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Avoid Failure

Civil engineering professor Henry Petroski wrote an interesting book, Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering (Petroski 1994), that chronicles the history of failures in bridge design. Petroski argues that many spectacular bridge failures have occurred because of focusing on previous successes and not adequately considering possible failure modes. He concludes that failures like the Tacoma Narrows bridge could have been avoided if the designers ha...


Cover of Code Complete, Second Edition


Try to think of future possible failure modes rather than relying in previous successful designs