Since a week I have been investigating a production bug that last occurred on 20th Sept 2023, and earlier in 2021, but unable to reproduce it in test environment. At times there's a transaction that erroneously overrides some database values, and I need to reproduce a similar transaction to see where in the code the database value is getting overridden. I followed the following steps:
I'm worried - what if I'm not able to reproduce it? I often think that others will doubt my capabilities. Can I be put on PIP for this?
I'm worried - what if I'm not able to reproduce it?
This happens all the time, especially at Big Tech. There's many options here (in order of what I recommend):
Can I be put on PIP for this?
I can't speak for how petty (or evil) every tech company may be, but I would be incredibly surprised if you were put on a PIP for this. PIPs generally come after a prolonged period of underperformance, and this is just a single bug. Also, it seems like you're trying very hard to figure out the issue - You aren't being lazy with it like I've seen other mediocre engineers do (some of which got PIP-ed).
I actually just made a playlist with our best debugging resources. I hope it helps: [Taro Top 10] Debugging
First, I'd ensure everything is the same in test vs. prod environments. Ensuring parity at the infrastructure, environment level will ensure that your efforts at the software level don't go to waste.
Document all the paths you've already explored to reproduce the bug. Create a document capturing 1) what you tried 2) what you expected 3) what happened. This will make it much easier to rally for help from others.
It sounds like you've given this a fair shot and as long as the document capturing what you tried so far reflects that, any reasonable person won't fault your for that. Like Alex mentioned, focus the discussion around "what else could I have missed" vs. worrying about the perception of others.
It's a signal of maturity to not throw endless hours at it. A couple things are likely to happen.
Final thoughts: don't worry about the PIP, we'd all be on one if it's handed out every time someone can't fix a bug.
Interested to hear how this pans out. DM me if you'd like to chat further.