While recently discussing if a power law applies to bugs at the ongoing seminar I sentimentally call work, I noted a corollary to Linus’s Law.

Linus’s Law states:

Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow

The corollary is:

Most bugs fall to the second pair of eyes

That is, just having one other developer look at a bug will likely resolve it. Of course, developer’s who are pair programming already know this and are ahead of the game.

On a related note, pretty much every developer has been in the following situation. You are called over by a collegue to look over a bug, often accompanied by the statement, ‘This should work.’ You give a cursory examination and you resolve the problem with a quick change, often one that is obvious (after you pointed it out!)

If you come away from that experience thinking ‘Fresh pair of eyes’ or some such, good for you, you passed the test.

If you come away from that experience thinking ‘I am so awesome!’ or some such, not so good for you, you are probably not even competent.

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