    Licencing would provide us all with numerous benifits. Here are just some:

    1. It would ensure we can weed out the trully bad actors like Paula that besmirch our profession. This needs no explanation.

    2. It would help combat outsourcing, nepotism and bad hiring practices in general by providing each developer with a certification telling the prospective employer what he can and can not be expected to actually do right and enforcing that employers only hire those that they can legally prove to be fit for the job.

    3. It would retrict the number of people who can work in the profession and further limit the number of people that can take any given job thus driving competition down and our bargaining power up.

    4. It would provide a legal standard for forcing and protecting those that speak out against predatory practices by tech companies BEFORE they get so strong that their violations of laws get accepted as the norm.

    5. A strong organisation that handles certification and that we all pay into would also work well as a tool for collective bargaining. And this is something we in the trade desparately need.

    6. It would provide an expert driven as opposed to politics driven or big tech driven organization that could loby for legislation and standards in our field.

    etc.

    As for the arguement that it need not apply everywhere and that it's useless for most applications that arguement is wrong and you all know why. That being that if you go down that path you can be apply the same to every such organization.

    You don't demand an architectural licence for someone building his a wooden shed in his back yard. Nor do you demand certification for when someone pops his own zit. So clearly you don't need to do it for bridges and organ transplants either. Right?

    And the same would apply here. If you want to get hired making a blog for your local grocery store such an organization wouldn't be involved. But if you want to be the CTO of a bank that's another story.

  • Optional (unregistered) in reply to 516052

    All of these ideas are great in so far as no company is obligated to hire programmers who are involved in your licensing/collective bargaining and no worker is obligated to participate either. Your group should have to compete on its merits. If it produces programmers who are more productive relative to the pay and benefits, it should have no problem succeeding.

    There are already many standards bodies for computer science, communications, computer engineering, electrical engineering, ...

  • tbo (unregistered)

    fizzbuzz is designed to weed out the Paulas, but fizzbuzz has already been dunked on here.

  • 516052 (unregistered) in reply to Optional

    That would utterly defeat the point of a mandatory certification authority. There is a reason why these things are NOT optional for lawyers, doctors or any other field that has them.

  • Optional (unregistered) in reply to 516052

    You make it sound like your points are what are behind medical and legal licensing. There is a reason why NOT all of these things are behind those.

  • (nodebb) in reply to 516052

    Those reasons are either invalid, or even despite the reasons being valid the real outcome is terrible.

  • 516052 (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA

    You must be american to distrust what is effectively a union with additional certification that much.

  • (nodebb) in reply to 516052

    Yes I am American but my distrust of licensing comes from real world experience, not some national cultural belief. I would be very surprised if other countries didn't have doctors who make bone headed medical mistakes despite being licensed.

    Addendum 2021-08-24 07:04: For example, in the UK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/682000.stm

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7266473/One-12-patients-harmed-medical-mistakes-study-finds.html

  • 516052 (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA

    And yet you are.

    You seem to be smart enough to realize nothing is perfect. And there you are right.

    No mechanism of protection is perfect. Every lock can be picked, every antivirus bypassed, every vaccine eventually gives way and every certification authority some times fails. Even condoms some times break.

    But does that mean we do not lock our doors at night, surfing the web unprotected or run into corona orgies without jabs or rubber? No. Because something, no matter how inefficient is better than nothing.

    1 in 12 patients sounds infinitely superior to 1 in ???. Which is what you get with no certification. And ??? is exactly what we do have right now in our industry as well.

    How many banks, government systems, military systems and other critical services are being developed by semi competent or incompetent contractors, run by incompetent administrators and therefore full of critical bugs, problems and security vulnerabilities that can and will cause major problems down the line?

    We don’t know. We can’t know. Because there is no oversight and certification.

    And that’s before we get into the other shady or worse industry practices like crunch that can all be fixed if we as a trade had proper collective bargaining.

    And of course, proper certification on a national level would also put a permanent stop to outsourcing and heavily restrict the workforce. All of which would lead to a better market position for us equally better working conditions and higher wages. So that's a bonus as well.

