I first started at PowerPoint during the lengthy bug fixing stage. It was being thrown into a completely new environment, attempting to decipher another person's code and the C++ was fathoms more advanced than anything I had ever seen. I don't know if other new hires have had the same experience but I felt like I got hit in the face with a newspaper.
Needless to say, I did check-in fixes and aided in lowering our bug count. However, one fix wasn't done absolutely perfectly. I don't remember the bug or the fix but I do remember the outcome. It included something like:
MyPointerClass* pMyClass = GetMyPointerClass();
My boss walked into my office with laptop on hand and a completely stern looking upon his face (he normally looks very calm and quiet). Immediately, I felt my face go flush as I knew I was in trouble. He pointed me to the bug I fixed and the code that I had changed. He looked at me and said "You remember this?" After acknowledging, he went on to explain that crash that I had caused. If my face wasn't tomato red, it was now. A null-pointer crash. I learned how to avoid that in CS101. What a stupid mistake! He must have seen my embarrassment as he left my office say something like "it's ok this time, just remember for next time."
Lesson learned, everyone. CHECK YOUR POINTERS!