Posted inExperience / Information Technology

Titan Sub – How All Agile Projects End

Titan sub wreckage

The Titan submarine crush is yet another shining example of how all Agile projects end. Complete catastrophe with developers complementing each other on a “great sprint!” using phrases like “we gathered a lot of data from that.” [Featured image is courtesy of] The fact bodies are being stacked like cord wood never dimples their resolve to keep hacking on the fly.

Disruptive Technology is the mantra they chant. We can’t be held to standards because we are disrupting an entire industry. No, you are just hacking on the fly. Management likes it because it lets them commit pre-Enron accounting fraud and you like never being held accountable.

Standards exist for a reason

Yes children, you have to eat your vegetables, you can’t just have desert and junk food.

Engineering means “Do it right the first time”

Engineering does not mean “Keep hacking at it until something works”

That’s why we have SDLC, Engineering standards, and in the case of submarines and many other vehicles transporting human life, laws. That’s why every court in the world is going to tell the company they can wipe their ass with those “Hold Harmless Releases” they had everybody sign. Had you followed actual engineering principals as well as the regulations for testing submarines like the navy uses, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Testing matters and it cannot be automated

Automobile crash test
Commercial truck crash test

You can read a bit about the crush depth testing Titan should have went through here. What is unforgivable is the fact they new exactly how deep the ocean floor was. That tiny sub should have been dropped down on tether many times unmanned. Small subs like that always need lift points. We need international regulations demanding at full Titanic floor depth for any sub to be used in this market. Subs must be tether dropped down and spend 8+ hours on the floor, repeatedly, prior to the first human occupants.

How do you bond carbon fiber to titanium?

You can weld steel to titanium according to the welding sites. Obviously it cannot be done with a sub $100 Arc welder you bought from Sears, but it can be done.

According to professional literature, titanium may welded to steel using explosives.

Read the article for all of the different ways.

When you search for how to bond carbon fiber to titanium you find what ordinary people call glue, and some different methods of riveting. Neither of these make me feel all warm and fuzzy about how strong an air tight seam would be at 12,500 feet of depth.

How many bodies before governments step in?

Agile is not engineering!

I wrote a book about it years ago. You see Web companies like Facebook and Google champion this hacking on the fly development method for everything. They didn’t care about whose identity got stolen, what kind of bots and viruses they let into your computer, or your general well being.

Then we had Enron. That gave us SOX. Under SOX you cannot book software as an asset until you can prove it works. Enter Agile. Automated unit tests of Agile let you prove your software works because they don’t actually test it. With no SDLC and thousands of items “in the backlog,” you don’t have a working system.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy:
Infinite Exposure
Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told
John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.