Operator Error

A tester officially informed us that our latest release was rejected due to some problems. Another developer's instinct to the problem was that it was a database problem. We had the tester come over and run some queries. And yes, her database account could not even see some required database tables. This was a job for the DBA Team.

But another tester came over and said some problems he found were not fixed. I asked if these problems would prevent the release from going out. He said absolutely so. I got the feeling he wanted somebody to pay more attention to the minor bugs he found. But we were on a roll knocking out problems that day so I indulged him.

On one query screen he saw the word "Group". So he put the group number in that field. But the software did not find the record for that particular group number. I looked up the record in his database. Sure enough it was there. So I got a login to the test database and ran some queries with the app. Lucky for me the app dumps out the exact SQL executed to a log file. When entering the group number, it looked like the app was querying against the group name column. I dug into the resource and found the full word on the screen should have been "Group Name". The tester had a lower screen resolution so the word got clipped.

I went to the tester and explained that this was the Group Name field. When he put the group name in the field, the record was found. Chalk this one up to operator error. Lesson 1: run the application with the required screen resolution. Lesson 2: not all trouble tickets are mission critical.