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Presentation: Avoiding Getting on the News by Investigating Near Misses

Track: Surviving Uncertainty: GDPR, Brexit, or Politics? Beyond DR

Location: Mountbatten, 6th flr.

Duration: 1:40pm - 2:30pm

Day of week: Monday

Slides: Download Slides

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I have a colleague at work who is obsessed about planes.  There is almost no work situation that does not have an aviation based analogy.  Surprisingly, this is less tiresome than you might imagine because people generally care a very great deal about planes crashing, and so a great deal of thought has gone into thinking about how to prevent disasters, and that’s useful in work context.


One such aviation example not just doing “root cause analysis” on actual crashes, but investigating literally anything that is a bit odd.  This is important because actual crashes tend to be caused by multiple factors, or by things getting worse over time, so we can investigate problems one by one, or get in early, without the need for disasters that get on the news.


The relevance to software engineering is one of support.  Yes, we are all over crashes and making sure they never happen again the same way, but what about the “near misses”?  In order to investigate those we need to instrument our product, monitor those stats, and dig into everything that doesn’t look right.  I’ll talk through some real world examples of doing just that by extracting every last drop of field information to prevent disasters, rather than waiting for them.

Speaker: Ed Holland

Software Development Manager @metaswitch

Ed has 20 years experience at Metaswitch as of a mix of Java Dev, Tech Lead, Architect, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Product Owner, and Agile Coach.  However, more recently he has discovered how much fun it is to be a trouble maker, driving and inspiring change.  

Find Ed Holland at

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