Man Accidentally Destroyed Production Database on First Day of His Job

We all make mistakes, but some mistakes are fatal ending up with devastating consequences just like one of those Amazon engineers who’s typo error caused a major service outage worldwide. But then there’s this man “/cscareerthrowaway567” who recently posted on Reddit explaining that he accidentally destroyed a production database on the first day of his job, how he was fired and now facing legal action from the company.

Gif Source: Giphy

“Accidentally destroyed production database on the first day of a job, and was told to leave, on top of this I was told by the CTO that they need to get legal involved, how screwed am I?” 

According to the Reddit post:

“Today was my first day on the job as a Junior Software Developer and was my first non-internship position after university. Unfortunately, I screwed up badly.

I was basically given a document detailing how to setup my local development environment. Which involves run a small script to create my own personal DB instance from some test data. After running the command, I was supposed to copy the database URL/password/username outputted by the command and configure my dev environment to point to that database. Unfortunately, instead of copying the values outputted by the tool, I instead for whatever reason used the values the document had.

Unfortunately, apparently, those values were actually for the production database (why they are documented in the dev setup guide I have no idea). Then from my understanding that the tests add fake data, and clear existing data between test runs which basically cleared all the data from the production database. Honestly, I had no idea what I did, and it wasn’t about 30 or so minutes after did someone actually figures out/realizes what I did.

While what I had done was sinking in. The CTO told me to leave and never come back. He also informed me that apparently legal would need to get involved due to the severity of the data loss. I basically offered and pleaded to let me help in some way to redeem myself, and I was told that i “completely fucked everything up.”

So I left. I kept an eye on slack, and from what I can tell the backups were not restoring, and it seemed like the entire dev team was on full in panic mode. I sent a slack message to our CTO explaining my screw up. Only to have my slack account immediately disabled not long after sending the message.

I haven’t heard from HR or anything, and I am panicking to high heavens. I just moved across the country for this job, is there anything I can even remotely do to redeem myself in this situation? Can I possibly be sued for this? Should I contact HR directly? I am really confused, and terrified.”

“EDIT Just to make it even more embarrassing; I just realized that I took the laptop I was issued home with me (i have no idea why I did this at all).”

/cscareerthrowaway567 also detailed that the company has more than 40 developers with more than 100 people in total. Well, that’s a huge mess up.

Source: Reddit

While /cscareerthrowaway567 is feeling guilty about what happened, those replying to the post came up with some valid questions and theories, for example, one Redditor going by the online handle of /Do_You_Even_Lyft questioned that:

“The biggest WTF here is why did a junior dev have full access to the production database on his first day? The second biggest is why don’t they just have full backups? The third is why would a script that blows away the entire fucking database be defaulted to production with no access protection? You made a small mistake. They made a big one. Don’t feel bad. Obviously small attention to detail is important but it’s your first day and they fucked up big time. And legal? Lol. They gave you a loaded gun with a hair trigger and expected you not to pop someone? Don’t worry about it.”

“You made a small mistake. They made a big one. Don’t feel bad. Obviously small attention to detail is important but it’s your first day and they fucked up big time. And legal? Lol. They gave you a loaded gun with a hair trigger and expected you not to pop someone? Don’t worry about it.”

 Another Redditor going by the online handle of /BostonTentacleParty commented and wrote that: 

“I mean, real talk, they might be doomed. You might have destroyed that company, and that’s fucking hilarious because they entirely deserve it. I’ve worked for some fly by night Mickey Mouse shops but holy hell were they playing fast and loose. What was their tech stack, Jenga?

The downside is that you… can’t list this place on your resume. The upside is that you’ve got a great story about instrumenting the downfall of a shitty company.”

Another Redditor /YourUndoing commented that:

“They fucked up, and badly. You did not fuck up badly, you did something that was preventable by them and also shame on them for not having an adequate backup scheme. Consider yourself lucky for not having to work for such a careless company anymore. On the project I’m currently on, every dev has read/write and full update/drop privileges on the dev database. QA and admins have access to this for the QA databases. Only 2-3 people have access to do this in production. And it’s all hosted through Amazon with daily backups and the data files processed in get archived for a short period as well.”

There’s no fucking way their DBA should keep their job after this. Assuming they have one.

Redditor /CarrotStickBrigade wrote that it’s the fault of the company.

“OP this is NOT your fault. Honestly? I’d tell the CTO to fuck off when you return the laptop. This is 100% their fault. Legal will not do a god damn thing to you because they have no grounds.”

Redditor /MaxIntel said that:

“Right. The employer sounds like they left way too many holes. Why would something so important be so easily deleted by means of a common practice?. Even if lawyers get involved  pretty sure they would say the same.”

The topic has more than 138 comments where most Redditors are backing /cscareerthrowaway567 and criticizing the company for not keeping any backup and handing over the entire critical database to a newbie. 

Although the other side of the story is yet to be revealed, the one thing we can learn from this incident is that be it a company, business or common user; one should always keep a backup of their data no matter what the circumstances are.

What do you think? who’s fault is it?

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