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Bug of the Month - August 2011

Matt Schuetze1 Absent Member.
Absent Member.
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August brought about further indoctrination of Ergin S., our newest teammate. We needed to get Ergin up to speed quickly not only on what to do properly as a DevPartner engineer, but also where the trail of poisonous snakes ("Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.") runs throught the product. Along this dangerous curve lay bugs so big they have names. It's funny that we thought we needed to hash though this in gory detail, but how a team handles adversity is as much a part of their character as how it handles success.

The Missing Cardreader -- Its not so much the cardreader we miss, but the card that was in it at the time it went missing. I personally didn't lose this, but got roasted by my Management for not having found it. I'm sure it is in a crate in the warehouse in the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where "Top Men" are working on locating it.

Multiple Inheritance -- Be sure to move offsets backwards when handling typed CIL with complex types with muliple inheritance. It's like the headpiece to the Staff of Ra: "you must take back one cadon to honor the Hewbrew God whose Ark this is."

The Time Bomb -- The fuse was list 1.5 years before our team took over the product. One day after the fuse burned for 3 years, BoundsChecker just flat stopped working across many versions on every Windows variant. The root cause was the sum of two good intentions spaced years apart, but contradictory once a magic date arrived. "This watch is worthless. 10 dollars from a street vendor. But bury it in the sand for 10000 years, it becomes priceless." Or just three years. Boom.

Loader Lock -- This isn't even funny. When a colleauge and I flew to Redmond to work this bug out, the tech helping us said "you have a classic deadlock." I wanted to say: we flew all this way to for you tell us that. Gee whiz, what a collosal waste! It pains me to think about the total opportunity costs of this one bug. "It will reduce our losses on the strip."

I would normally be remiss in airing such filthy dirty laundry, but fortunately these get much less scary the farther into the past they recede. In the way that hindsight is 20/20, bugs are much clearer in the rear view mirror. As stewards of the DevPartner codebase, we can rightly say we've added blood, sweat, and tears in copious amounts. We join the ranks of ancestral engineers in constructing a historically signifant product. "We are just passing through history. This is history."

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