Twice is a Bug

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If a problem happens once, it’s (un)lucky: things just happen, some things are very rare, and fixing them is not economically viable.

If it happens twice, it’s a bug, be it hardware, software, or meatware (users / processes).

Dishonourable mention for the bugs that rarely happen, but require a 5-alarm firedrill to diagnose, and makes a company look really, really bad 🙁

If you consider it, even the Software Architect who never talks to customers until their environment is very stable, he’d have to agree: if something happens twice, even if I’m a genius and it never happens to me, it must be more possible than alignment of the planets, so should be considered. If users keep doing the same problem, maybe they have other habits than what I have, and maybe should be considered worthy of helping rather than ignoring.

If the glorified calculators on our desks are more capable of checking for that error, then why aren’t they? (That’s a key tenet behind the Smallfoot project: use the software to do what software’s good at).

I just saw a bug in a release of our product, I think it’s handled in some of the work on the later major revision, but I’m not sure. I don’t want to file until I know, as that wastes developer resources to tell me I’m an idiot (I’ve been an idiot many times, but developer resources are quite valuable in my books). I don’t want to forget to check, but damn, there’s a lot of stuff that happens in my workday, and my memory is fairly sketchy (poor-quality meatware).

Maybe it’ll happen a third time. Thrice is definitely a bug.

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