Date: 10 Jun 2005

Falling down is part of growing Up; the study of failure and the Software Engineering community

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Abstract

Software development efforts are characterised by; project failures, runaway projects and integration and communication problems. Analysing why some projects finish on target while others lose track of their original objectives, constraints and milestones, can only be viewed as a long term investment The study of failures is a sensible approach for utilising past experience and advancing to the next level of maturity. This paper introduces the discipline of Forensic Engineering and frames it within the software development environment. The value of failure analysis is discussed from a number of viewpoints and the educational implications explored. Finally the paper calls for a new attitude towards failure, where in order to maximise potential learning, acceptance of failure is the new order of the day.