Learning from others mistakes – this is broken

This Is Broken: Bad Design from Good Experience.. Ever notice design errors in everyday things? Send them in for a post-mortem to mark at goodexperience dot com. He’s cataloging them at This Is Broken. Learning from mistakes. [a klog apart]

One of the powers of imagination is that we have the opportunity to learn not just from our own mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others.  Repeating others’ mistakes is a singular waste of time. You don’t make progress unless you’re making new and interesting kinds of mistakes.

I’m reminded of a comment I first came across reading the proceedings of the 1968 NATO conference on software engineering (one of those classics in the field which I unfortunately gave away years ago, glad to see it is available on the web). Paraphrasing Newton’s remark that he had seen farther by standing on the shoulders of giants, software engineering had mostly been characterized by “standing on each others’ feet”.