Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back In the Saddle

AWOL

It's been over a month since I've posted anything. If you've subscribed to this RSS feed, I'm sorry for wasting your time/bandwidth over the last month. It's about to get a lot better.

Over the last month I've been working like a dog. I got assigned to this new account that was highly visible, highly complex and for the most part has been highly stressful. I can't say I've ever felt so much pressure in my professional life.  That being said, it helps to realize that what we do (software) often isn't as life and death as we'd convince ourselves into believing. Yes, when things go poorly companies often incur down time, lose data and there IS a cost to these failures. But all that being said, lives are very seldom ruined and too seldom to developers give themselves a break.

I was just recently snapped out of my work conceived tunnel vision in the most startling way. I was banging my head against this problem that I just could not fix for the life of me. And then just as I was about to lose all hope I was completely saved by another developer. A guy I barely knew. The funny thing is that after implementing the solution and fixing our issues I realized that my troubleshoot had been heading in the completely wrong direction. Had this guy not thrown me a lifeline I might not have circled back for days if not weeks to come up with the correct fix.

Community Karma

I can't count the number of times I've been completely saved by a forum thread or a blog post. The fact of it is that every one of us is often asked to perform tasks and deliver solutions with technologies that we are yet not experts in. Even if you were a pro in the technologies you chose to work in, there'll inevitably be some configuration that comes along that will test everything you know and then some.

I've made an extremely conscious decision that I not only owe the community a lot for all the help they've given me, but blogging makes me less likely to run into trouble in the first place.

Blogging regularly not only makes sure you research what you blog about but you also come in to contact with a lot of other blogger's. You absolutely need these people if you're going to succeed in this ever growing and ever changing tech stack. No man is an island and you're going to need a safety net as tall and wide as you can cast.

That being said I can't wait to meet the next person to save me from my next  technical nightmare. I'm sure I'll never forget his/her name and learn a tonne while being pulled from the burning building.

We're only as good as the help we give each other.

See you soon,
Tyler

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