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T N's user avatar
T N
  • Member for 2 years, 3 months
  • Last seen more than a week ago
About

I started out in 1972 programming an Olivetti Programma 101 and worked my way up to more capable machines over the years.

Now I enjoy doing puzzles in my spare time, and some of the most challenging and rewarding puzzles I run across are in the how-to questions posted right here on Stack Overflow.

Biggest programming mistake in my career:

As a seasoned programmer, I once coded DELETE FROM Orgs WHERE OrgId IN (SELECT OrgId FROM @OrgsToDelete), along with all dependent deletes. Trouble was: the @OrgsToDelete table-var only contained an OrgName. Interestingly, it was still valid code, and SQL Server found a way to make it work. (How, I leave as an exercise to those familiar with correlated subqueries.)

My manager was in a rush to apply this to production without proper testing, and I was late for my daughter's birthday party, so I left it in his hands. Reportedly took an unusually long time to run. (Grin) Final nail was when the transaction logs got purged at midnight.

Fun. Spent the next 36 hours reconstructing the lost data from home-cooked audit tables that we luckily maintained.

Lesson learned: Alias your tables and qualify your column references.

Funniest mistake in my career

It was actually a co-worker of mine who was adding new functionality to a medical marketing application that included a link to an external web site. Not knowing that actual URL at the time, he dropped in a placeholder. As you may have guessed, the placeholder was not updated before the changes made their way to production.

It wasn't long before our physician clients started clicking on the new link. Most browsers at the time would helpfully append ".com" to the end of any incomplete URL to make it work, and we started getting unusual reports from or doctor friends about being directed to XXX.com porn sites.

Had a good laugh about that one.

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