punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

Just Doing My Job...

I have an actual job title. No, really! While in the past I have had job titles like, "customer care consultant," and "call center support technician," I am currently a "programmer/analyst." I have been for years now at this company. Of course, as my friend Dawn used to say, I'd be a liar in freckles if I told you that's really what I did all day. See, I am proud of my title because I love programming. But I am dismayed that less than 20% of my work is actual programming. My job title reflects that I should be doing, a majority of the time at least, programming and analyzing data. But in reality, I am an "emergency repair technician" or "assistant to chasing down people" or "meeting warming unit." A majority of what I actually do is to arrange stuff so I can actually do programming to begin with. But then I get assigned projects that go nowhere, or people change their minds, priorities, or whatever. I think half my problems are people who say they will get back to me, and then lose interest without informing me of the change in priority. A lot of "HURRY! Hurry, hurry, hurry... wait wait wait wait... wait some more..." Half my projects are left unfinished because they wait for someone who will never get back to me. A lot of times I find out something been canceled, and the reports I have been creating for the last year haven't been read since six months ago.

For the last week, I have been on hold with someone who put a number one, balls-to-the-wall priority on this project. I get the fear of God put in me to do this ... and then, you guessed it, I was in a holding pattern for a week until I realized that he's never going to get back to me. So I blew him off today, and got a TON of programming done. It was cathartic. Dan Millman, in his book, "Way Of The Peaceful Warrior," said he realized that he liked gymnastics so much because it shut off his mind: he could focus. Just before he did a jump or something, his mind was clear, empty ... in the zone. Programming is like that for me. Writing is, too, but at least with programming you have a defined end-product: a clear goal. Like right now, I have NO idea how this blog will end. But today I knew I had to overturn a whole log backup process, update some config files from static to dynamic, and fix three small bugs. I did them all. And I wanted to keep going, but I can't until the process has run through every possible scenario, which will take days.

So I programmed a SETI count for my web page. It's in the sticky entry on the top. It's written with a combination of Perl and a shell script. It's still kind of shaky, and I am writing the bugs out, but is you have some browser version 4.0 or higher, you should see it in a yellow box. I won't tell you how I did it because it's such a kludge, I would be mocked by a real Perl programmer.

Well, it seems Microsoft has yet another security hole... gotta go update my machines...

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000207.html
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