Abstract As A Verb

The New Stack has an interview with me on various topics here. I think the following part of the interview gets at what I think is an under-investigated bit of language and meaning: TNS: At the same time, I imagine that you’ve abstracted a lot of the supporting infrastructure away from the engineer. They don’t have…

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Reflections on the 6th Resilience Engineering Symposium

I just spent the last week in Lisbon, Portugal at the Resilience Engineering Symposium. Zoran Perkov and I were invited to speak on the topic of software operations and resilience in the financial trading and Internet services worlds, to an audience of practitioners and researchers from all around the globe, in a myriad of industries….

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Some Principles of Human-Centered Computing

From Perspectives On Cognitive Task Analysis: Historical Origins and Modern Communities of Practice (emphasis mine) The Aretha Franklin Principle Do not devalue the human to justify the machine. Do not criticize the machine to rationalize the human. Advocate the human–machine system to amplify both. The Sacagawea Principle Human-centered computational tools need to support active organization of…

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An Open Letter To Monitoring/Metrics/Alerting Companies

I’d like to open up a dialogue with companies who are selling X-As-A-Service products that are focused on assisting operations and development teams in tracking the health and performance of their software systems. Note: It’s likely my suggestions below are understood and embraced by many companies already. I know a number of them who are…

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The Infinite Hows (or, the Dangers Of The Five Whys)

(this is also posted on O’Reilly’s Radar blog. Much thanks to Daniel Schauenberg, Morgan Evans, and Steven Shorrock for feedback on this) Before I begin this post, let me say that this is intended to be a critique of the Five Whys method, not a criticism of the people who are in favor of using…

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Translations Between Domains: David Woods

One of the reasons I’ve continued to be more and more interested in Human Factors and Safety Science is that I found myself without many answers to the questions I have had in my career. Questions surrounding how organizations work, how people think and work with computers, how decisions get made under uncertainty, and how…

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Teaching Engineering As A Social Science

Below is a piece written by Edward Wenk, Jr., which originally appeared in PRlSM, the magazine for the American Society for Engineering Education (Publication Volume 6. No. 4. December 1996.) While I think that there’s much more than what Wenk points to as ‘social science’ – I agree wholeheartedly with his ideas. I might even say…

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