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Blue Probe It’s the parting gift when you host an alien abduction

We all have had classes on how to program.  Language courses, algorithm courses, data base, web, etc.  Along the way we pick up things.  Note to younger devs:  here is one that has been invaluable to me, and it comes with a red-faced story.  On one project I sat in the same area as the network engineers.  I lost connectivity to a DB server.  In the past, as devs, we would announce this kind of thing out loud to let the others know "if you are trying to test now, forget it."  So, I spoke up, "The network is down!".  In my dev shop this was our catch-all for lost connectivity.  A panicked Network Engineer jumped into my cube, "What!  It's down?  Are you sure?" - my lesson that day was twofold.  1) be specific as possible when articulating a problem.  Do the leg work yourself.  What debugging steps can you take?  What can you ping?  What can't you ping?  Can you use another low level tool like OSQL, or DBPing to access your DB server?  Lesson 2) learn from others those little debugging steps.  Applications vary rarely stand on their own.  Learn how to test the DB access, the network, an interface, a W/S outside of your application.

To put it another way, how do you look in the eyes of your Lead Dev or Architect if all you can report is, "the app is down"?

Posted on Friday, February 8, 2008 9:48 AM | Back to top

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