…is not the device itself, but it is the whole ecosystem that surrounds it.
I have received my Kindle as a gift at the beginning of this year, and it quickly became my favorite gift of all time.
That can be quite surprising, knowing me. I own many different devices, gadgets and computers, but I have always been fond of the smell and feeling of paper books. Knowing that, some people were ready to bet that I would use the Kindle for just a few days and neglect it shortly after for something else (e.g. my iPad).
I must admit that I am sure this is exactly what would have happened with any other e-reader device. My experience with the Kindle, however, was (surprisingly) awesome, and it due to reasons I didn’t expect.
As Software Engineers, we often tend to be overly optimistic about software. In particular, it often happens that we underestimate the probability of systems and components failures and the impact this kind of events can have on our applications.
We usually tend to dismiss failure events as random, unlikely and sporadic. And, often, we are proven wrong.
Systems do fail indeed. Moreover, when something goes wrong, either it’s barely noticeable, or it leads to extreme consequences. Take the example of the recent AWS outage: everything was caused by a mistake during a routine network change.
Right now, some days after the event, post-mortem analyses and survival stories count in the dozens. There is one recurring lesson that can be learned from what happened.