It was one of those rainy afternoons announcing nothing good. As usual, I sat in my comfortable chair, drank my prescribed dose of coffee and stared at the six monitors, which gave me an absolute insight into the inner workings of the sophisticated supply chain systems whose well-being was entrusted to me.
They suggested to me that everything was going like a clockwork: enormous quantities of goods were ordered, produced, loaded, transported all over the globe and finally delivered to the customers’ warehouses. It was a very unique, lively, complex and sensitive world that provided the stage for a spectacle full of almost unbearable tension, in which harmony and drama, profit and loss, success and defeat lay very close together. One wrong attitude and everything could instantly sink into absolute chaos. But I had the overview and the control – everything seemed to be paletti controlletti!
At least that’s how I thought.
The muffled ringing of the telephone interrupted my complex thought processes, which among other things concerned dinner. I pressed the button on my headset with active noise suppression and answered: “Setlog Holmes…”.
A soft, clear and somewhat austere voice came up: “Here is Claire. Claire Auf… you are once again absorbed in your thoughts, eh? How about a little reality? After that you can lie down again…”
Someone nudged me from the side and I was startled: Claire suddenly sat right next to me with the phone in her hand, looked at me with her clear, penetrating eyes and smiled mockingly.
I ripped the headset off my head, distraught: “What is it?”
“The interfaces. Do you have them on the screen?
“Which of those thirty interfaces do you mean? To the customer, to the producers or to the forwarding agents? Which customers are we talking about here anyway?
“Look here,” she said and showed me her tablet: “Suddenly there were differences in the values compared to the shipments.
“Then the forwarder sent them out like this – shit in, shit out!
“Come on, you can do better…”
“All right”, I murmured discontentedly and opened the change history of the sentences, “there, the first falsification came in three hours ago, here you can see the incoming data, … Wait a minute, they’re perfectly all right!”
That was confusing and frightening. The numbers that came in from the forwarder were flawless, but our database ended up with garbage instead?! How could that be? I got dizzy, cold sweat stepped on my forehead and the heartbeat accelerated. Nightmares of nights worked through with cold pizza and constant escalation calls from the customer’s headquarters arose before my inner eye, threatening to overwhelm and paralyze me. I was on the verge of a blackout.
“Calm, calm blood,” I said to myself as my eyes stepped out of the caves, “this is the emergency we have often practiced, in principle a different kind of routine. Slowly I calmed down, my hands flew more and more safely over the keyboard and I got into a concentrated flow.
“Ok, first stop the interface, save the current state and then reconstruct the last state of the affected lines.” This was quick and uncomplicated thanks to prepared scripts. This allowed the system to continue working. Now it was time for the detective work!
“It is probably a matter of uncovering the criminal machinations of a sick brain that are going on here” I announced half in fun.
“Deduction says something else,” Claire replied as she frantically searched the database for clues.
“Deduction? Who is that supposed to be? Besides, the good woman is lying, it’s obvious!”
After half an hour of research it was clear that we couldn’t help but reconstruct the incident on a sandbox system. Thanks to container technology and pipelines, this was also done quite routinely.
And finally, we had found him, the invisible Mr. Bug. At some point you betray yourself, get entangled in your lies and contradict yourself in logic.
Further sentences had come in, which had the same identifiers as the affected ones and overwrote existing ones. A mistake at the forwarding agent, but our system was obviously not (yet) prepared for it!
“Then we have to implement a hot hotfix”, Claire said relieved, “Start now, I’ll inform the forwarder and the customer. Oh, and it doesn’t matter if it’s fast…”
As soon as you know the problem, the solution is obvious. This vermin was erased quickly. After the test on the sandbox, the adaptation was installed directly online. Already the import could be reactivated.
Yes, that’s how we were: IT in High Definition!
I elegantly performed the mousedrop and went home with a victorious smile on my lips.
Eduard is software developer in our team “Globetrotter” at Setlog. Globetrotter works closely with our NYC team and is responsible for our American customers. Eduard is one of our most creative minds, always eager to give himself new ideas to show what life is like at Setlog.