GOTO Amsterdam 2022

Monday Jun 13
11:20 –

Mayday! Software Lessons From an Aviation Disaster

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What can aviation teach us about software? More acutely, what can an aviation disaster teach us?

Aviation is an industry that has committed to relentlessly learning from its mistakes, in the name of making the skies safer. Where the cost of the next iteration is potentially counted in human lives, then that relentlessness is not seen as a noble commitment but rather as the bare minimum. As software professionals, we have it easy. The costs of our decisions and failures are far far lower. For now.

As software permeates ever wider through our lives, the cost of failure gets higher. Societies are becoming cashless, and doctors are carrying a different kind of tablet. Smart phones have led us to smart homes. In a world where everything is connected, it’s time to learn from the industries where disasters are avoided at all costs. And in the face of disaster, instinctively running toward scrutiny rather than away from it.

This talk is not doom and gloom. It is a practical look at the methods and insights that almost 100 years of investigating commercial aviation disasters can teach us as software engineers.

NB: While the utmost care is taken to present the information deliberately and sensitively, please be aware that details and photos of real air crashes will be shared.