About Me

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Lemme keep it simple.. I am what I am.. but for you to form your own version of what I am, you gotta figure out what I am.. and for that you prolly might need to waste some time trying to do that.. but is it all worth the effort... well I dont know.. I leave that to you ! Lot of people in this world are deprived of all that they are eligible, but are still happy with what has been left back... and then there are this other set of people who are blessed with all that one can possibly imagine, but then they arent happy, because they are so worried about figuring out, if they were deprived of something...I fall in the first category, take one day at a time, have plans for the next 4 hours in your life and if you made it safe to your bed that day, without any problems, without any major set backs and with a joy that to someone somewhere, you did do a little something, well, then to me, I lived one more day fruitfully...Ah, too much of philosophy aint it... but that's the way I like it... I would want to be a hero in life, but then again I guess "All heroes become a bore at last"... So I guess I will just be the ordinary person in life, who still can stand out extra ordinary ofcourse...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The other side of the story !

This would be a bit of a technical post. So please don't bother reading ahead, if you are highly allergic to technology.

All my life I have been a tester, who bugs and drives developers nuts with his bugs. I must admit, although I profess with blatancy that "I always wanted to be a developer but ended up being a QA", I guess over the period of time I kinda became good at testing (atleast I would like to believe so). During my short career of being a tester for 5 plus years, I have had many an instances wherein I have celebrated successful releases and I have also bore the brunt of last minute confusions.
All those years, I never felt or experienced the other side of the story, which is what would the developer feel, when his/her code is being released.

This was all fine until last friday, when things turned topsy-turvy in my professional life as well !

Its been close to 2 plus years since I moved away from testing and started exploring the unchartered territories of automation. Recently close to a year back, I finally landed in a framework development team, wherein I was offered a fabulous buffet of challenging problems, hair pulling logic etc etc., Yes, for the first time, I was beginning to live the life of a developer.

Coming back to the story, this friday was supposed to be our automation framework code release, and I was asked to get my act together and do it as well. Imagine, from being a tester some years back, now I got to the level of being a developer plus a release management guy as well ! Wow, I was flabberghasted with the oppurtunity. Little did I realise what was due my way. So after some initial confusions with all the credentials and access etc., I finally kicked off the release by noon. Things were sailing smooth. Although GIT to me has been like a film heroine (good to look, but very hard to "get"), I still had a few basic things that I knew. For all the rest well, "Google guru" was still at my disposal.. [GIT is an open source free to use, version control system.. See, now you learnt something new]

By around 6 PM, after 4 hours of checking and double checking and nervously biting my nails I had wrapped up the release, and the builds all ran fine on Hudson (Nah, Hudson is neither the name of a river nor the name of some dude who works in the US, its a continuous build integration tool.. gotcha didnt I ?? Its ok dont worry.. the first time I heard this name, I thought it was some guy from San Jose, USA who was working for us.. LOL.. so you are not alone...). 

My trusted friend and colleague Kiddo (His name is Rex, but for some reason everyone calls him Kiddo.. although I must admit, he doesnt portray any characteristics of a kid for sure.. LOL... am sure he's gonna murder me when he reads this.. Sorry Rex.. just leg pulling..), was asked to help us test the release. I know I know, you must be wondering.. dude aren't you a tester yourself ?? Well, what do I say.. I guess my testing skills got a bit rusty now perhaps.. just kidding.. 

So Rex started testing the code post release and in the first 5 minutes he found a Sev 1 and that too was directly tied down to my code... I couldn't believe my eyes... I had missed an obviously straight forward simple bug... and I was a tester who coded.. !! I was shattered... the first time I made a huge delivery and I took a Sev 1.. I panicked.. I tried figuring out what was the issue. The issue was too simple to need any investigation. I found the problem, created a patch and I was in such a hurry to apply the patch before anyone of our users found it... My team mate Deepak warned me... He said.."Hmm... Chrisnun (yup that's how he sounds when he calls me...) I dont think its a good idea.. you should probably leave the patch branch out there and then we should later decide.." but I was determined.. I guess I couldnt still get over the fact that I introduced a bug.. the guilt was killing me... I had failed in my own scale of being a perfectionist and here I was feeling "butt naked" and I had no one else to blame but my own-self...
I convinced him that applying the patch right-away is the right thing to do and we should do it before we run out of time.. Eventually Deepak agreed as well.. That was when catastrophe struck.. I tried pushing in a new build and it failed.. Only then I realised that I could only deploy once and not more than that...

I sank in my chair... Here I was, doing my first release, and I had now made two mistakes.. I introduced a bug in the first place and then introduced another issue of a build failure.. I was already imagining myself being called into a conference room and being beaten up left right and center by like 100 people... I had lost it... I still had to let people know I goofed up.. I gathered courage and then sat down patiently to write an e-mail (If you ever read that note I sent, it would remind you of a guy confessing at the confession box in a church !!!) explaining to my onsite manager, what had gone wrong... I was sad, I was depressed and as all sad and depressed people do, I too headed off to a bar.. deciding to drown my sorrows in alcohol.. But I couldnt afford to overdo it, for I still had a conference call later that night and I definitely didnt want to sound drunk...

11 PM, and I log into the call.. I am expecting angry voices, furious shouting at me.. but I heard a calm voice from my manager.. I was pacified.. he said its ok.. he said, you did a great job and these things happen... Eventually I re-ran the release the following Monday and drew the curtains on the release... But running the release on Monday I was under tremendous self pressure.. I had already made mistakes and I was scared to make mistakes again.. I literally was shivering at my desk amidst that release...
Finally when I had completed the release.. I felt like a mother who came out of a labour room after delivering her child.. and that too "Normal delivery" !!!

Today when I think of the entire episode, I cant help but notice one strong feeling.. Would this how every developer would have felt, when a tester caught a serious issue in their code and that too on the day of a live push, and that too on a friday evening at 6 in the evening... just when every other guy around is singing.. "Where's the party tonight"... ??

Or was I over-reacting ?? I didn't know.. I didn't care what it was.. but I certainly learnt how it feels to be "On the Other side of the story" :)