Last week, I made a mistake.
It was completely avoidable. If I had stopped and tested the app one more time I would have caught it, changed the typo that caused it, and no one would have seen it. In fact, within the space of about three hours, I made that and two other pretty big errors.
Why did this happen?
I was in a hurry. I’d been in a hurry for the past five days. Within those three hours, it all caught up to me.
The most frustrating part of this experience is that I know better. I know being in a hurry leads to mistakes. I know that it is more important to stop for 30 minutes, make a reasonable plan, and not create problems that ruin your next two hours.
After being stressed for five days, or a certain time period, the internal checks and balances you’ve developed disappear. I’m sure there’s brain science to support this.
At Radial, we’ve put in a lot of processes to prevent this from happening. That is why we have code reviews. That is why we have backup developer leads. That is why we have a #help channel where people can ask for support when they need it.
Last week, I was overwhelmed nonetheless. We could spend hours trying to figure out why and put in yet another backstop to avoid it. Or, we could acknowledge that this was a perfect storm of events. Two of our backups were out sick. My family life that week was intense. Multiple clients had pressing deadlines.
I made a mistake. And yet. The team pulled together and fixed it quickly. We got the app out for the client. I apologized for the problems I caused.
I’m thankful to clients and the team for grace in this situation. We always try to prevent problems, but sometimes we have to acknowledge that life, and code, is complex and hard. Remember that.