Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Example of Why You Shouldn't Test in Production

If you ever need a concrete example of why it is worthwhile to set up a proper testing environment for your online or data-based applications, consider this case. According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois resident Tom Feddor, pround owner of license plate number of "0" has received some 170 bogus parking tickets because

A glitch occurred at the Chicago Department of Revenue involving Feddor's 0 plates being used during tests of ticketing equipment.

The article continues:

It turned out that some city parking-enforcement aides punched in 0 when testing their electronic ticket-issuing devices, Revenue Department spokesman Ed Walsh said. Officials weren't aware there was a 0 plate or that Feddor was receiving tickets, Walsh said in response to the Tribune inquiry.

But thank goodness:

"But we are taking steps to rectify the situation so in the future an actual registered plate number will not be used to do the testing," Walsh said.

Before you laugh too hard, be honest: How many of you have run "test" transactions through your live/production systems exactly in this manner? And what precautions did you have in place?

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