The Life And Times Of A Bug

January 2nd, 2009

October 15, 2008

My birthday. I am not sure yet what events led to my existence but here i am anyway. I have no idea what i am, what i’m supposed to do or what my purpose in life is. But there are a few more of my kind running around here. I guess i better go find out.

October 23, 2008

Apparently, i’m a bug. A software bug if you want to be specific. My brothers and sisters told me that we are a byproduct of an activity that occurs between code and developers. That activity being screwing around without proper protection. It means that a developer made a mistake somewhere, and then we come in. Some of us remain dormant, never to be discovered while most of us are spotted sooner or later. Some of us can wreak havoc when we are triggered, while others just cause minor inconveniences. I don’t quite understand everything yet, but it appears that we are no good. We cause problems and nobody seems to like us. So why are we here?

October 30, 2008

It’s been another pretty boring week… i haven’t been triggered yet, so i’ve had plenty of time to seek answers to the questions that i still have. Most people deride us, because they claim we are only costing people money. In some way, that’s true. But we are a necessary evil in the field of software development. Our purpose is to force software developers to step their game up. If they mess up, we punish them with everything we’ve got in the hope that they at least learn something from the mistakes they make. If the developers are smart, they make sure to put protective countermeasures in place so fixed bugs can’t reappear, or that similar bugs can’t be created. We also sometimes manage to keep big headed developers grounded. After all, most of them think they’re some kind of gods because they’re oh so smart and clever and because they are ‘creating’ things. If it weren’t for us, there would be nothing to keep them from feeling superior to everyone else.

December 3, 2008

One of my brothers got ‘fixed’ today. That’s how the developers call it. Fixed. That’s quite a euphemism considering the fact that it actually means one of us was killed. I know that this is a part of our job, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to deal with. My resentment towards developers is growing every day. You know, we’re doing our part… but developers don’t really seem to learn too much from the mistakes they make, considering our prominence in the history of software development. Bringing us in this world just to kill us is cruel enough, but do they really need to create more and more of us just so we can be killed? It all seems so pointless.

December 5, 2008

Uh-oh… i’ve been triggered. This is the first time i was triggered in this code base and i’m not sure how to feel about it. A part of me is anxious to complete my task, but i’m starting to like it here… i don’t want to go so soon… i’d much rather stick around for a while so i can hopefully make it to one of the maintenance branches.

December 6, 2008

Hmm, i haven’t been triggered anymore so i guess nobody wrote a test case to truly expose me yet. I feel good about that, but i am getting more nervous with each passing hour.

December 16, 2008

My worst fears have been confirmed. I’ve been discovered and someone is triggering me over and over again. I looked into the subversion commit logs (yes, we can actually do that) and some guy with username ‘davybrion’ committed a test case. Great… the rookie of the team. Probably has a chip on his shoulder too… feels like he has to prove something. I hate these guys. I’ve been given a name too… NH-1609. Gee, thanks. Now i really feel like a number in a system. These developers… arrogant pricks!

December 22, 2008

I’ve got a headache… i’ve been running for a while now, with a debugger attached. That’s a lot harder than running in a normal environment, trust me. No code has been changed yet, but i think this ‘davybrion’ guy found my exact location. He appears to be exploring his options for killing me. Oh sorry, i mean ‘fixing’ me. I can hear him swearing and cursing too… i even heard him say he’s definitely gonna ‘fix’ me. What an over-confident, foul-mouthed prick.

December 24, 2008

It’s night time, and i haven’t been triggered for a couple of days. Time to enjoy Christmas Eve with my fellow bugs! We’re going to enjoy a nice meal, have some wine, and debate on which of the developers we despise most. My vote is for ‘davybrion’.

December 27, 2008

It’s been pretty quiet around here… no modifications to the code that i can interfere with. Which is too bad because i’m eager to spawn some kids of my own. Everybody wants to leave a legacy when they go.

December 29, 2008…. 10PM

Well, he’s at it again. I’m constantly being triggered and i’ve got a bad feeling about this. ‘davybrion’ is changing code left and right. He seems to have found the root cause of my existence, and he’s changing a lot of code… he’s taking a lot of risks… procreation, here i come!

December 29, 2008… 11:30PM

Hah, this rookie screwed around… i’m a proud father now!

December 29, 2008… 11:55PM

Damn it! He must have realized the risk he was taking and he reverted all of his changes. He killed my babies before they were ever committed!

December 30, 2008… 7PM

Oh great, he’s back for more… I can’t wait for him to screw this up again.

December 30, 2008… 8:28PM

Oh crap… i think he’s got a fix ready… this is gonna be the end of me… i can feel it :(

December 30, 2008… 8:30PM

He ran all of the tests and i didn’t get activated… I guess that’s it for me. I can’t believe this rookie got the best of me. He claims he’s not happy with how he had to fix me (yes, i can spy on his IM messages and his email) and he wants to refactor an important part of this code base. At least he realizes it’s too risky to do this with their next release in mind. Perhaps this prick did learn something from all of this. Oh well, i can only hope so. I still don’t like developers though… we can’t live with them, but we can’t really live without them either. It’s a complicated relationship really.

  • http://elegantcode.com Jan Van Ryswyck

    @bug: You should have picked EF to be born at. Chances are, they will call you a ‘feature’ or ‘works as designed’ instead of just ‘bug’.

    @davy: you thing you ‘fixed’ the bastard. congrats :-)