Shark tank

Testing 1, 2, 300 …

Web developer pilot fish is testing his fix for a buggy Web form. The form is designed for e-mailing some fairly sensitive information, and fish wants to make sure it’s exactly right. And he wants to make sure there’s no possible confusion about the fact that what he’s entering into the form as a test isn’t real information. So he simply types “test” into each field and clicks Submit. “Since I had entered ‘test’ in the user field, an e-mail was sent to ‘’ “Little did I know that someone had created a massive e-mail group — called ‘’ ” Within minutes, hundreds of bewildered users are replying to the e-mail. “It took us a while to figure out what happened,” fish says. Finally, the admin deleted the group and removed all the unsent messages he could. “Since then, I’ve had to endure remarks concerning my homegrown spam virus.”

You’re just encouraging them

User rushes up to tech support pilot fish first thing in the morning. “You have to help me find the file I was working on yesterday!” user cries. OK, says fish, what’s the name of the file? “I don’t know,” says user. Hmm, says fish. This is the job you were working on all day yesterday, right? “Yes.” OK, says fish, hoping she won’t have to sift through all files that were changed yesterday. Now can you give me anymore clues about the missing file? Why do you think I should be able to find it? “Well, you were with me when I received it by e-mail from my boss yesterday.” Ah, fish says, that’s the information that your boss wanted you to enter onto the server calendar, right? “Yes.” Did you check the e-mail from your boss to see if the file is still attached? Sighs fish, “It was. And of course I was seen as saving the day.”

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