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$50 coupon contest: Share your #FML moments to win

Arpit Mohan
Co-founder & CTO, Appsmith. ❤️ Distributed Systems. 3X Founder - backed by YC, Sequoia Capital & Accel Partners. Strongly believe in the philosophy “Always be building"
・1 min read

Hello everyone!

The generous folks at recently gave me a $50 coupon that can be redeemed at DevShop. I got it for writing this post that featured in Top 7 posts of the week. 🎉

I'm happy to give away this coupon to one of you in a fun contest. All you have to do is reply in the comments with your biggest screw-up as a developer and I'll randomly pick a winner.

I'll start with my #FML moment. As a first-time founder & CTO, I ran an update query on the orders table in production without the where clause 🤦‍♂️. This resulted in corrupting 100K records in less than 1 sec (Thanks MySQL! 😛 ). Regular DB backups were not yet the norm in my life & the only backup I had was 4 days old. I had to write the most embarrassing email of my life to clients asking them to furnish details for past orders that they had already placed with us. What an eventfully terrible week that was!

The worst part is that this wasn't the last time I deleted data in production. But that story's for another day.

Think of a moment you said (rather screamed) #FML and let me know in the comments!

Discussion (9)

jasiek194 profile image
Jan Król

I imported the test database into production one, when my task was to do the other way around. In my defence it was early on the morning 😅.

Also one time I've deleted indexes from article table in Oracle database by mistake. My coworkers were looking for the reason that application was so slow for about two days.

mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan Author

Hehe ... deleting indexes is such an frustrating easter egg to leave for someone for a couple of days. Nobody suspects the DB directly. Everyone just blames the code (and rightfully so) 😜

panditapan profile image

I have a few:

  • I removed all the FK in a DB once, my coworkers lasted hours fixing it! I had removed them to fix several bugs... I learned the hard way that the easiest fix != best fix.

  • I uh... "screamed" at my boss once. I don't suggest doing it, lots of stress afterward. But, I learned that it's good to let people know their attitude will affect mine and that I need to find a healthy outlet for my emotions (which is what I've been working on this year!).

  • I screwed up production code once! I was setting the prices incorrectly... money was lost that day. Sadly, I wasn't the one who had to fix it because I was on the road, heading to an event that day. But, I noticed how important code reviews are! I'm still fighting with my coworkers to implement them though. I also learned that comments work! I explained in a small summary my intent with the methods and they found the fix super quick! In 30 min everything was solved.


mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan Author

@panditapan , congrats you are the winner of the 50$ coupon on Dev Shop for having the most amount of #FML moments! 😁

I've been in the same boat where I removed FK in the production database because by mistake I committed my local debug changes. Nightmarish hour that was.

Can you please DM me on Twitter ( @mohanarpit ) or on and I'll share the coupon code with you?


26th_edmund profile image
Edmund 🚀

I don't really have any work related flops due to the fact that I started out as a developer early last year and haven't landed a job yet.

But I do have FML moments from working on my own projects 😆.

It happened just last week..

I have a personal blog built with Gridsome and Netlify CMS, I was using a very old version of Gridsome for the blog, about 2 minor releases with many patches behind, I wasn't tracking changes at the time so I checked and saw there was a new version, I updated and that was when the chaos started, the entire GraphQL layer had been modified, nothing worked at all and I only had the slightest idea about how GraphQL worked.. I tried pulling from the repository the starter template I use was hosted but there was a lot of merge conflicts 😂, the commit histories were so far apart! I managed to fix the conflicts but it still didn't work.. Thankfully I never pushed to the production branch. So I just deleted the entire project folder and cloned afresh.. I still haven't figured out a way to update it without breaking anything 😂😅

mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan Author • Edited

"I don't really have any work related flops due to the fact that I started out as a developer early last year and haven't landed a job yet."

Oh ... wait for it. 😜 I think it's a rite of passage for every developer.

All the best for the job hunt!

nikhilnandagopal profile image
Nikhil Nandagopal • Edited

I have a good one. TLDR; Payment system was pointing to stage while booking system had prod configs, causing real flights to be booked at no charge

To set some context for those of you not familiar with online travel booking systems:

  • The large players get flight / hotel inventory from a global service
  • They display that information neatly for everyone on their apps / websites
  • They collect passenger information & payments from users
  • Then proceed to book a slot of the global inventory and eventually settle payments with the carrier at a later date

While building the mobile app for one such platform, we frequently got the display information data from the production database because mocking realtime scenarios was a huge challenge in staging. We then proceeded to make payments & bookings via the staging services so that no payment was actually necessary and no bookings went through (What could go wrong?).

One day while updating the booking service, someone accidentally deployed the production booking configs to stage. Now a very timely email was sent (because email is obviously the most reliable form of communication) out urging everyone not to place bookings on stage. A very timely email that was missed unfortunately which led to us placing a few dozen bookings in stage which didn't need payments but did very much get sent to the airline carriers.

The funny part: Because these were test bookings the PAX names were of the form
Mr. {insert random string of letters}
Mr. {insert profanity}
Mr. {insert "testing" | "test"}
Now imagine the people at the airport on the days of these flights wondering who these people are and why they haven't shown up for their flights :D

mohanarpit profile image
Arpit Mohan Author

I can only imagine the plight of the flight crew who don't know if they have to be politically correct or just laugh out loud at the prank that someone is playing on them by writing absurd names on the flight ticket.

jorgee97 profile image
Jorge Gomez

I updated a production database table without a where condition. 🤦🏻‍♂️