I am a firm believer of Murphy’s Laws. In fact I believe in them more than I believe in Newton’s Gravitational Theory or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. When I was first made aware of the existence of these Laws, I was taken aback thinking how absurdly true they are, and how someone did ever think of (or take the trouble of) penning them down and calling them “Laws”.
Some may say that these Laws are the figment of Pessimism. I say, pessimism is good. Pessimism means you have reached rock bottom and there is no further way down, the only way out is Up! If things turn out to be better than you expected, it’s a bonus.
Coming to matters closer to me, the reason why I remembered Murphy’s Laws was because I saw one of them in action. Yesterday. Being in the software industry, I deal with a large amount of uncertainties – devices, network, applications, people,.. you name it. What works on one device is bound to fail in the other. The perfect execution in the developer’s desk is destined to disaster in the tester’s place. And the worst is when all these failures happen after 5PM on a Friday and the release is promised to the customer “at the end of the day”. So it happened again yesterday, the never ending tale of Friday evenings. I had the software built, the e-mail composed and just a key-hit away from release. The last round of testing was in progress, all were fine in the first round we executed before lunch. I was just waiting for a go-ahead from the tester, dreaming of an early return home and a host of other plans, when he comes to me and says, “There is a small trouble, we may need to fix an issue and release.”
“But we tested in the morning and all was fine.”
“No, we missed this somehow.”
“Is it something we can release with a known-issue tag?” Known issues are a godsend, when you release a software, and it has bugs that are not show-stoppers, we type them down in the release documents and call them Known Issues.
“No, it won’t look good if you release with this issue open.”
Need I say more? I finally left office at half past seven, all my wonderful Friday plans blown to the wind.
Hence I say, Murphy’s Laws are so true and has more evidence every day than the Laws of Newton or Einstein.
If anything can go wrong, it will.
If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.