Intern Deletes Prod DB, Gets Promoted: How Did He Avoid Getting Caught?

In a surprising turn of events, an intern’s seemingly innocuous task led to a heart-pounding crisis at a small-scale startup. The incident, which occurred approximately a year ago, serves as a cautionary tale for companies about the importance of robust processes and communication.

Intern Deletes Prod DB, Gets Promoted: How Did He Avoid Getting Caught?
Intern Deletes Prod DB, Gets Promoted

The protagonist of our story, let’s call them Alex, was a fresh-faced intern eager to prove their mettle. Their senior instructed them to take a backup of the production database (DB) and restore it on the local server. Simple enough, right? But as fate would have it, this routine task turned into a hair-raising adventure.

The Fateful Mistake

Alex diligently executed the instructions. Armed with confidence, they connected remotely to both the production and local servers. Unbeknownst to them, the local server already harbored a database with the same name as the production one. In a split second, Alex deleted the production DB, thinking it was a local copy. Chaos ensued.

Panic at Dawn

Clients started flooding the support lines, unable to log in. The sun had barely risen, but the office was buzzing with frantic calls. Alex, still blissfully unaware of their blunder, calmly restored the production DB. Their team was in a meeting, and the only other souls around were fellow interns. The stakes were high, and the clock was ticking.

The Support Call

As the DB restoration chugged along, Alex’s phone rang. The support team urgently reported that clients were locked out. With nerves of steel, Alex advised them to refresh their browsers and try logging in again. Meanwhile, beads of sweat formed on their forehead. Eighty to ninety seconds felt like an eternity.

The Cover-Up

The second call came. Clients were still struggling. Alex maintained their poker face and assured the support team that everything was fine on their end. But behind the scenes, they monitored the logs, praying for signs of life. Finally, the logs lit up with successful client logins. Crisis averted—for now.

The Senior’s Inquiry

An hour later, Alex’s senior approached. “Did you do anything?” they asked, concern etching their face. Alex, channeling their inner secret agent, replied, “While taking a backup, I ran some queries to double-check. Maybe the server was sluggish.” The senior nodded, satisfied. Little did they know that Alex’s heart had performed a gymnastics routine during that conversation.

The Aftermath

To this day, the company remains blissfully ignorant of Alex’s escapade. They’ve since climbed the ranks, now a team lead. The incident serves as a reminder that even the most routine tasks can have far-reaching consequences. Companies must tighten security, improve communication, and ensure that interns don’t accidentally wield the power of a digital wrecking ball.

Deleted Prod DB as an intern
Deleted Prod DB as an intern, later promoted to Team Lead

So, dear readers, let this be a lesson: Always double-check your targets before hitting that delete button. And if you find yourself in a similar situation, just remember Alex’s sage advice: “Try refreshing and then try to login.” It might just save the day—or your career

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Raj Verma is a passionate technologist with a background in software engineering and content creation. He leverages his experience to empower job seekers, particularly those new to the field, with the latest industry insights and resources to land their dream careers. As the founder of TechAtPhone, Raj is dedicated to fostering a thriving tech community where knowledge is shared and career aspirations are realized.

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