Discovered Jul 28, 2021. Tim Harford (via Simon Willison) The Tyranny of Spreadsheets <— don’t use them in life and death situations <— “When used by a trained accountant to carry out double-entry bookkeeping, a long-established system with inbuilt error detection, Excel is a perfectly professional tool. But when pressed into service by genetics resear:4000chers or contact tracers, it’s like using your Swiss Army Knife to fit a kitchen because it’s the tool you have closest at hand. Not impossible, but hardly advisable.` AND
Fetzer and Graeber have calculated a conservative estimate of the number of people who died, unknown victims of the spreadsheet error. They think the death toll is at least 1,500 people.” <— 125000 infections means 1500 people died because of a spreadsheet?!?
I think the real moral of the story here is not to use anything in production without tests or some sort of inbuilt error detection.
- Excel Never Dies The Spreadsheet That Launched A Million Companies <– The real ‘programming for the people’
- Everybody who writes formulas and/or uses pivot tables in a spreadsheet is a programmer
- Spreadsheet developers are “real” developers too
- Spreadsheet Limitations – no revision control, no debugger, no map reduce, no exceptions