I lost a lot of time yesterday thanks to tracking down an alligator in an import utility. There was one itsy-bitsy little function that wreaked big havoc, thanks to a confused gator that didn’t know which way to look.
That’s right, there was a < when there should have been a >. (Or since it was ColdFusion code, there was a LT where there should have been a GT.)
The import utility was developed by a guy with a masters degree in computer science, so it just goes to show you that no amount of expertise can prevent such an error (or, quite possibly in this case, a typo).
It was an easy fix, of course, but fixing all the data that had been incorrectly imported in the past took a bit longer. It cost me a few hours, but that’s better than causing a credit crisis. Either way, it reinforced in my mind the idea that we could use some unit testing around here. Sure, it might take a little extra time to write the tests, but probably less than the amount of time I spent hunting down the pesky little gator and fixing the mess it left in its wake.