Optimization Heisenbug

Have you ever seen a bug that disappears when you try to debug it? This situation has a name: heisenbug. A special type of heisenbug happened to me at least twice and recently to a colleague of mine. Different Behaviors These were the symptoms: the p… (read more)

Natural Born Yes Men

Fortunately I had to deal only with few of them (until now) but, it's always been an painful experience. Especially for a natural born No Man like me. You can easily detect Yes Men by looking at the strength they use to defend their boss' ideas, no m… (read more)

[Solved] The Strangest Bug I've Ever Seen

I've spent two hours to find it and two seconds for the fix. There was this gigantic piece of C code to create a report by putting together data from several files. The code seemed to be executed correctly (debug prints showed what should have been p… (read more)

Who's To Blame?

Once, during the development of a big project, I asked the Product Manager to tell me about the relationship between two functions (let's call them A and B). And the PM said: "When A is not active, B is always disabled". So I've designed my software… (read more)

[Solved] Broken Packages In Ubuntu

One of the worst things about working for a big company distributed world-wide is that you don't have a direct contact with the leaders of the IT department. So, if they decide to put in place a proxy, it's not easy to tell them not to cache Ubuntu p… (read more)

Never Break Backward Compatibility (Again)

Here we are again. It seems that every time I upgrade Xubuntu I cannot compile old Linux kernels anymore. Last time, it was GNU Make that broke the build. This time it is Perl turn. This is the error I got: Can't use 'defined(@array)' (Maybe you shou… (read more)

Understandable Code

Last week I had a chat with my colleague Suzi. She wanted me to review a small change she made on a software almost entirely written by me. At some point she came out with this: [Another colleague] always says you are too smart, and we just lose ou… (read more)