At work today our source code repository disappeared. This is a bad thing. You know how, at 7-Eleven, they have that big safe bolted to the floor behind the counter? It has the slot in the top to make night drops if the cash register ever gets a lot of money in it so that someone robbing the place only gets a tiny bit of money and cannot open or take the safe. That safe keeps piling up money inside until a manager makes a deposit. That safe is sort of like our code repository, only instead of holding money it holds intellectual property (which is as good as money in many industries.) Admittedly, that is a bit of an oversimplification. The “safe” we use for code, under this analogy, would also have a time machine attached to it so we could see what was in the safe yesterday. It would have a blank-book journal with a pen-on-a-chain attached and wouldn’t let you open the safe or even put anything inside until you wrote in the book. It would also send you an email any time someone made a deposit. It would probably have lasers on it too, because lasers are cool.
Today, it was as if our hypothetical 7-Eleven employee turned his back for a minute to pour more flavor syrup in the Slurpee machine and then noticed the safe was gone. Not only is the safe gone, but the bolts holding it to the floor are gone. The tile floor under the safe is pristine — no sign of holes where the bolts used to be. The can of soda that was placed on the safe before refilling the Slurpee machine is resting on the floor directly under where it would have been had the safe been there. The safe is gone. The safe had never been there. These are not the droids you are looking for.
Fortunately, just a short time ago, I had a tiny bit of an epiphany. It’s possible that two tiny bugs in two completely unrelated systems combined, Voltron-style, to form a particularly nasty super-bug that extracted the “safe” with surgeon-like precision. Fun.