No good deed goes unpunished: Bug assignment

Raymond Chen

Sometimes you’re better off keeping your fool mouth shut. The other day I got a piece of email requesting that I look at a crashed system because the tester believed it was another instance of bug 12345. While that may very well have been the case, bug 12345 was a kernel pool corruption bug in the object manager, something of which I know next to nothing. Why was I being asked to look at the machine? Because the bug was originally assigned to my team. As a gesture of good will, I reassigned the bug to a more appropriate team, and that was my downfall, because that put my fingerprint on the bug report. The second occurence of the bug was inside another component entirely, still completely unrelated to my team. But the tester thinks that I am somehow responsible for fixing the bug since my name is now in the bug report.

Perhaps I need an alter ego whose name I can use for cases like this, where my involvement in a bug is not as an interested party, but rather as somebody merely offering to help redirect the bug to the correct developer. But that merely defers the problem: What should I do if somebody asks the alter ego to investigate the bug?


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