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Becoming a Better Programmer by Pete Goodliffe

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Chapter 33. This Time I’ve Got It…

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

Benjamin Franklin

“Just one more minute,” Jim said. “I think I really do know what the problem is now. This time I’ll fix it.”

Julie had been watching him trying to solve the problem for almost a whole day now, with increasing amusement.

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Jim had been hunched over the keyboard for hours straight. He’d hardly glanced up. He’d certainly not eaten. And he’d only had the one cup of coffee that Julie had brought mid-morning, mostly out of pity.

It wasn’t like him at all. He was a man on a mission.

A sense of urgency, if not mild panic, had been brought about by a “level 1” bug discovered in the live system. How it had got through the QA process was anyone’s guess.

It was thought to be a problem in some of Jim’s code, and so Jim sprang into action. It was partly pride that stopped him from asking for help, but there was also a hint of naiveté—he thought he’d have it tracked down in 10 minutes, and he would then look like a hero for fixing the running system.

So far that plan had failed.

With every minute that passed, the pressure increased. Reports from customers were trickling in about the problem. One or two reports early in the morning had become a steady stream. Before long, that stream would become a flood, and then the whole team would be dumped in it. Indeed, if the problem wasn’t fixed soon, the ...

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