Hotel room. Time check: 10PM. Go to sleep, big workshop tomorrow. Buzzing. I’m half awake. Buzzing continues. Time check: 2AM. More buzzing. Buzzing? Definitely buzzing, outside my room door. Door open and buzzing is now really loud. I guess it’s some kind of burglar alarm. Burglar alarm in a hotel? Doesn’t make sense. Probably a fire alarm then. Close the door and go back to sleep - big workshop tomorrow. I’m half-awake. Time check: 8AM. Did I sleep over a fire alarm? Quick call to reception confirms.

With a horrifying possibility that someday I’ll end up in a reverse game of the boy who cried wolf, I realised that I care as much about electronic alarms as the government cares about climate change. Someone shouting “Fire” would probably get me running down the stairs in my shorts, but an electronic siren has the same emotional effect on me as Wuthering Heights has on Klingons. I’ve survived far too many fire alarm tests to care. My brain sends such sounds straight from the ear canal to /dev/null, stopping only to curse car owners who install stupid alarms that can’t differentiate rain from a thief. I hope your car really gets stolen one day. As far as I’m concerned, electronic alerts are worth less than a Zimbabwean dollar.

I wonder whether there is a lesson in that for software development. I got an e-mail this morning from a production support mailing list of one of my clients:

The first issue we had found during regression but had incorrectly identified as an existing issue.

Maybe that is it.