I am a Software Engineer. Today, I received a mail from my senior with my boss in cc, stating that I have made a mistake in some work done a long time ago.

It is effected and found on my Project Production now. They gave me some serious warnings in the mail.

Now, I should reply to them, recognizing my mistake but I want to minimize it so that it doesn't affect me too badly.

How can this be done?

  • I do not understand to whom you should write to? The customer or your boss? – Bougret Feb 17 '16 at 5:51
  • To my senior and my boss.. @Bougret – Developer Feb 17 '16 at 5:52
  • What is done is done. Your reply is not going to change much. Heed the warning in the email. – paparazzo Feb 17 '16 at 6:55
  • You can apologise and either add that your code wasn't reviewed by anyone (which would be the standard procedure and should have caught the problem), which makes it a management problem, or you should add that the code was reviewed by XYZ, which is where the problem should have been found. – gnasher729 Feb 17 '16 at 9:02
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    @gnasher729 I would not start trying to spread the blame. Unless a formal investigation is undertaken by the company just say nothing and move on. Taking heed of whatever the unspecified warnings are. – Loofer Feb 17 '16 at 10:48

This happened to me, and what I did was this.

  1. Apologized for what I did wrong. (Acknowledges the mistake)
  2. Describe the mistake I made and where where I went wrong. (shows you understand the mistake)
  3. Describe what I should have done(Shows that you have learned from your mistake)
  4. Describe how I would ensure that it would not happen again (shows you're committed)

always take that approach.


First, you should apologize as it is your mistake.

  • If your code reviewed by your boss or another employee but the mistake was not seen, you can minimize the error visibility but do not share explicitly the blame.

  • Explain the reasons of your mistake

  • Explain how to fix it

  • Explain what you should have done to avoid it

You want to show that you learned from this error.

  • As I already mentioned in my question, he is my senior from my team. – Developer Feb 17 '16 at 6:13
  • I mean, you got into trouble because the code went live, isn't it? – Bougret Feb 17 '16 at 6:16
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    If it was only your error, and if it was caught in the standard reviewing procedure of your company, there is little else to do other than take the blame, alone. Of course say you will be more careful, try to explain the reason of your mistakes and how you could have done to mitigate it. It will show you are learning from mistakes. – Bougret Feb 17 '16 at 6:31
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    @DotNetDeveloper "can you please suggest more?" - Propose an improvement that will help you and others to find this kind of mistake in the future? E.g. better review, better testing procedures. Make a specific proposal though. We're human, anyone could make mistakes, even your seniors. – Brandin Feb 17 '16 at 8:53
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    Everyone makes mistakes, and by personally working on a project, sometimes we miss the mistakes due to being to close to it. This is why there are code reviews and extensive testing; problems are not wanted, but they happen, the important thing is learning from them. As the other guys have said here, you should chalk this up to experience, apologise and learn from it. – nickson104 Feb 17 '16 at 9:56

Just send back a short reply along the lines of 'Noted' and leave it at that, don't make it any bigger than it already is. You can't turn back time, all you can do is move forwards.

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