What’s a forgivable mistake?

Most of us try our best to do the best job they can each day at work. We never try to make mistakes. We might be lazy at times, or avoid some work, but we don’t try to do anything incorrectly. We might shortcut something, hoping a partial completion or quick patch is enough to satisfy a requirement, but we don’t actively do things incorrectly.

At least I hope that’s the case for all of you. I assume there are some BOFH people out there, but they are few and far between.

That being said, we’re human. We will have accidents, we’ll do something without thinking, or we’ll click (or type) the wrong item. Sometimes these errors go unnoticed until we can correct them. Perhaps they go unnoticed for years, and we completely forget about them.

Other little “whoops” mistakes have widespread consequences. I’ve seen incorrect firewall rules deployed that took down entire swaths of a business. There are incorrect deployments by developers, putting out old, or even future, code that breaks things down. DBAs might change, or even truncate, the wrong data at times. That’s something I’ve certainly been guilty of in the past.

In your job, are there mistakes you make that are forgivable? I’d hope that most are, and you don’t worry about certain tasks affecting your employment status. I’m sure there are potential mistakes that might require termination, but I’d hope these are repeated mistakes and not one time events.

Let us know today what mistakes might be forgivable in your organization. These might not be something you’ve done, but perhaps something you’ve witnessed. How much mercy does your management have for the humans trying to manage their database systems?

Steve Jones

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