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I'm trying to fix a P1 bug, but some relevant code is owned by another team. Unsure about ownership and how to proceed.

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Staff Software Engineer [Lead MTS] at Salesforce2 years ago

I was assigned a P1 bug, and when I started to dig deeper into it, I found out that actual code was written by some other team and we have just used that code/object to build a small feature. I got a bit lucky that someone in my team told that the team ‘A’ owns that code/object. I was given a POC, but it turns out that they have left that team. I would like to have a POC to close out this bug.

For additional context: It is still not clear if it's the feature or the bug that's broken, that’s why we need to get clarification from the other team. Here's a high-level example to make things more clear: There is an object named "Product" which is a generic one, team ‘A’ built another object called "Product Category", and we added a field to that object. Now unless I ask some senior folks in my team it is really hard to understand who owns "Product Category".

Given all these unknowns, how can I navigate this situation and make sure this bug is resolved properly?

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Discussion

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • The first thing to do is to figure out where the code is broken. You don't need to figure out that exact line (in that case, you have just fixed the bug), but you should have an understanding of the service/component that's being wonky.
    • Understand the flow that produces this bug with the flow being the series of steps necessary to generate the outcome that is now being corrupted with this bug. Use print statements and the debugger to figure out which step is broken and from there, use version control blame to figure out which engineer/team wrote most of the relevant pieces here.
    • Use your manager to talk with the other team's manager to find a POC to work with you to understand the other codebase.
    • If ownership is unclear, I would actually see this as an opportunity rather than just a hinderance/frustration. As a "bonus" or follow-up to this bug, maybe you can bring the teams together to figure out a clear ownership structure. This is a classic example of a Staff level problem.