The Night Before Christmas

Dylan Beattie
Dec 20, 2018 · 2 min read

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the room,
The desks cold and empty, alone in the gloom,
The team were all home, on a well-deserved break,
Recalling true meanings of ‘cookies’ and ‘cake’ (CC0 Creative Commons)

The code was all tested, all green and no red,
The roadmap was groomed for the year ahead,
The flatscreens were dark, the keyboards were quiet,
And nothing was failing except for my diet,

As I sat on the sofa, and reached for the wine,
I opened up Slack, to see who was online,
I told them I wouldn’t be working today…
But I’ll just check it once, and then put it away,

And that’s when I noticed, to my trepidation,
Six hundred and five unread notifications,
From Logentries, NewRelic, Rollbar and Chrome,
And a few from my boss, who was also at home.

While the family relaxed in their comfortable chairs,
I picked up the wine and I headed upstairs,
I switched on the laptop, I plugged in the screen,
And ssh’ed into my virtual machine,

I checked the DB and the web server farm,
But I couldn’t see any cause for alarm…
And that’s when I felt it, a tickle, a scratch,
A weird deja vu that I couldn’t despatch.

I typed in the key to the config store thing,
And decrypted the database connection string,
I clicked on ‘connect’ as suspicion was dawning,
And there, clear as day — a certificate warning.

So simple, so stupid — but who would believe,
That the SSL cert expired on Christmas Eve?
I remember they mentioned that when I first started,
But the person who told me had long since departed.

The fix was so easy, it’s almost amusing,
I renewed the cert, and got back to the boozing.
But I couldn’t renew it for three months, or one…
It’s one year, or two years, or five years — what fun!

So one year was purchased, and hey, no more fail!
I sent the obligatory all staff email,
And I wondered if anyone here would remember,
To follow it up at the start of December…

Well now here we are, one year older and wiser,
And thanks to our new infosec supervisor,
The server certificate’s all up to date,
The platform is purring, and everything’s great

But the family don’t know that — I’ve taken great care,
To maintain my good reason to sneak off upstairs.
They all think I’m fixing a broken website…
Merry Christmas to all! Now, who’s up for Fortnite?

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