Why do mistakes happen?
Configuration Management focuses on a number of essential practices that help improve quality and productivity. Whether you are putting your code under version control or automating your application build using Ant, Maven or Make – CM can help you avoid common mistakes and errors that often result in serious system outages. But how do mistakes really happen and what can you do about them?
I believe that most technology professionals make mistakes when we forget that we are human and it is all too easy to miss a step every now and then. Configuration management focuses on establishing the right steps (actually IT controls) so that we cannot (or are at least unlikely to) make mistakes. Many other disciplines go to great lengths to ensure that they do not make mistakes. I recently had the opportunity to teach CM Best Practices at the recent NITSL conference for engineers and other industry experts working in Nuclear Power plants. I really enjoyed teaching this class largely because my colleagues valued the material that I was teaching and truly wanted to establish practices that would prevent any chance of a mistake occurring.
Mistakes do happen though. This past year has seen a number of serious incidents including the Trading System outage at Knight Capital group which we reported on TechWell. There have been many other recent incidents involving major systems which were impacted due to configuration management related mistakes. What mistakes have you seen? What measures are you taking to avoid any possibility of a mistake occurring? CM Crossroads is all about sharing best practices. Why not drop me a line and tell me about some of your challenges and how you might go about mitigating risks and avoiding mistakes. We might even work together to take your challenges and proposed solutions and write an article for an upcoming issue of CM Crossroads!