  • (nodebb) in reply to 516052

    That ??? number may or may not be worse in unlicensed industries. There are reasons why it may be better. Like I wrote before, ease of entry leads to better choice of providers. Also, clients know they need to choose well - there's no imaginary guarantee of a license.

    The difference between the protection systems you mentioned, such as locks, antivirus programs, and vaccines, and national licensing systems, is that you are mostly free to choose which lock, antivirus and vaccine you want to use. Whereas a licensing system forces everybody to adhere to the same standard. Leaving the immorality of restricting choice aside, it just doesn't work in the real world. Critical systems like military and aviation, for example, do need a higher quality of software than an e-commerce website. If the licensing standards are aimed at the high quality needed for critical systems, then launching simple websites becomes very expensive. If the standards are relaxed, then critical systems suffer from lower quality. How do we decide which project falls under this regulation and which doesn't? Do we make educational exceptions? We have to. What's stopping people from developing "educational" code and launching it to production? Offshore problem isn't solved at all. A corporation in the west can purchase services from a corporation in a cheaper market - prohibiting this would be more of a tariff/ embargo like action and therefore politically impossible, from the perspective of foreign policy. If programming stuff in the west is expensive because of licensing, and cheap markets don't have this regulation, then all our jobs go away overnight. Lastly, ignoring all the insurmountable logistical problems, just the cost of this would be so onerous, that it would effectively shut down or slow down to a crawl new development. It would entrench existing tech behemoths, prevent competition, and raise prices on consumers drastically.

    Basically, everything that already happens in healthcare. No, thank you.

  • (nodebb) in reply to 516052

    PS. Regarding collective bargaining - the problem with it in any industry is that it prevents those who try harder from being rewarded for their efforts, while protecting those who don't from being expected to deliver more for a better pay. This is especially true in creative industries such as software. And this problem exists in a perfect world, effectively making unions a bad idea mathematically, in theory. In the real world, it's even worse. Unions end up demanding and getting strict control over disciplinary actions. This means firing a bad employee is very costly. The results of this type of policy can be seen in countries which have laws that have similar effects. Prime example: Spain. (Or maybe some parts of it, i don't remember) It's very hard to find a regulated full time job, because the employer knows that firing you is darn near impossible. Consequently, many people end up in special temporary work arrangements, which hurts instead of helping them, and the overall economy suffers.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Brian

    Sure, hobbyists can build funny websites, and if they suck, the worst result is that the people running the website are out of a job. It's not literally life and death. But software is becoming part of more and more of our lives. Automobiles are full of software. Do you trust the same hobbyist that built the funny website to build the software behind your car's brakes? (Whether that should be software or not is a good discussion to have, but is indeed happening.) Doctors use robots to assist with surgery and heavily computerized scanners to assist with diagnosis. Lawyers look up case law and precedence on websites. Hope they're indexed properly! Software, more and more, is becoming life and death, and I don't want to have to die a horrible fiery death and then have my next of kin sue in order to get some standards put in place.

  • 516052 (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA

    I am not saying they are perfect or without flaw. Or that you can't go too far with them. But I would rather have reasonable regulation and protection even if inperfect than NONE AT ALL. Especially since the problems you list are frankly capitalists exploiting loopholes that can easily be closed.

    Speaking of which, I newer understood the american relationship with legal loopholes. You either treat them as a good thing, something that a clever man can exploit and be applauded for. Or you treat them as proof that legislation does not work. Both of which are frankly mad.

    I mean, take the ATF for example. I like watching gun related stuff on youtube and one thing I noticed is how americans are obsessed about finding a "legal" way to go around the ban on full auto weapons. And the ATF whose job is to stop people from owning machineguns rightly does its proper job and declares "no, bad people, that counts as a machinegun too".

    And instead of applauding them for doing a good job and having the sense to ignore the letter of the law (official definition of machinegun) in order to enforce the spirit of the law (keep full auto weapons out of civilian hands) americans get all angry over it.

    They get all "Oh, that's evil! They should allow us to cheat the law all we want!" And my self, and everyone from the civilized world looking at that just collectivelly go "O_o WTH"

    -- Continues in part 2.

  • 516052 (unregistered)

    Either way. What we are dealing here is, as konnichimade points out a large and growing problem.

