Monday, August 9, 2010

Interesting Virus and funny bug investigation

Cool, the last post was not that bad when compared to a blogpost from web. In terms of the format, the last paragraph had 2-3 additional line breaks. Hopefully, I'll not repeat the same mistake in this blogpost.

Today I reached office few minutes late. Two of my team members had already started working on the build released on friday. I heard one of the two team members talk about Virus with the systems guy.

Incident No.1

I heard one of the two team members talk about VIRUS. I thought she was talking about the VIRUS character from the '3 Idiots' movie. On seeing the systems guy, I understood that its the VIRUS - the one we worry about. The network cables were disconnected and the systems guy was busy checking the security updates, patches and other vital information.
Hmmm, just when I thought 'one resource down' for the day, the systems guy was laughing loudly and my colleague was smiling. I was wondering what happened and what was so funny? The systems guy left and I went to my colleague to know more about the incident.

# My colleague had called the systems guy. Her exact words were: 'A pop up says that there are 7 virus detected and the xxxxxx antivirus has not detected the virus. Please come fast. I've disconnected the cables.'
# How could this happen? Why did the antivirus not detect the virus? How did the virus breach the antivirus barrier? How risky was this virus? How many files and computers were affected?
# Simple reason was: It was NOT a VIRUS. It was one of those funny ads on the website which tries to distract the user and install some junk toolbar on the browser.

No wonder the systems guy was laughing so loudly.

1. My colleague was so focussed on the application under test that she failed to look at the bigger picture. Is this an example of 'Inattentional Blindness' or 'Lack of DeFocus principle' ?
2. She could have investigated a bit more before calling the systems guy.
3. She could have called for help within the team.

Incident No.2:
Colleague next to me had to reproduce a customer issue to the programming team.
What is the scenario? Let me describe it. Our software is used to print a photo and a footer with details of the photo. Around 4-6 lines were printed as the footer. The first line was for the title of the photo.
What is the issue:
The first line of the footer was not printed completely in Japanese language. The programmer was not able to reproduce the issue and the customer had attached a screenshot of the problem as a pdf file. The pdf file clearly highlighted how the first line of the footer was not printed completely.

My colleague's approach:
As he was not familiar with Japanese language, he wanted to reproduce the issue in English. He printed the pdf and found that the first line of the footer was not printed completely. An email was sent to the programmer that the issue was reproducible.
Five minutes later, the programmer was in my colleague's cubicle and what came out of the small discussion was a bit funny.

My colleague had printed the pdf without the footer setting. As the pdf had the screenshot of the issue, my colleague thought that the footer was not printed correctly. :)

1. Carelessness or Lack of focus?
2. Pressure to reproduce an issue
3. Importance of bug investigation skills.

Two incidents in one day... Lets see in next blogpost if there are any other interesting experiences.