Monday, February 28, 2011

Human Success and Failure Modes

Cleaning my office after an unfortunate shelving disaster, I came across a cheat sheet from last semester's CS222 class on which I wrote a reminder to myself of Alistair Cockburn's Human Success and Failure Modes. It seems I can never find this when I want it, so I'm copying it here. Interested parties should read his excellent book on agile software development as a cooperative game. In his book, he presents these as considerations when developing a methodology: a methodology that relies on failure modes is less likely to be successful than one built on success modes.


  • making mistakes
  • preferring to fail conservatively
  • inventing rather than researching
  • being creatures of habit
  • being inconsistent
  • being able to look around
  • being able to learn
  • being malleable
  • taking pride in work
  • taking pride in contributions
  • being good citizens
  • taking initiative
At some point, I would like to compare these results to the research on pedagogy and explore the correlation between his workplace-oriented perspective and what is know from the science of teaching and learning. For now, I need to finish cleaning the broken glass off my desk...

Current CS222 students: we'll be talking about this soon, probably once you start up your six-week projects.

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