    We are now in a very similar situation in reguards to computers as we were in the 19th century in reguard to infrastructure. In the early 19th century people were riding horse carts everywhere and nobody really cared about regulating construction and engineering. Worst thing that could happen is you fall off your cart and break a leg. Big deal.

    So no regulation existed. It just wasn't nessecary. And you had a generation of self taught engineers desiging bridges and infrastructure often with disastrous results. Because as it turns out just because someone can design a horse cart does not mean he can also design a steam locomotive.

    One is more complex than the other. And when the other fails a lot more people die. And it took a lot of deaths before regulation was finally put in place for them.

    Computers are in a very similar situation today. Not a century ago computers were the stuff of secret labs and mad mathematicians. And 50 years ago, computers were the size of a room and the closest your average person got to one was a pocket calculator

    But now we each have one in our pocket and most of the systems we rely on to keep us alive and our society functioning are computerised. And as software opens up a new ocean of opportunities just as steel and industry did in the 19th century the systems become ever more complex to design and maintain. And we all know the state of them.

    Truth is that certification and regulation of such systems and the people who make them is not just nessecary but inevitable. The question is simply how many derailed trains and collapsed bridges we have before that happens.

  • (nodebb) in reply to 516052

    I'll leave the gun question aside lest it becomes a political debate.

    The word "loop hole" has a few meanings. In one sense, bad actors avoid necessary regulations. In another, good actors avoid unnecessary regulations. If the regulation is terrible, like software engineer licensing, dodging this regulation becomes a necessity to do business; it becomes a good, not a bad, thing to do.

    Regarding infrastructure, there is a huge difference - programming is mostly done privately, whereas infrastructure is mostly done publicly, for better or for worse. I would prefer a system of privately run, toll-based roads/bridges/airports/railways/etc. instead of the mess we have now. Leaving the politics aside, given that there is a huge pool of public money available to be distributed, every Joe Shmoe wants to cash in, and claims to be an engineer. Licensing becomes the government's way of choosing quality candidates. Private parties don't need this kind of system - they can rely on non-governmental systems of certifications, diplomas (I hate this), interview testing, etc. to establish qualifications.

    When it comes to private construction and licensed architecture, one can make an argument that this risk should be covered by insurance, and any claims should be settled privately, which would put the pressure on the builder indirectly to only hire qualified architects. In most places, people decided to establish a more direct regulation - the government says you have to be licensed. Which way is better? That's a good question.

    However, even for private construction, just like for public civil engineering, the nature of the field is different from software. There are certain laws of physics, material qualities, etc., which have to be taken into account. A civil engineer does not have many choices in the real world on how to do it right; there are strict constraints - you can only spend so much concrete, etc. In software, laws of physics don't apply, and there are always many ways to slice a cat.

  • (nodebb)

    PS. Most importantly, the requirements for physical objects are usually simple and set in stone (on intended); allow passage/ storage/ occupation by people and things, and don't collapse for N years. Compare this to software, where there are countless meetings and constant disagreement on requirements, edge cases, usability, priority of performance vs stability, maintenance, improvements, etc. The fields are just way too different to simply take lessons from one and apply to another.

  • (nodebb)

    Thanks for a very thorough, thoughtful discussion. I think something we can all agree upon is that we need some way to ensure that life and death software isn't being written by the CEO's nephew who just got out of bootcamp.

  • (nodebb) in reply to konnichimade

    Definitely. The solution is, private responsibility. If the company does something wrong, sue them for millions of dollars. Reactive litigation is always better than proactive regulation, because when consumers react to poor quality of the product/service, there is 1) a harmed party and 2) concrete example of what went wrong. The harmed party is interested in being compensated, and the incident info lets the court decide correctly (at least, more often than not). Whereas with preventive regulation, we leave it up to some bureaucrats to think up ways to prevent future problems. Knowing that bureaucrats are pretty bad at knowing and doing things that happened in the past and/or are happening currently, imagine how bad they will be at trying to predict what future problems may be and how to prevent them. Furthermore, if violations are detected, the bureaucrats will seek to fine the offender, and even if we assume that the violations are justified, the money goes to the government, not the harmed consumers.

