Looking Towards Calmer Seas Ahead

For the first time in a long time, as far as soft­ware work is con­cerned at least, I’ve felt more and more like the May­tag Repair­man. After many weeks up to my ears in cus­tomer issues; these hec­tic times may be draw­ing to a close, with more peace­ful waters ahead.

I remem­ber when one of the Com­put­er Sci­ence pro­fes­sors at UAHuntsville once told me that soft­ware real­ly is a machine, though most peo­ple don’t think of it as such. There real­ly are mov­ing parts, and though they are micro­scop­ic; their design makes a huge dif­fer­ence when you start to use some­thing heav­i­ly in a busi­ness crit­i­cal envi­ron­ment. These are the lessons I have been learn­ing first-hand over the past cou­ple of years.

I start­ed out at the job I am work­ing now as a novice, who knew a lit­tle about every­thing; work­ing on a soft­ware project that, while gen­er­al­ly well designed, had some scalability/stability issues in cer­tain areas; as well as some user expe­ri­ence issues which need­ed addressing.

Now I’ve been through some major storms, in a man­ner of speak­ing, and I feel like I can real­ly do some­thing sig­nif­i­cant now. I’ve seen pesky issues arise as our cus­tomers grow; some­times spend­ing weeks track­ing them down and fix­ing them.

In the process of mov­ing through these issues, I’ve learned a great deal about tun­ing up MySQL and HQL (Hiber­nate Query Lan­guage); as well as tun­ing the appli­ca­tion itself. I’ve learned that the most impor­tant place to start opti­miz­ing is the appli­ca­tion itself; because oth­er­wise you are just wast­ing your avail­able resources.

I’ve got­ten into this rou­tine where I hunger for more wis­dom and hands-on expe­ri­ence. Often, when I get a free evening, I’ll go to the soft­ware sec­tion of the book­store, drink cof­fee and absorb as much infor­ma­tion as I can. I real­ly love keep­ing up with the lat­est inno­va­tions. When the oppor­tu­ni­ty aris­es, I like to employ what I learn in the projects I’m work­ing on.

I’m real­ly start­ing to learn how to, not only expand my knowl­edge and aware­ness of open source soft­ware and pro­gram­ming in gen­er­al; but also to build strong/stable foun­da­tions in the process, so I don’t have to go through the strain of hav­ing to sig­nif­i­cant­ly refine the code later-on.

The tech­nolo­gies behind web-based Java Enter­prise appli­ca­tion devel­op­ment are real­ly matur­ing quite nice­ly as of late. I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to absorb­ing as much of it as I can. It can be quite excit­ing to be close to the bleed­ing edge, where you can see the future poten­tials, often years before they take form for the rest of the world. In walk­ing that path, you have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to help cre­ate the kind of future you want to see.

Calm seas allow for more thought­ful actions. Instead of hav­ing to react to the huge swells crash­ing over the bow at reg­u­lar inter­vals; you are able to peace­ful­ly reflect on the course you want to take. I know of no more pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion than an ambi­tious, cre­ative, mind; paired with the time/resources nec­es­sary to cre­ate new innovations. 

I feel bet­ter than ever about the future. I’m start­ing to real­ly fig­ure out some impor­tant things in my own life and peo­ple are enter­ing my life, who are thought­ful, action ori­ent­ed and intel­li­gent. To me, there is no bet­ter kind of per­son than some­one who has a good head on their shoul­der and appre­ci­ates hard work and pro­duc­ing good results at what­ev­er they do. 

So many in our soci­ety are lazy and unmo­ti­vat­ed, always talk­ing about want­i­ng some­thing or feel­ing cheat­ed; but not doing what it takes to achieve their dreams. I was once just like that; but I now real­ize the fal­la­cy. If we want to get some­where in life, we have to pro­pel our­selves there on our own steam. Along the way, if we are look­ing in the right places, we’ll find oth­ers to help us along; but the respon­si­bil­i­ty is always on our­selves as indi­vid­u­als and no-one else.

I wel­come the calmer seas with open arms. May the peace that they pro­vide not be wast­ed. I will take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to improve what I already have, learn new skills and work on new projects using more cut­ting edge technology.

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