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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Or Leave the Tricky Bits to Me


One of the things that I really enjoy about my job is when I get to play with something particularly challenging, and as a result come away from the experience with a better understanding of how things work, or a better process model.

Often times, code gets away from us as developers (same is true with standards).  If you've ever had one of those situations where, as an engineer, you found yourself in the position of having developed a piece of software from the middle-out, you know what I mean.

Middle out solutions are where you have a particular problem, and basic principles are simply too basic to provide much help ... and details are sometimes rather nebulous.  I just need to fix this one problem with ... fill in the blank.  And so you find a way to fix that one problem.  Except that later you find an odd ball exception that doesn't quite fit.  And then there's another issue in the same space.

After a while you find you have this odd mess of code that just doesn't quite work because you came at things the wrong way.  And then some thread comes unwoven and it stops working altogether .. at least for that thing you cared about right now.  That thing somehow was important enough (unlike the rest of the work) to make you take a step back and try a different approach.

Somewhere along the line you took the lenses and flipped them around so that now you can see the forest instead of the trees, or vice versa.  And now that strange jumble of code begins to make sense all over again, fitted together in a different way, to your new model of understanding.

That's what I like about my job.  When that happens.


   Keith






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