Programmers Share The Biggest F*** Ups They've Seen That Resulted From A Tiny Error
Programmers are responsible for the way a ton of stuff works - things we don't even think about! Every time you scan something at the grocery store, pump gas, or even make toast (if you've got a super fancy toaster) a programmer was behind it.
The thing is, code is really really easy to mess up. A simple typo can send the whole thing tumbling down. One Reddit user asked:
Some of these are screw ups that directly effected users in a "small-scale" way like the person who accidentally flooded their place trying to auto-fill their fish tank. Some of these are massive and impacted thousands of people.
What they have in common is those tiny errors; a space bar, a misplaced character ... sometimes all it takes is one wrong keystroke to send canisters of molten hot metal flying through the air.
"Please Try Again"
A co-worker made a change to our credit card processing code on a Friday evening, didn't test it, pushed it to prod, and then went home.
He made a typo in his code that caused a runtime error on the back end. Everyone that tried to make a purchase received a generic "Couldn't process your card. Please try again." But it did process their card... it was failing at some step after. People would retry several times and their credit cards were being charged every time.
Super cluster fck on Monday morning.
There was a leave application at a company I was working for, it was a nice 30k employee strength software company.
The leave application had a workflow built in. If an employee's leave wasn't approved by his manager for 3 days it would go to the next level manager and stay there for 5 days and so on..
To test some aspect of this workflow feature, the approval waiting time was reduced from x days to 3 mins. Then without reverting this test change the code was pushed to production.
The next day, the company's CEO had around 500 leave applications in his mailbox.
One of our engineers, when writing some custom scripting for a customer, made the decision to use what's called a wildcard character in the delete statements. For those who don't know, what these characters do is let you do comparisons that do not need to be an exact match, such as using "*ing"
The system would then match any value that ends in "ing". Besides the already WTF of using a wildcard when trying to delete they also did not validate that the data being supplied was present. So basically what ended up happening is the customer processed an order where this data was empty, causing the wildcard to be all by it's lonesome and matching with literally anything.
The end result was about 6 months worth of orders being deleted.
I was on-call for a retail company when, early one morning, we had a problem where inventory couldn't be taken in any of our stores. Tracked the problem down to 25-year-old code written for the hand scanners that wasn't in source control.
Turns out, the startup code did a check to validate the database connection; the way it did this is by looking up employee #1.
She'd retired a week earlier and removed from the database the previous evening, causing everything to crash like dominoes. The company was going to replace the scanners at some point, and we had no way to build a Java version that old, so they re-added her info and added code to exclude her as a recognized employee for discounts/etc.
I used to work for a company that got people (mainly Americans) online and sent out tons of CDs as ways to sell their service. There were a bunch of scripted jobs that you could use to restart servers, as our naming conventions were pretty good (so if you wanted to restart all the webproxy servers, you could run `./script webproxy*` and have all those servers restarted. Good for code upgrades or patches, or whatnot. Script worked off of a big inventory list and could restart multiple "classes" of servers in case you were doing work on an entire subsystem.
Someone ran it like so:
script webproxy *
Notice the space. The script began restarting every host everywhere. One of the VP's was in the war room trying to fix things, was offered a chair (as he was kneeling in front of a keyboard) to which he responded "No, I'm praying" and kept on working.
Do The RobotGiphy
During work experience, me and my friend went to the schools IT department and had been tasked with building and programming robots as well as making a presentation on how to recreate our results. They were remote controlled except they all shared the same radio channel so due to a single line of code 1 controller controlled 8 robots.
So we turned off the lights and made them dance with flashing disco lights on them.
Identity Thief's Playground
I do a lot of internet screen-scraping, and was getting healthcare provider information from a large insurance site. I got to the listings of physicians and found that the parameters to see a physician's details were made up of a giant database dump of information. It had the doctor's name, office address, phone, SSN, birthday, home address ... it went on and and into tiny details. One wouldn't see it on the site, but click on the source, and you it was an identity thief's playground.
I called the insurance site immediately, but no one could get me to a web-admin or IT, so I looked up the CEO's number, and called there. I talked to an executive assistant. I told her if it wasn't fixed in a day, I would need to start calling the affected doctors.
The site was down about a day and a half later, and after a few days returned without that egregious error.
I'm learning python and micropython right now.Photo by James Harrison on Unsplash
At long-defunct car parts manufacturer. A big robot was taking a crucible of molten aluminium and pouring it into molds. Suddenly there was this loud whine of rapidly moving servos, and it threw the crucible of, I repeat, molten aluminium through the roof.
Later I asked one of the engineers what had happened. "We lost the tacho" he said, laconically.
In more detail, they lost the signal which told the controller how far the arm was moving - loose wire I guess. So the controller decided to feed in more power to make it move. Lots more power.
Apparently you could tell the experienced people because they were the ones under the benches as soon as they heard the whine.
History is made on a daily basis.
Indeed, there is little more exciting than having witnessed the accomplishments of people like Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams, and Greta Thunberg knowing that they have firmly reserved a space for themselves in history books.
