Be the witness to your failures

Success, after all, loves a witness, but failure can’t exist without one.

– Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Kicking off with a great quote from the book that inspired the title the blog,  “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao“, written by my friend, Junot.  If you haven’t already, go buy yourself a copy; it’s indeed a terrific read that you won’t regret.

As a software architect, this quote really resonates with me. It’s inevitable that software projects will have issues; there are just too many factors that influence this. Yes, there are issues that architects have little control of, but let’s put those aside for now. What matters is to recognize the issues we do cause, being the witness to our failures.

Today’s technology gives us almost endless choices, and is constantly evolving. There’s always room for improvement. There are unexpected changes. This is what we have to deal with. You could say failure is always around the block, waiting for us. But when we turn into that street, which will happen, what differentiates us is to quickly realize that we just made the wrong turn, understand the path that got us there, and avoid that street later. If we’re lucky, we are the first witness to our failures, but when we aren’t, we need to take ownership of it. Understanding this plays a critical role in our success as software architects.