Dear Intern,

User-submitted letters

23 June 2023

Dear Intern,
I once pushed a change to production that caused our payment gateway to be put back into Test mode, and no one realized it until a month later when the company accounts were about $60,000 short.
I am now a senior engineer. You got this.

28 July 2021

Dear intern, while working on our new system we imported old users accounts. This triggered an automatic "Welcome to our new system" mailer to everyone while the new system was definitely not ready yet.

27 July 2021

Dear intern,

I was a senior engineer with seven years experience. All the data in our production database was dropped. I quickly looked at the git history and found some check ins from the new guy that seemed to be a deleted where clause. Exasperated I pinged on hipchat: "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS". Then when doing `git log -S where` I saw to my horror it was MY code that first introduced it. He had just merged my branch into his.


27 July 2021

Dear Intern,

Once in a rush to reach a deadline, I was forced to work a bit extra for a few days. During the crunch time I ended up pushing code that broke a public API for a big AWS service which passed all our unit tests, functional tests and integration tests. And the best part was that we didn't even find out by ourselves - a customer told us.

I was promoted a year later.

3 July 2021

Dear Intern,

Once, in a rush to get feedback from an external partner, I deployed a change that seemed pretty innocuous. I then headed out for 5 days of camping and rafting the Snake River in Idaho, and was unreachable. My code brought the site down, and my colleagues had to clean up my mess while I was incommunicado. Upon my return, I was horrified to read the Slack backlog account of their discovery of the issue and subsequent fixing of it. My colleagues were gracious; all of them mentioned how it was a bit of a rite of passage. Since then, we've consistently added layers of precautions to make it harder for new devs to have the same deleterious effect.

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