When you're new to something (like programming), you tend to look to those with more experience for guidance and inspiration. But it's easy to let that lead you to believe that everyone is better than you at that new thing you're trying to learn.
But coding (like everything else in life) takes practice! Even today's best programmers surely made some cringeworthy mistakes when they were first getting started.
So I'd like to take a minute to put some newbies' minds at ease and let them know that even experienced programmers made dumb mistakes when they started. (I can't speak for everyone, but some of us continue to make dumb mistakes on a semi-regular basis.)
My most embarrassing story probably comes from high school, when I was trying to "upgrade" our shared family computer's graphics capabilities. I installed a new video driver and some other software and thought I had everything set up and good to go. When I restarted the computer, nothing would display on the screen. It turns out that I'd basically just disabled the video card. We took it to a computer repair shop, but there was nothing they could do -- they just had to wipe the hard drive and start over.
The worst part is that my brother had done his summer book reports (maybe 100 pages of notes) and only had them saved on that computer. So with maybe a month before school started, he had to redo everything! To add insult to injury, I then tried (again) to upgrade the graphics (again) and the uninstalled the video drivers (again) and my brother lost his notes (again). I'm amazed he didn't throw me out a window after the second time.
How about you? What's your most embarrassing coding story? Or the worst piece of code you've ever written? Ever broken anything in production? Let's hear it!