I was working on a project, as assigned by my manager. It was completed, reviewed and delivered, and is now under maintenance. While I was searching through code (for a different purpose) I realized that I had made some mistakes.

Should I reveal the mistakes to my manager or just keep quiet and correct the mistake?

I am in IT industry.

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    Of the 100,000,000 software projects so far completed by humans, this many have mistakes: 100,000,000.
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2019 at 18:13
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    Whether and how the issues should be reported depends on the severity of the issues, how recently the project was delivered, the type of maintenance expected of you / your team / your company and the process for reporting and fixing issues. If you're unsure about any of these details, you should clarify them with your manager. You should never hide work you're doing from your manager, but explicitly telling them about it might not be part of the "normal" way of doing things. Apr 24, 2019 at 19:00

4 Answers 4


By all means, bring this up. Something like that goes a long way:

Hey manager, I think this part of code is sketchy. At first glance it can introduce a bug. I am not sure how it passed tests, so can we double-check? When do you have time to sit down and discuss it?

By coming forward early you display professionalism. That should be your manager's decision what to do with this information, and their responsibility. Maybe they'll decide that is not a bug, or that can be fixed later, or decide to push patch immediately.

I think that worse case scenario is that there is a bug, and customer will discover it eventually. People will spend time looking for issue, and very well might find that it is in your part of code. Bug happen, no big deal, but you'll have to fix it.


So should I reveal to my manager

If you have a bug tracking system, write a bug report there.

Otherwise, Yes - reveal the problem to your manager.

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    That about sums it up!
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2019 at 18:13

The professional answer is yes, report the error. There may be cases where it's not going to impact anything and if you can sneak it into a release with other things, no one will know. Eventually, making it okay to essentially lie is not a good pattern and you will get caught in it.

Any facet of life will eventually have mistakes. People may even get upset about them. But it's how we deal with mistakes that tend to show character and impress people more than trying to make them think we are somehow perfect. Admitting your mistakes builds trust. As long as you don't make excessive amounts of mistakes or repeat the same mistakes over and over, owning up and becoming part of the solution is a good thing.


Should I reveal the mistakes to my manager?

Yes. Personal accountability should be one of the cornerstones of your career.

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