Software is written by people, and people make mistakes. These mistakes are usually indicated by something going wrong or not working as it should, and if you’re really lucky* you get a message to accompany the behaviour to let you know if there’s anything you might be able to do to fix it.

It seems that software is going the way of cars; with the “Check Engine” light. Humans are no longer allowed to see the internal workings of these magical things we use every day and we’re now given error messages like the following:

Useless Error Message 1

Useless Error Message 2

Now, you may be fooled (like I was) into thinking that the “correlation ID” in the 2nd message would be something you could either search for or contact support about (as this is a hosted service). Sadly neither of those yield anything useful, and you’re left either hoping that the problem resolves itself or that you work out what it was you did wrong to get into that situation.

Granted the error messages won’t mean anything to 99% of the people seeing it, but why punish the 1% of us that can actually do something about it, saving us time and (more importantly for you) saving us ringing up your (no) helpdesk! Even an error code to narrow down where the problem is would help.

* Lucky is obviously a relative term here, as the program obviously hasn’t done what you wanted it to to get to this point!