    This is doubly true for a very complicated industry like software. Given that a huge chunk of even the better educated/experienced programmers don't agree on much, imagine trying to write regulations and making everybody comply with those.

    In short, this is impossible and will likely stay impossible forever.

  • 516052 (unregistered)

    For purposes of brevity I will address only these sentences as I have found them to be the core of everything about your position that I disagree with.

    Quote 1: "Reactive litigation is always better than proactive regulation"

    No, it most definitively is not. Because for reactive litigation to happen something bad must have happened first to prompt it. And that by definition is a bad thing.

    A bridge must have collapsed or an airplane fallen out of the sky. Or in our case a banking, government or similar system might have been compromised or had bugs that caused massive irreparable damage. Or a plane might have fallen out of the sky or a bridge collapsed because that’s software too these days.

    I would much rather have legislation, no matter how imperfect, put in place in advance by experts to prevent damage than using lawsuits based on counting corpses to patch up who ever survived the fallout.

    Put simply, lawsuits are not the solution. They are a sign that the system has failed and something about the entire thing has gone horribly, terribly wrong.

    Quote 2: "The word "loop hole" has a few meanings. In one sense, bad actors avoid necessary regulations. In another, good actors avoid unnecessary regulations."

    And that's the american mindset I was talking about. This mad idea that laws are a force of obstructive government meddling as opposed to what they are, a method of protecting the interests of society from harmful actors.

    If you avoid or circumvent the spirit in which regulation was written you are most definitively NOT a good actor. You are a harmful and cancerous element cheating the system that is supposed to be fair for everyone for personal gain.

    This entire mindset is frankly contrary to every single value I have grown up with and baffles me to no end.

  • 516052 (unregistered)

    Oh great, held up for moderation. That means it's going to end up stuck there for days and the discussion will die. That already happened to me once and its aggrivating to no end. :(

  • free (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • free (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA
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  • (nodebb) in reply to 516052

    Good thing I checked. To avoid moderation, register.

    Point 1, regulation vs litigation. You assume that there are people in government who are a) competent, b) can predict the future, and c) are honest. There are serious problems with a) - people who know how to do stuff are usually the ones doing it, and don't become bureaucrats. But that's the least of your worries. B) - that's just impossible. And without knowing the future, they can't write regulations that will predict future problems and prevent them. And c) - there is a thing called "interest group". The moment the government gets the power to enforce anything against anybody, somebody will start thinking - how do I use this to my advantage. The bureaucrats will be flooded with lobbying from the likes of Google who will insist that they have internal controls and don't need licensing oversight, or that the way Google does things is correct everybody else be damned, etc. In a lobbying battle between big tech and your small time shops, big tech will obliterate everybody.

    Yes bridges collapsed and planes fell over the years. But that's a necessary step in developing the set of rules necessary to prevent this from reoccurring. It's sad but true. Now with air travel and bridges there's heavy regulation, but those industries are vastly different from software. The majority of the challenges are physical; the science is established; the requirements are simple - plane doesn't crash.

    Point 2 - the mindset. This goes into more philosophy and stuff. The short answer is, human history is full of examples of terrible policy. Without even listing such "achievements" as slavery, nazism and communism, just economic mismanagement in mostly democratic west is mind blowing, even today. I would suggest you read some books by economists describing these cases before making blanket statements like "all regulations are good". That is a terribly misguided stance.

  • (nodebb)

    PS. Another important aspect of all this - the comparison of outcomes. Yes bad software can lead to bad outcomes - there was a story here about somebody dying because of bad software in medical equipment. However, imagine how many would have died if this medical equipment didn't exist, or was (even) more expensive due to software licensing. There is this logical fallacy of comparing the overall outcome of a "free" (as in, unregulated) system to perfection, but not applying the same scrutiny to regulated systems. People die from unregulated software - therefore, regulate software; people die from very regulated healthcare - therefore what??

    The fact of the matter is, people are dying today BECAUSE of bad regulations in other industries (namely, healthcare). Yet, I don't hear you or anybody calling for reformation/abolishment of bad regulations. Don't you find it funny how the solution is always aimed in one particular direction?

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