The Tragedy Of The Bug

Wing was sure picking up new things quickly. He was dedicated and he was a fast programmer, although being very fast doesn’t always mean also being very thorough. A few days into his summer job I went out for a coffee break, and immediately upon my return – barely after setting foot into the office door – I was greeted by a very distraught looking Wing.

“We have a problem. Big problem.”

My heart stopped for a brief moment and I thought of all the bad things that might have possibly happened while I was away… did one of our servers die? Did we lose all connectivity to the Internet? Did someone check in some code that just broke everything on the web site? As I was running through the list of dire possibilities, I replied:

“OK, calm down a bit. What’s the problem?”

“There’s a bug!” he stated with a graveness usually reserved for when you’re telling someone that their dog has died.


“And what?”

“Well why are you using this tone of voice? Why is this so upsetting?”

“I don’t understand.”

“You’ve told me that there is a bug…”


“And so what is the impact of this bug?”

“The Android app doesn’t synchronize the data properly!”


“And what?”

I sighed, took a deep breath, and tried a different approach. “Thank you for letting me know that the code has a bug. I agree that we should fix it. However, since the Android app is not yet published, I think that the impact of this bug right now is close to zero. How about you create a new issue in the issue tracker, and then you write up a bug report, assign it to yourself, and start working on it?”


And that was that. Wing turned back to his computer to get back to work.

Tragedy averted.