Of course, most of the people who paved the way to make the world what it is today have long since passed away.
Not all of them, though!
It may surprise you to learn that there are people who made an indelible impression on history who are still much alive today.
Some of whom even continue to make a difference to this very day
Redditor enginearz was eager to hear about historical figures people were surprised to learn were still alive, leading them to ask:
"What famous person from history is still alive?"
Forever Leaving His Name In Science
"He's the only currently living man with an element on the periodic table named after him."- snowflake247
Quite The Story To Tell
"Last human to hold the title of Tsar, as leader of the Kingdom of Bulgaria."
"He was exiled along with his family when the Soviets invaded Bulgaria in 1944."
"In 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Simeon returned from exile to Bulgaria and July 2001, was democratically elected prime minister."
"The private citizen is now 85."- DirectionNew5328
Making Nature Cool For Decades
"David Attenborough."- random_username_96You Can Do It Uoftartsci GIF by U of T Faculty of Arts & ScienceGiphy
The Fought For Freedom And Justice
"The last surviving airman of the battle of Britain."
"He is 103 years old."
"He helped with the liberation of Auschwitz."
"He is 99 years old."
"He was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials."
"He is 102 years old."- Ashtar-the-Squid
"The last living member of the german anti-nazi resistance group 'White Rose".
"Most well-known members were the sibling Sophie and Hans Scholl, who were executed by the Nazis when they were identified."- ChrisTinnef
The One Who Made One Giant Leap For Mankind
"Buzz Aldrin, and I’m not even American."- mukaltinState Of The Union Salute GIF by MSNBCGiphy
Opening Doors For So Many Others
"She was one of the first black kids to go to an all-white school."
"There is a famous picture of that first day."- mumwifealcoholic
He Continues To Surprise Us
"Ozzy Osbourne."- CaptinDerpI
Admirably Defying So Many Odds
"98 years old."- Back2BachJimmy Carter Drilling GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
We've Still Got Two Out Of Four
"Paul and Ringo"- HMKingHenryIX
Inching Close To The Big One Double Oh...
And Still Practically Perfect In Every Way
"Julie Andrews."- aslrulesjulie andrews snap GIFGiphy
Who Could Forget About Dick Van Dyke ?!?!?!?!
"Everyone just forgetting about Dick Van Dyke, he's like 97 and still going."
"If you've never heard of him, he played in Marry Poppins, along with a bunch more movies"- Longjumping_Drag2752
And Still Stunning
"Sophia Loren is still kicking."- The_REAL_McWeasel
Continuing To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before
"William Shatner doesn't look it but that dude is in his 90s wtf."- flubberF*ckWilliam Shatner Fun GIF by Shark WeekGiphy
Perhaps what's most admirable, is that even when these astonishing people do eventually pass, they will continue to live on and change the world with the remarkable work they did.
We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.
There are several movies I've watched so many times I think the viewings outnumber the days I've lived.
And much like a favorite tv series or movie, who wouldn't love to start again anew?
Experiencing that first time but with that feeling of... "I'm gonna love this forever."
We never appreciate the first time enough.
But that's life.
Warning: there are spoilers below.
Redditor Jacale1 wanted to discuss all the movies we wish we could experience new all over again, so they asked:
"What is one movie that you wish you could watch again for the first time?"
There are a lot of mystery movies I'd love to redo, just to figure out the killer sooner.
Gasps!Raining The Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The Shawshank Redemption."
"A great nominee. Will never forget gasping when that rock went through the poster, and again when the warden pushed his arm through and ripped it down.... wow."
Over and Over
"Edge of Tomorrow."
"Is it bad that I got enjoyment knowing Tom Cruise died a lot in that movie. Never on screen, but it happened. Over and over. I hate that guy. How the hell was he the same height as Nichole Kidman in the movies they acted in together. Rhetorical question."
"Honestly the whole reason I watched the movie to begin with is that he kept dying over and over."
“'Stardust'- if you don’t know you’ll never know."
"I’m surprised that a fantasy romcom can be so enjoyable, for a straight guy. It’s just the right balance between fantasy, comedy, drama, and romance. Most of the female cast are very easy on the eyes too."
"I swooned when Yvaine glows while dancing on the ship, and when she talks emphatically to the mouse in the caravan. This movie has a lot of A listers, and they deliver. I’m not gonna lie, I have probably watched it half a dozen times."
"The book has so much more in it, even having seen the movie you'll feel like a child again."
"I watched this with my wife, who has never seen it, and that's about as close as you can get to watching it for the first time. It really displayed just how good the movie is. Also I love Aliens just as much for different reasons."
"Came here looking for this! I watched it for the first time with my dad when I was 11, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Amazing movie."
Hey Arnoldsci-fi GIFGiphy
"I first watched this as a kid when I knew Arnold was the good guy in movies, and I had not seen T1. I wish I watched T2 for the first time after having watched T1. The mall scene would have been even more mind blowing."
T2 was definitely bada**!! I'd redo that.
