Re: [SystemSafety] Another academic safety workshop / why not industrialists ?

From: Roberto Bagnara < >
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:00:03 +0100

On 01/22/15 00:46, Les Chambers wrote:
> My personal theory is that the software world is broken up into two social
> groups:
> 1) serious people
> 2) comedians
> We'll be okay as long as the comedians do not get hold of any critical
> systems.

I am afraid this is not just your personal theory: there is lots of experimental evidence around suggesting that the second group might be larger than the first one.

I agree with Martyn that we all must try harder.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx > [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx > Martyn Thomas
> Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2015 5:19 AM
> To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx > Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] Another academic safety workshop / why not
> industrialists ?
> Les
> I've no idea whether or not it worked. We won some contracts and lost
> others. Praxis developed an international reputation for software
> engineering and quality. Lots of UK software companies became ISO 9001
> (but there were other pressures on them). Formal methods are still not
> used on most projects that would benefit from them. And the software
> industry is probably about as far from being an engineering profession
> as it was in 1989 (and arguably further away than it was in 1969).
> Is any of this to my credit, or my fault?
> Probably a tiny amount, but I have no idea which part.
> Must try harder ...
> Martyn
> "There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse
> and sell a little more cheaply, and he who buys on price alone is this
> man's lawful prey" (John Ruskin [attrib])
> On 18/01/2015 21:08, Les Chambers wrote:

>> Martyn
>> This was a serious question. If the strategy did work it would restore my
>> faith in humanity. In a past life I was involved in a similar scenario.

> The
>> difference was that we concentrated on evangelising quality to our clients
>> not our competition. The strategy did work and the story is documented

> here:
>> One thing I learnt is that it is very hard to motivate people off the page
>> (for example, by handing them a set of quality standards). One cannot
>> separate great ideas from the manner of their articulation and the manner

> of
>> their articulation will depend on who is doing the articulating. And what

> we
>> say about safety and quality is deeply connected to the way we say it,

> which
>> is connected, in turn, to the values we hold. Great truths are to be

> tested
>> not on the page, but in the real world. Only then will they be embodied by
>> the unbeliever (usus est magister optimus).
>> If you could translate the paragraph above into Latin I would be most
>> grateful.
>> Les

     Prof. Roberto Bagnara

Applied Formal Methods Laboratory - University of Parma, Italy mailto:bagnara_at_xxxxxx

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Thu Jan 22 2015 - 09:00:15 CET

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