Jessica Kerr is a developer of 20 years, conference speaker of 10, and ringleader of a household containing two teenagers and their cats. She works and speaks in TypeScript, Java, Clojure, Scala, Ruby, Elm etc etc. Her real love is systems thinking in symmathesy (a learning system made of learning parts). She works at Honeycomb.io because our software should be a good teammate and teach us what is going on. If you're into sociotechnical systems, find her blog and newsletter at jessitron.com.
At Honeycomb, we have a company value: Everything is an Experiment. Sometimes people take that too literally, and try to make every UI change an A/B test, every process adjustment measurable by some number.
The scientific method is fantastic for debugging--and completely inadequate for the unique sociotechnical systems we each work in. Yet we do experiment (probe), and we can do this rigorously (for a more appropriate definition of "rigor"). How does this work?
We need different ways to frame experiments, choose the ones worth our time, conduct them, and recognize the outcome. We need new words to replace "failure" and "success."
In complexity, everything is an experiment if we look at the result. That doesn't mean objective measurement. It does mean careful observation and curiosity. Let's talk about how we do this.