Complexity arises in a number of professions, including surgery, aircraft flight, and construction. The first test flight of the Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” in the 1930s resulted in disaster. The highly-experienced pilot had made a simple error, forgetting to release the plane’s flaps before take-off, resulting in the death of two crew members. The B-17 was the most complex aeroplane yet developed, and the disaster occurred because the pre-flight procedure had too many steps to remember. Boeing, in conjunction with the US Air Force, investigated the crash and determined a deceptively simple solution: a checklist. Other professions caught on to this idea, and checklists are now used daily in surgery and construction to save lives.
In this talk, we’ll explore how to find and manage complexity effectively in software with our own checklists.