Accepting Risk

Daniel Hutmacher argues that modern companies have reached an inefficient risk equilibrium:

Which brings us to the matter of getting stuff done. Imagine if everything you do has to be approved by a stakeholder and a manager, every line of code you write is peer-reviewed, then tested in a dev test environment, then in an acceptance test environment (which should both contain reasonably fresh, yet scrambled copies of the production data), then approved for deployment by the stakeholder (who ideally should also take time to verify the results), and finally deployed to production by two other people, under a four-eyes principle where no single person can perform any change in production alone. Sprinkle this with a bunch of project meetings, all while leaving a long and winding trail of tickets and documentation.

This is how most development cycles look. Except, you know, the test environments are rarely fresh, the tests aren’t really that thorough, and the peer-review could probably be called a peer-glance at best.

A lot of this depends upon the industry and the likelihood that an outage will cause direct physical harm to people.  I’m personally ambivalent about where the right risk acceptance point is, but Daniel makes a good argument on the “accept more risk” side.

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