2 thoughts on “Raising the Bar

  1. Sergey Kazachenko 7th July 2012 / 16:24

    Zimbabwe once caused a major problem at a financial company I used to work for. Every morning the data systems were populated with the data feed from the custodial bank (we think we have X shares of Australian company Y worth Z American dollars, but it’s up to the bank to tell us what exactly we have). One of the data files was currency rates. Zimbabwe’s runaway inflation made the rate so large that it won’t fit into a CHAR(10) or whatever length field was used. So the bank changed the rate representation to scientific format (1 Zimbabwe dollar = 1E+14 USD or something like that) and our software didn’t know how to handle it! “Can’t load the currency rates” meant “can’t load custodial information” meant “don’t know where we stand” meant “can’t trade”. The whole company was on standby while the IT folks were deleting the Zimbabwe line and reloading the data! Of course later that same day I fixed the ETL software to handle the scientific format.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 7th July 2012 / 23:34

      Thanks for stopping by Sergey. I love the story.

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