Rachel Bird

@codinglady

A Debugging Murder Mystery Dinner

Inspired by true events.

You arrive in elegant attire at a lovely mansion. You’re greeted at the door by the butler. There’s a scream inside!

You and the butler rush into the living room to find the other guests huddled around a computer.

“What’s happened?” you ask.

A woman with a peacock feather sticking out of her hat turns to tell you the worst. “The code died.”

The man sitting at the desk pushes his hair out of his eyes and types furiously into Terminal. Of course, they’re using a Mac. “It doesn’t make any sense. The server is running. There are no errors. But I change the code and nothing changes in the browser.”

You all lean in to see what’s happening on the computer.

“When was it last working?” the rotund man in the glasses asks while swirling his brandy.

“Before you all arrived,” the man at the desk says with frustration.

“So you’re insinuating one of us is responsible?” the lady with the peacock feather retorts.

“It is rather peculiar that it was working before and now it’s not, especially when all the code looks good,” says the maid dusting the piano in the corner of the room.

“Oh hush, Meredith,” the butler tells her. “Let them sort it out while you set the table.”

Meredith trounces out with the butler in tow.

“Show me what’s happening from the beginning,” you suggest.

The man in the chair shows you the React routing he’s set up and what’s in each of the components. You confirm it looks good.

“But look in the browser,” he says. He shows you that you navigate to the pages you expect, but none of the routing shows up like it should. Peculiar, indeed.

While each person makes vain attempts to fix the problem, you sink into a chair and start nursing a martini. In your relaxed state you say, “It’s almost as if we’re running a different codebase on the server.”

Sharp glances are exchanged. The man in the chair opens Terminal and everyone looks at the prompt.

“You’re running the code from this morning!?” the lady with the peacock feather cries.

The man in the chair smiles ruefully. “Oops. I was in a different project.” He changes directories and runs the project he had been intending to run. Everything works as expected.

The rotund man in the glasses claps you on the shoulder. “Well done.”

You smile while choking back laughter, and get up to head to the dining room for dinner.

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