And When Things Go Wrong!

We had a terrifying issue last Friday. Due to a mistake my peers did, nearly a few hundred users lost their access to Subversion, and reinstating their access was pretty much a nightmare as this sort of thing never happened in the past. I’d my share of suggestions on how this can be prevented from happening again, and etc, and things became stable only this morning!

Today evening, we had a retrospective session held by our manager, and he and the senior folks had some suggestions for the peers who are beginners.

As I kept hearing the suggestions, I recalled my last job and the mistakes I made. Lucky enough, I had one friend who stood by me often times and helped me correct things. What he never told me persistently was(or at least, I can’t recall being told) “Hey, this is how you can improve, and never repeat a mistake.” I was a lone wolf who wasn’t having that retrospective mindset either. If I had gotten a chance to work in a team like the one I’m in now, right from beginning, probably, I’d have been much better than what I’m now. And in that sense, beginners in my team have got better opportunities.

My point about these mistakes is

  • When in doubt, we should ask.
  • Think before we hit enter. In IT industry things are one click away. Whether it is granting access, or disabling access, or creating a Cloud host or just clicking on something. It is in one click that a worm can spread, a bunch of machines can go down, or a website is shut down or confuse the whole Internet world that googles around.
  • Feedback or criticism should be taken positively.
  • Whether the issue is created by our team, or assigned to our team; if we are the ones to fix it, fix it as per the priority.
  • A checklist has to be there if the task is big enough, and plan not to release things on Friday. Not because we will be disturbed while on weekend outing, but, things will be held up over the weekend as not all the stakeholders may be available over weekend.
  • Accept the mistakes.

That said, I broke something early last week, even though I took utmost caution. And that called for a checklist. I believe I’m no longer the guy who never had a retrospective mindset, but someone who learns from his mistakes, and strives to do things cleanly.

Nobody is perfect. The more preventive we are, the better things turn out. Isn’t it?

Uh, by the way, “To me, you are perfect” is just a Love Quote from Love Actually. You know, just in case perfectness reminded you of that! 😉


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