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Oscar Williams

News editor

This junior developer might have had the worst first day of all time

A junior developer has told of how they were fired on their first day in a new job after accidentally deleting their employer’s production database.

To make matters worse, the firm’s chief technology officer then allegedly threatened to take legal action against the new recruit.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the developer said it was their first proper job out of university and that they had moved across the country to take it.

In a gut-wrenching post on Reddit, first reported by the Register, the ex-employee explained the situation:

I was basically given a document detailing how to setup my local development environment, which involves run a small script to create my own personal DB instance from some test data.

After running the command I was supposed to copy the database URL/password/username outputted by the command and configure my dev environment to point to that database. […] 

Instead of copying the values outputted by the tool, I […] for whatever reason used the values the document had.

Unfortunately apparently those values were actually for the production database (why they are documented in the dev setup guide i have no idea).

Then from my understanding that the tests add fake data, and clear existing data between test runs which basically cleared all the data from the production database.

Honestly I had no idea what I did and it wasn’t about 30 or so minutes after did someone actually figure out/realize what I did.

Many Redditors leapt to the defence of the young developer, noting that the firm should have backed up the database and challenging the notion that the employee was liable for the mistake.

The post continued:

While what I had done was sinking in. The CTO told me to leave and never come back. He also informed me that apparently legal would need to get involved due to severity of the data loss. I basically offered and pleaded to let me help in someway to redeem myself and I was told that I “completely f***ed everything up”.

New Statesman Tech wishes the developer better luck for their next role.

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