"Bro, I'll go further. If I could watch the Nicholson covered in blood scene or the final scene between Damon and Wahlberg, I would be so freaking happy. The sheer acting clout on display for the first is near a masterclass while the last scene was just so business like, I'd love to relive that scene with fresh eyes. I love this freaking movie."
"The original Star Wars. Man, that blew our minds! It totally changed movies from then on. We'd never seen such incredible special effects. The story was so fun and the experience was amazing."
"Even though I’m not a franchise fan, I can get behind this answer. Because when I saw it first run, I was fourteen, and nothing like it had ever been done. I think it was the first movie where the special effects were the movie? Now that’s standard. It’s a reason people see many films now."
"So, for sheer originality, I’d watch it again, but only for the first time. I barely recall the second movie."
"The 6th Sense. I audibly gasped in the theater. All the clues are obvious on rewatch but that first time, before anyone knew M. Knight Shyamalan was a twist guy... wow."
"I never got to see it the first time. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) inadvertently let slip the ending thinking I had already seen it. I have never seen the point in watching it knowing the ending. But I did enjoy The Village."
"I watched it again and it was more of a sad film than a thriller."
"Spirited Away. I was blown away by how beautiful and bonkers it is."
"Saaaaame! Every single Studio Ghibli film, but Spirited Away especially! I’ve still watched it a million times though, and it’s always special. If I’m in a bad mood that film always cheers me up!"
"Also, Avatar-the last air bender. I know it’s not a movie, but I felt like it deserved a mention. I’ve watched the whole thing several times, and it’s always great, but I do wish I could forget it and rewatch it. I’m 35 btw... lol."
Great Scott!Doc Brown Shock GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy
"Back to the Future."
"I'd love to watch that in the cinemas... Now from the future."
Now I want to go to the movies.
There is no one way to anybody's heart or libido.
Sexy doesn't always have to equal raunchy.
I've known people turned on by music, books, nature, and even funerals (don't ask).
What starts someone's engine is a mystery.
Redditor asexyjohn18 wanted to hear about all the things that get people in the mood, so they asked:
"What is a non sexual trait that turns you on?"
I love a walk. A little strut. Nothing like getting the heart racing.
Tingleshair GIF by SB NationGiphy
"Getting my head scratched or having someone run their fingers through my hair."
"Same. It’s so pleasant when the tingles run down your spine... ;-) "
"When a girl genuinely laughs at jokes I make."
"I remember being on a first date with a beautiful woman and I made a bit of corny joke/comment and she laughed at it. I remember thinking, damn, wait till I get to my good stuff. I did get to my good material apparently as we were married. She gives me as many laughs as I give her."
"Kindness. When I see someone going out of their way to help others for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do… that is some truly attractive vibes."
"Apparently it's vanishing from this world really fast. People who show kindness often end up in losses (of course not everytime but most of the time yes). It really breaks my heart."
"Probably the sexiest thing out there. Someone can be smoking hot, funny, talented, etc. But if they're not kind, they're unattractive."
"Smiling right at me, and men stretching. LAWD HAVE MERCY!!"
"I have trouble smiling at women. Is this a turnoff for them? And ones I like are really hard to smile at. Because I know it's always going to be some really weird big smile if I am crushing which makes me feel like a super duper creep."
SimplicityHappy I Love You GIF by Warner Bros. DeutschlandGiphy
"Sorry if this is too kinky but i like it when they care about me."
"Too far man. You need to rethink your choices."
Sometimes it's all about the heart.
Eye 2 Eyei see you GIF by VH1Giphy
"When a guy explains something to you in a calm and understanding voice. Bonus points for gentle eye contact."
"Being crazily intelligent. Screw dirty talk, I want you to explain some unexplainable s**t in my ear."
"Heck yes. My best connections have been with a philosophy/history professor turned chancellor, an environmental engineer, and a neurosurgeon, all 3 Summa cum laude grads and conference speakers in their fields. The downside to genius though is complete absorption in their fields leaving little time for in person connection."
"Everyone should know how to cook. Hunger knows no gender. I like to eat good food so I learned how to cook. I asked my mom one day and she reacted surprised. She was more than grateful to have an opportunity to teach me the ‘finer’ aspects of cooking, as she called it. Lol. I love food."
"My girlfriend, now wife, likes to jokingly say I got her into bed with a well seasoned steak and homemade fries. I mean we did sleep together almost immediately after we finished dinner so maybe she’s right. That old saying comes to mind. 'The quickest way to the heart is though the stomach.'"
"When I ask my husband for help when I repot my plants and he delicately cleans and moves the leaves. He is a mechanical engineer and he works with huge pieces of industrial equipment, seeing him so tenderly caring for my plants just makes me melt."
Limbs A LotExcited Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Men doing intricate work with their hands."
"I second this, also someone who can play guitar/bass real real well... just watching their hands, whoa mama."
Well, it seems that just about anything can get someone in the mood, especially if you're kind, courteous, and especially a good cook.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!