And then they had to ruin their imperfect record

This programmer pilot fish develops and maintains a custom manufacturing system for a client -- and has been keeping it running for years.

"About four years ago, I created a report that looked at completed jobs for a given date range to compare on-time versus late deliveries," says fish. "After I created the report, I didn't receive any additional requests for changes or support.

"Until today. I was asked why there were errors appearing and no data on the report.

"After a quick review of the underlying queries, I realized from the way they were structured that I had unintentionally assumed that there would always be at least one job that shipped late.

"As long as there was one overdue delivery, all of the data would appear on the report. If there were no overdue jobs, then the query would produce zero records.

"It took four years for my client to finally have a day in which they shipped 100 percent of their jobs on-time in order to uncover this error in my query structure!"

Nobody's perfekt -- which usually means there's a true tale of IT life to tell. So send Sharky your story at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt every time I use one. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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