Hand washing with soap

In the DORA DevOps report and the accompanying book Accelerate science show us how software should be done today to optimise both for financial success and employee’ health. From the respondents in the 2019 survey 20% of the companies are elite performers. And the selection for the survey is such that companies have to know about it to participate.

Around 1847 Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that washing the hands before delivering babies had the death rate of mothers go from 18% to 1.3%. Semmelweis died in an asylum in 1865. It is said that the cause was a nervous breakdown as a result of his discovery being met with such hostility in the medical community. Doctors got offended by the idea that they could cause infection. It was first in the 1870s that doctors began systematically washing before surgery. That is a lot of death.

The DORA DevOps report from 2019 connects success factors and practises to lower risk of burnout. We have scientific based research showing how to save lives among the workers in our industry. The only thing we need to do is to adapt the ways of work, and learn the skills, that will also make us more profitable. Still only one in five of the companies responding took full advantage of things that are available today. Many companies do not even know about this research.

So if you have ever listened to a story like the one about Semmelweis and thought about how stupid people used to be who hung on to theories about body fluids in balance and a geocentric world view, I have one thing to say to you: Read the DevOps report and wash your hands.


Radiolab tells the story about Semmelweis nicely.

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