Saturday, 15 March 2008

please sir, can i write some code?

It's really been one of those weeks.

I am a developer by heart. Let's get that straight. I'm not a world class software engineer, I'm too lazy, and my attention span too short, but ultimately I like to get my hands dirty with code and pretend I'm smart. Sometimes people even politely suspend their disbelief.

So what it is it I do? Let's look at a few of the activities for the past week.

I've been at home (which accounts for a mere 50% of my life), and that does colour the week that I've had. I got to spend more time with my daughter, which is what it's all about really, isn't it.

I did some technical due diligence and analysis for a bunch of stuff around partners, competitors etc. This is quite interesting. I get to reverse engineer technical architectures and stuff. Sometimes I get to see the guts closely, sometimes I just search for blogs from the target companies employees. Often a lot of clues to be found there.
Some vague, back-of-a-napkin design work required sometimes with this too. I like that very much.

I tried to get my opinion across with respect to how we identify and "upskill" some of the developer types in the company. Finding myself largely ignored. Getting increasingly frustrated, and showing it, emails becoming much more terse by today. Not fun. Not part of the day job, officially, but I do it because someone has to try, and I got suckered into it. I have some collaborators, who I think are equally frustrated. Rinse and Repeat. Some stains don't want to come out.

Some unwanted "out of the blue" work, trying to justify a renewal for a bunch of developer tools from a very large vendor. There is a fair amount of money involved if the numbers are right. There is a fair amount of money involved if the numbers are wrong. This is hard work, and frustrating too. It's not fun either, nor is it part of what I'm paid - or bonused -to do.

Writing, and reviewing the written word. Some PR, some academic papers, some wiki material. Lots of email of course. This part of life I quite like. Mostly this is the day job. Plus, words are fun. Words are powerful. When I write, people don't realise I am a scruffy zippy with (ahem) fairly eclectic taste in music. (Or a blog named after a saying attributed to the founder of the Hashashin).
What was it they say about the pen and the sword? Most of you probably haven't read the whole quote, so here it is

True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!

Writing rocks. It shocks me how often otherwise smart people fail with basic spelling and grammar, but I've learnt to see past that in them.

Anyway, I've had one of those weeks, where I've jumped from pillar to post, never had the chance to concentrate on anything deeply for long

I did manage to write some code this week - well, I've written it, just need to tidy it a bit, and deploy it. Hopefully you see the results on here next week. The code needs to be cleaned and refactored and commented for that. As you can imagine, it involves the phone. You'll see. It's not that clever, but the code base is not that big either.

I also worked out the code I need to write for an upcoming presentation I'm doing at TechEd Israel (site in Hebrew). It's gonna be fun.

I'd like to code more often. Please sir, can I write some code?


DE said...


Tim Stevens said...

screw you DE. You're just a monkey these days anyway, not allowed to code either.

DE said...

Monkey and proud of it.

I certainly do less coding, but I do get to do some between the flak.

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens
Be Silent