Monday, August 25, 2008

Hope Really Really Hard

There's a method of verification I've come across (and even used occasionally) that I call the "hope really really hard" method.

What Is It?
The Hope Really Really Hard verification method is where you verify fixes by deploying them and doing your own personal method of hoping. I cross my fingers and say "come on, you can do it" to the computer a lot. You're free to choose your own method.

When Do I Use It?
Use this when you have a potential fix for an issue that you don't totally understand, or that is going into an environment you don't really understand. It's ideal when:
  • You couldn't reproduce the problem
  • You can't reproduce the environment into which the fix is being deployed
  • The fix is so urgent it's being done directly in the production environment
  • The fix is done, but "we can't wait that long to show it works. You're confident in it, right?"
When Do I Not Use It?
Don't use this method when you have something better, anything better.

The Hope Really Really Hard verification method is the highest risk method you can use, particularly when you combine it with an account rep who desperately wants you to say this will fix everything, or this will provide an X% improvement. (P.S. Don't fall into this trap. Guesses versus facts get fuzzy when people get stressed).

Come to think of it, avoid the Hope Really Really Hard verification method if at all possible.

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