Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Imaginary authority

I was part of a team that started out with five people and quickly grew to twelve. We built and maintained a casino-like site (meaning we handled peoples actual money) which had some domestic success and
subscribers started rising.

Eventually we needed a new level of QA, bugs were slipping through that we simply couldn’t allow so the team was re-organized to meet the new plan.

The more hardcore programmers were set to do only programming, we hired dedicated server-personnel instead of relying on a hosting-service, and I was put in charge of the newly formed QA-team.

I was given new responsibilities and new orders, I was told that I had the final sign-off before anything was to be published. Nothing was leaving the production environment until my signature was on a document stating that the new release had been tested and the remaining bugs had been accepted to be fixed in the next release. We also set up a schedule which stated that a new release had to be signed of at a certain date and uploaded no earlier than 24 hours after said deadline.

The day before I was supposed to either sign off or reject the first scheduled release I already saw that there was no way this version was finished, we couldn’t allow it to go live. So I called my superiors to inform them what was going on and tell them that we needed to reschedule.

“Oh, that release? I had the programmers push that version live last night.”

Later on the bugs came back to bite us in the ass and I got the blame, naturally.