#engineering #understanding


Cargo cult is the observation and replication of a practice, without understanding the underlying mechanisms, in the misplaced hope of obtaining the same results.

The original example is that of a tribe in pacific islands who observed air-drop of supplies to japanese and american armies, and later tried to imitate the radio headphones, and flag signals in hope to get "their ancestors" to drop supplies[1]

Cargo-cult in the workplace takes forms when successful companies or workers use practices, that other try to imitate without understanding. Such examples include:


[2]: There is a lot of cargo cult in the implementations of Agile and Scrum I have seen.

Implementation without understanding can lead to "We tried baseball and it didn't work"

[3]: blog / when not to use microservices