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"You worked hard. You earned it, man." - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
"You worked hard. You earned it, man."
I am in California for a company-sponsored retreat, one in which experienced developers and newbies get together and create new applications on top of our custom search engine. I had expected the trip to be something of a disaster; I tend to take a while to mesh with a good team, I'm not all that interested in big data. My notions of good code center around readability and elegance, not lines of code or cycles saved. When encouraged to "think of something you do that can be quantified!" I was like, "Uh, my daily word count?" The scale of my drawings? No, wait, the latter won't do; I'm fairly monogamous to my LT1917 sketchpads.

Instead, it turns out that I'm going to leave here with a large number of kudos under my belt. Our product is used mostly for network monitoring, but my team is developing tools for using it for scientific computing. This evening, I was able to show on a satellite map where weasels live in a small farm community in Illinois using tracking tag data. The best anomaly: way off from most weasel stalking grounds, we found a previously unknown colony living next a U-store-it place isolated from other businesses and next to a culvert. Weasels like living near water, and the U-store-it must be crawling with mice.

Even better, I found that a visualization protocol I had developed three years ago and thought everyone had forgotten had been adopted by the core team. This made me ecstatic, and since I had developed the protocol, I was the best guy to test it out outside of the original development team. It let me integrate a satellite mapping system with our in-house data management tools almost trivially.

I also found a major bug in their version of the protocol, logged it, and have already talked with the lead developer over a bottle of Scotch. He's going to fix it tomorrow.

I had expected to leave with nothing. I'm going to walk out of here with not one, but two consumer-facing tools, a major upgrade to the visualization integrator, and a documentation credit.

This evening, I finished my Scotch and rose from the bar. "I'm going to bed."

"Go ahead," one of my teammates said. "You worked hard today. You earned it, man."

I paused for a moment and gave him a funny look. I knew what he meant: of all of us, I had the most to show for the day's work. But, you see, today was nothing but (a) solving a puzzle I'm already eminently qualified to solve, and (b) wrestling with Javascript's horrible dynamic typing. Which was the hard work? Fixing the fucking typos that arise because of dynamic typing (fix typo -> reload -> run -> repeat until not broken) or reading the docs and just, y'know, gluing the parts together?

I patted him on the shoulder, then wandered off to write this.

Today, I sat at a table with cheerful peers, while staff brought me high-quality food at breakfast and lunch, fresh coffee and tea throughout the daylight hours, and wine as night fell. I did the one thing I'm truly good at-- software development, integration, and exegesis. I spent most of the afternoon in a deep state of flow.

Y'know what's hard work? Going back to the office and wrestling with custom configuration files for specific vendor needs. Finding a reason to get out of bed when that, a series of spreadsheets full of "We can't figure out how to make it go!" is what awaits you. Every flamin' day. For months on end.

But today I didn't work hard. Today I did what I'm good at.

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sirfox From: sirfox Date: January 30th, 2016 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cheers and congrats, man. Enjoy whatever chunk of CA you're in.
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