The Devil is in the Details

Some of us have run into perplexing technology  problems, where we had to dig deep into an application to solve a problem. We might need to work with our own staff, vendor support, perhaps even coordinate people across multiple different organizations. This can be even more challenging when we don’t have access into the internals of all the code.

I ran across a neat story from Netflix, where an engineer had to dig into an issue with one of their partners. In this case, there were hardware and software components, and four different companies involved. The problem involved a playback issue, with deadlines and finger pointing over the issue.

Eventually the root cause discovered was a thread level issue in the Android OS, but the tale of how the engineer asks questions, looks at good, sets up tests, and more is a good examine of how to dive into an issue. While many of us wouldn’t get involved in threads on the data platform, we do need to understand the code and use metrics and data to narrow down the issues. It’s certainly possible we could discover a bug, but most of my experience is that I’ve found a problem in developer code or insufficient hardware resources.

The story is a nice read, and the final paragraph made me smile It had this quote: ” This story really exemplifies an aspect of my job I love:…” It’s always inspirational to find someone truly enjoying their job, and I find myself thinking about the things I love about my job, with problem solving being one of the best parts.

Steve Jones

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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