Monday, 31 January 2011

Roman QC

Reading through Beautiful Teams ( review coming soon ), one of the contributors had a story about engineers building arches and how in ancient times the builder stood underneath the arch as the support was removed.

Trying to find more on this, I found a quote that seemed to be quite well known

"The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch.”
- Michael Armstrong of AT&T

I also found that I'm in esteemed company at using this quote in a blog as even Grady Booch has used it...

My searches for more background also turned up the Code of Hammurabi from 1700 BC

Law 229: If a builder has built a house for a man, and has not made his work sound, and the house he built has fallen, and caused the death of its owner, that builder shall be put to death.

Law 232: If he has caused the loss of goods, he shall render back whatever he has destroyed. Moreover, because he did not make sound the house he built, and it fell, at his own cost he shall rebuild the house that fell.

Law 235: If a boatman has built a boat for a man, and has not made his work sound, and in that same year that boat is sent on a voyage and suffers damage, the boatman shall rebuild that boat, and, at his own expense, shall make it strong, or shall give a strong boat to the owner.

I'm sure QA Hates You would still like these laws to apply...

1 comment:

MaikNog said...

Hi Phil,
nice article and a valuable lesson.
Everybody should be honest and straight enough to commit to the consequences of his conscious actions or sayings.

I find, it relates quite well to the (unconscious?) gut feeling a lot of testers had in the "Beam me up" Challenge from Teste Testy.

In her summary the "gauge the confidence of the engineer" showed up as first entry.