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.