Never Again

Which One Is for Production?

Better make sure...especially when you're working with credit card information.

At my first job as a DBA and developer, I was working on an application designed to automatically charge credit cards. I was provided with a set of credit-card numbers to use for testing.

I edited some customer records in the development database to use the test numbers and submitted charges to the bank to test the application. However, I failed to change the connection string to point to the development database, so I was running up some huge bills on a few customer accounts before I caught my mistake. I contacted the bank and got them to back the charges out before they went through or appeared on anyone's statements, but I never heard if I obligated enough credit that anyone had real transactions declined.

What's Your Worst IT Nightmare?

Write up your story in 300-600 words and e-mail it to Editor at Large Jeff Schwartz at jsch[email protected]. Use "Never Again" as the subject line and be sure to include your contact information for story verification.

I was saved by the fact that I immediately recognized my error. The development database was simply a restored backup of the production database and our volume was low enough so that the credit-card information was unchanged since the backup was made. I was able to update the production data from the development database.

The moral of the story? Always double-check when switching between development and production data. Always keep current backups of data, and never, ever let a rookie DBA be the sole DBA and developer on any project.

The good thing that came out of all this for me was I didn't do any permanent damage and it made me extremely gun-shy very early in my career.

About the Author

Byron Sisson is an IT professional from Orlando, Fla.

Featured

  • Microsoft Starting To Roll Out New Excel Connected Data Types

    Microsoft on Thursday announced some Excel and Power BI enhancements that add "connected data types" on top of the standard strings and numbers options.

  • Windows 10 Users Getting New Process for Finding Optional Driver Updates

    Accessing Windows 10 drivers classified as "optional updates" will be more of a manual seek-and-install type of experience, starting on Nov. 5, 2020, Microsoft explained in a Wednesday announcement.

  • Microsoft Changes Privacy Platform Name to SmartNoise

    Microsoft Research has changed the name of its "differential privacy" platform from "WhiteNoise" to "SmartNoise," according to a Wednesday announcement.

  • Why Restarting a Failed SCVMM Job Might Be a Bad Idea

    Occasionally, restarting a failed System Center Virtual Machine Manager job can leave your virtualization infrastructure in an unknown state. Here's how to avoid that.

comments powered by Disqus