PEP 3107 and stronger typing (note: probably a newbie question)

Alex Martelli aleax at
Thu Jul 12 07:02:07 CEST 2007

Donn Cave <donn at> wrote:

> I've wondered if programmers might differ a lot in how much they
> dread errors, or how they react to different kinds of errors.

That's quite possible.  I'm reminded of a by-now commonplace theory,
well summarized at

The only place you should try "doing it right the first time" is with
established, repetitive processes. Beyond that, this quality improvement
cliché can kill innovation. A major study from the American Quality
Foundation concluded, "We don't do things right the first time. Trial
and error -- making mistakes, experiencing failures, and learning from
them -- is how we improve. We need mistakes in order to learn; they are
an integral part of how we get better."

If what you wonder about, and the theory mentioned by Clemmer and
detailed by the AQF, are both true, then this may help explain why some
programmers are fiercely innovative why other, equally intelligent ones,
prefer to stick with some plodding, innovation-killing process that only
works well for repetitive tasks: the latter group may be the ones who
"dread errors", and therefore miss the "making mistakes, experiencing
failures, and learning from them" that is "how we improve".


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