The right time to find a mistake

In software development, we call the prevention of defects earlier in the process “shift left testing.”   The idea is that if you can find a bug earlier in the development process, it is less expensive to fix it.

Tonight I was just about ready to go and upload my roundhouse side walls to the Cricut and produce some parts.  I was just going to fix up the area under the ice house (a small shed that will appear on the eastern wall), when I thought I would go and check Del Rosamond’s notes to see if he had anything about the size of the shed.

Sadly, there were no dimensions anywhere, but that’s when I noticed that his sketch shows no windows on the side of the roundhouse.  No photos of the sides of the roundhouse have appeared yet, and so, the sketch is all we have.

I suppose it is better to have found the error now before expending even more energy on cutting out the parts and putting them together.  Still, it is rather deflating to have spent time drawing windows and framing them up.  I guess I learned how to use Inkscape, and so, it wasn’t completely wasted effort.

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2 thoughts on “The right time to find a mistake

  1. Largely of topic but I miss working for a software company that believes in fixing things early (current company believes it’s easier to apologize and hurriedly fix it after the customer complained).

    More on topic, not knowing the backstory on the sketch how would the building be lit during the day. Given the era it wouldn’t be unreasonable for sunlight to be a primary light source.

    1. Sounds like a company that you’d want to steer clear of, both as a customer and an employee, Matt!

      You raise a good point about lighting during the day, and now that I think about it, there’s a forehead-slapping conclusion.

      It turns out there was no need to light the roundhouse during the day. Both engines were out on the line from about seven in the morning until seven or later at night. So, why would they put large windows along the sides to provide light to an empty building? Turning to the roundhouse and turntable book, lots of smaller roundhouses had only small side windows or lacked them altogether; this was probably related to the question of the type of maintenance that was expected for the roundhouse.

      Lighting at night was probably through gas or oil. While Pembroke had electricity at the time, I don’t believe it would have extended this far south (although that would be worth checking, I suppose).

      Thanks for asking the question!

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