The great liability of the engineer

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A passage from To Engineer is Human - The Role of Failure in Successful Design

The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope that the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny that he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned. That is the phantasmagoria that haunts his nights and dogs his days. He comes from the job at the end of the day resolved it calculate it again. He wakes in the night in a cold sweat and puts something on paper that looks silly in the morning. All day he shivers at the thought of the bugs which will inevitably appear to jolt it's smooth consummation.

This quote claims to be from Herbert Hoover, speaking about being a mining engineer before entering politics. DevOps is full of those cold sweats, you fall asleep at night with the cold fingers of doom wrapped around your throat, whispering about Mean Time To Recovery.

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