What lessons to learn from Mount Blanc and diving as software architect

In my previous post about exceeding my limits I have mentioned 2 trips from several I did in 2013. I would like to share lessons I learnt specially for development. You will see that there is not much difference in mistakes in software development as well in mistakes in diving or reaching top of mountains.

Let’s share some problems we have encounter:

During descent from Mount Blanc we (group of 3 people) decided we are not going to be tight together anymore, as it give us more freedom and we don’t have wait on each other. On the way back one of my friend felt over the cliff and by miracle was lucky to not fall down in gulf. We can’t say same about his DLSr camera. We have lost our best pictures from ascent and top of Mount Blanc, anyway my friend is still with us enjoys life like never before.

During my so far most deep dive, we swum almost all time against current and we have spent more air than we thought. On the way up, we had to use  extra safety air bottles we left in case of emergency, because we run out of air in our bottles.

These things I don’t share with everyone usually, because instead of learning lessons from my mistakes it scares them to actually not do anything.

And how it connects with development ?

  • If possible do pair programming and TDD – best exercise can be learnt on coderetreat
  • Never ever in name of “freedom, not enough time, not enough budget,…” write code without tests –  tests are your safety “rope” which holds your code together and can saves you life
  • Always count on unexpected events  (have extra hours, budget, resource hidden which you can pull on when needed) – this is like having extra safety bottles with air in water
  • Did you notice that both situation happened after “reaching  goal”  on the way back ? – Finishing your software and putting into production is our main goal, but be ready to expect the “real” problems when real users starts using it
  • Good preparation is the key for success – be tough on yourself – think about the most worst cases and expect even worse situations

These are just few things – happy new year 2014 and be ready to exceed your limits in next coming year.

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