Friday, April 25, 2008

Smoke Jumper

A friend of mine is a smoke jumper. She spends 6 months of the year up in Northern Ontario (about 15 hours drive away from here) in order to make sure the forests don't completely burn down.

I read an article recently that compared software projects in emergency situations to firefighting. While I disagree with the analogy because I have heard some of the experiences from my friend, I do like the quick synopsis of what to do if you are dropped into a critical situation.

The things advocated were:
  • Determine your role
  • Build trust
  • Learn the territory
  • Gather information
  • Do your job
  • Declare victory
I won't go into the details of what the article does an adequate job conveying, I'll just ask you to go read the article and see for yourself. Do you ever find yourself in these situations? Over the years, I've had my share of firefights.

I think a lot of firefights could have been avoided by paying attention to some simple and basic testing methodologies. I'm a little bias, but I do believe that beyond deadlines and politics, what remains is how you finally test your product and how to repeat that test the rest of the product life cycle.