I've been a programmer for a long time.  I had a long career working as a Lotus Notes developer (over a decade!) during which I got really damn good at it.  I made Notes do things it's just not supposed to do.  During that time, when I'd run into some new bug or programming challenge, I'd often quip to my boss/client/aardvark/whatever, "No software problem denies me for too long."

Many years ago I first got exposed to working in Java, and got excited by it, but didn't really get the chance to dig in and do stuff with it.  Then about four years ago, I made the transition to really work in it, as well as serious web development using Groovy/Grails, javascript, jQuery, and a host of other technologies.

I was excited, but often hesitant, unsure of how to do some things.  There's a really big difference between working in a walled garden like Notes, and something as wide open as enterprise web development.  It's a vast ocean of technology and technique.  

But lately I'm feeling that same sense of being undeniable again.  I had this challenging user interface task at my day job recently, to create a UI that showed in the front, progress of a job running in a task on the server, in the back.  I knew what I was after, but not exactly how to get there.

I dug in.

First I recalled some javascript commands I knew loosely (specifically setInterval and clearInterval) and looked them up online, to know them better.  Then I tinkered, creating AJAX calls, checking the js console, hitting some stumbling blocks, and working my way past them.  I consulted with Spacey, bouncing ideas off him, asking his expertise too.  Part of being a good developer is leveraging your resources, and that includes seeking advice.

Late yesterday, I got it.  I've still got some testing to do today, with a bigger set of data, but it's looking good.  At a certain point I sat at my desk, running my test code over and over, and feeling really damn good about myself.

For the first time in a while, I said it out loud, again.

"No software problem denies me for too long."

I knew it was true.

AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude