Last updated on 2017-01-12

About the Book

I'm placing this complete but unpolished version of Errors up for sale so my readers can provide feedback to make it better. Every purchaser will have access to free updates and revisions as they are made. I can be reached at


Part 1. How Do We Think About Errors?

1.1 Errors in Reasoning About Errors

1.2 Errors in Interpretation

1.3 The Semantics of Error.pages

1.4 Selection Fallacies about Errors.pages

1.6 The Quest for Perfection

1.5 Who Decides If It's an Error?

Part 2. What Do Errors Cost?

2.1 Some Very Expensive Software Errors

2.2 Universal Pattern of Costly Errors

2.3 Measuring Cost and Value

2.4 Mistakes that Win.pages

Part 3. Where Do Errors Come From?

3.1 The Art of Bugging

3.2 Eight Fs of Software Failure

3.3 Code is Not the Biggest Problem

3.4 Error-Prone Language

3.5 Predicting the Number of Errors

3.6. Cautions in Predicting the Number of Errors

3.7 It Shouldn't Even Be Done

Part 4. How Do We Get Rid of Errors?

4.1 Finding and Fixing Errors

4.2 Prevent Testing From Growing More Difficult

4.3 Especially Difficult Errors

4.4 Learn from Errors

4.5 Always Be Second

4.6 Fix Your Organization

4.7 If You Can't Fix It, Feature It

Part 5. How Do We Prevent Errors?

5.1 Keep It Simple

5.2 Throw It Away

5.3 Go Slow, Go Fast

5.4 Test as You Build

5.5 Improve Communication

5.6 Rethink Your Organization

5.7 Master Your Fear

Part 6. Living With Errors

6.1 The Humpty Dumpty world

6.2 The First Law of Error Defense

6.3 The Second Law of Error Defense

6.4 The Third Law of Error Defense

6.5 The Fourth Law of Error Defense

6.6 The Fifth Law of Error Defense

6.7 The Sixth Law of Error Defense

6.8 The Seventh Law of Error Defense

6.9 The Eight Law of Error Defense

About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <>; on Amazon at; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore:

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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