Cognitive bias in software development considered harmful


#1

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#2

(“a shortcut that saves me a day’s work now is OK, even it costs me ten days’ fixing in a year”)

I think it’s more that short-term thinking prevents even worrying about that future maintenance. Especially when stuff has to be fixed/released RIGHT NOW or when the developer is just fumbling along or sick of this particular problem at the moment.

Sometimes the opposite happens: overengineering and really robust design and perfect implementation of a feature that isn’t going to be used, or two weeks’ development time that will save someone a few minutes of work once a year.


#3

I would add optimism bias to the list, which leads us to discount the possibility of unknown phenomena of unknown relevance.


#4

This example wasn’t in the original article, so I assume @doctorow created it.

A Google search to find out what “bull-goose” is was very… interesting. Something to do with strap-ons, apparently.


#5

Which bias is it where you deliberately do just the easy stuff and keep putting off the difficult work and then tell customers that it’s on the long term roadmap - scheduled for release in 2 years?

I’m gonna call it the Low Hanging Fruit bias.


#6

hyperbolic discounting (“a shortcut that saves me a day’s work now is OK, even it costs me ten days’ fixing in a year”)

In some companies that’s called job security. Also, hourly pay.


#7

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