, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1) in all this #737Max thing, electrical/computer engineers like me trust/listen that what the aerospace engineers say. Whenever we say something (especially here on twitter), we get told: "what do you know?" and "oh, you're a programmer, go away". I'm exaggerating, barely...
2) good software engineering skills is a craft that should not be minimized. Yes, you, the pilot, might know PHP and wrote cool things for your web site. But you didn't sit 4 years in university to learn all the special skills to write good code and to doubt everything
3) coming out of engineering school, I didn't even want to get close to embedded software, I didn't want anyone to die from it. I had the impression that embedded system folks were semi-gods that made no mistakes... So, when I worked at Boeing, I steered clear from embedded
4) but now that I see the crazy stuff that was done in software, what was missed, etc. You can be sure that my mental visions of semi-gods on pedestals came crashing to the ground. I'm not even sure where to start...
5) in software engineering, there's this thing called CMM, Capability Maturity Model. There were a handful of CMM level 5 orgs back then. CMM5 is the highest level. Nasa was one of them for the space shuttle code. At Ericsson my dept reached CMM level 3. And we were 600% quality
6) I'm not even sure the MCAS programmers even know what CMM means. How can they miss the AoA disagree not working in the tests? How come they didn't review documentation and nobody care to mention MCAS in "NG-to-MAX differences training"??
7) how could they miss the fact that MCAS was hooked up to a SINGLE AoA sensor? A single diagram and everyone would've caught it. Well, unless the aerospace big balls went "oh, programmer, please, you know nothing, go away". It takes a culture of safety to let everyone speak up.
8) at my current job, if there's even a slither of a flag waving in the very far back of my hand, I can feel confident to ask a stupid question. Which is often worded wrong. But someone else will catch my thought and take it next level. We all do it. And no lives are in the mix.
9) so now think of Boeing, where non-union 787 SC workers say they are threatened if they report quality issues, what do you really expect in the rest of the org? That it's different elsewhere? Well, union helps, yes. What about software engineers, what is their daily life?
10) did they code MCAS as a black box? One AoA input and some outputs, job done? It works, ship it!? To me, this is all CMM level 0 (chaos). But what do I know, I only have an engineering degree in exactly that field so what do I know, right? You keep building planes that way...
11) all this to say that Rep Graves, the pilot and "representative" [air quotes], who is trying to tell us all non-pilots to shut-up because we know nothing. Well, this is twitter, and we won't shut the F up like you so desire... You're coming down from your pedestal big boy :)
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