Tag Archives: measuring

Being Right and Proving It

One of the great things about working in IT is that you can often win an argument simply by being right. Not because of who you are or because you are more eloquent than others, but because the facts support your position. Almost every IT person I have ever met respects facts.

In order to win arguments this way, you of course need some facts to work with. And that’s where too many people fail. If the application is running slowly, the Java guys will blame the database and the database guys will blame the application Java code.  But if you don’t have any facts, you can argue until the cows come home without getting any closer to an answer.

The business doesn’t pay you for aimlessly fiddling around with various setting that might have a bearing on the problem. The business pays you to solve their problems. In order to do this effectively, you need to instrument your code properly so that facts are available when you need to troubleshoot something.

Useless counting

I was just walking out of Security at London Heathrow and passed a small kiosk with the question “What was your experience at Security today?” and four buttons with various smileys. No travelers pressed any buttons, but passing security staff pressed the “I’m very happy” button.


I’m guessing that security staff are measured on the happiness of their “customers”. And any traveler with experience of London Heathrow security would find every occurrence of “very happy” spurious.

If you are taking actions or basing remuneration based on  information you collect remotely, are you sure what you are collecting?