A few years ago I found an article pointing out how spammers had figured out how to abuse some code I wrote back in 2001 or so. I’d put it on the list to fix and even started a blog post so that I could take my lumps publicly.
Now I’ve rediscovered that draft post…and that I never fixed the bad code it had fingered. Worse, I’m no longer in a position to change the code.
Along similar lines, I’ve been told that a database driven DHCP config file generator that I wrote back in the late 1990s is still in use, and still suffers bugs due to my failure to sanitize MAC addresses that, being entered by humans, sometimes have errors.
I’ve written bad code since then and will write more bad code still, but as my participation in open source projects has increased, I’ve enjoyed the benefit of community examples and criticism. My work now is better for it.