Fixing Bugs for Christian Tech Apps as a Spiritual Exercise


We sat in a circle looking at each other. It was our daily stand-up and each person on the SCRUM team was updating on the last day’s progress and that day’s planned work. We also were sharing what was blocking us.

And we had a major block.

Let me back up a few days before this. Our team had just released a major update to a core service and our power users were coming to take a look. After logging in with great expectation, their home page was blank.

Urgent help emails started to roll in.

“I know I have something but can’t see it.”

“Where are my contacts?!”

“It’s GONE!!!!”

This was the first very visible product rollout I had been a part of and it felt like a painter displaying their art on a gallery wall. Everything was there to see.

I was incredibly proud of the work the team had done. We’d basically remodeled key parts of a major system in nine weeks, but this little bug was wrecking the whole thing.

I know what you’re thinking. WHY DIDN’T YOU QA BEFORE LAUNCH?

We did.


We actually did. But this bug didn’t come up. Seriously. I promise.

When it came time that morning for our lead API developer to update, he was at the end of his debugging options. Uh oh.

So we stopped the meeting and started to pray. We’d come to the end of our devices and we needed help.

Do you believe John 15:5? Does it have anything to do with a rascally little bug scurrying around deep in the dark recesses of a piece of technology?

Apart from me you can do nothing. – Jesus

Each of us in the SCRUM team believe it to be true, but not till that moment had we really believed it for this issue.

We asked God to fix it. To help us see what the problem was, and to get it done by the end of that day. After some prayed, we said “Amen” and continued the standup. (Yeah, I know. We were lazy that day and sat down for our stand up.)

At 3:03pm that same afternoon a message flashed across our messaging service.

Great news! I have identified the cause of the very weird error*!”

In different parts of the building the team erupted. He did it!

No, not the developer. God did it, and we all believed it. It was fun to see the team spontaneously regather, thank God and celebrate. It was a really fun moment to see faith rewarded so clearly.

Truly, apart from Jesus we can do nothing. We can’t even squash a little code bug. But abiding in Jesus, we will bear much fruit (which, I think, includes code that works).

We also threw this GIF in the chat stream too. Boom on that bug!

*Curious what the bug was? It was happening when a user put “www.” at the beginning of the URL. I know, old school, right?! Our developer noticed it as soon as he sat down with one of the users having the error. Cleaned it up in a few minutes.  There’s a great topic for another post there – actually sit with users.