Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Shit under the carpet

You just bought a nice home, very pretty. Now that you're moving in, you find that under every carpet, there's a big pile of doggy doo. And yet, in a way you're relieved -- you used to feel that you burdened others, and it's almost refreshing to be the victim now.

That's a kind of amusing way to think of work. Explained, I used to always feel inadequate, about, well, everything. In many ways, I still do. I could always smell doom on the horizon, murphy's law coming back to bite me on some schoolwork, some class arrangement meaning I need to stay yet another quarter.

Things are different now -- leaving the mess of class scheduling and schoolwork has killed those anxieties about myself. Except, now I'm dealing with the discarded worries of other. My last college job was, at least initially, to clean up and maintain crappy code. I'm starting to deal with programming here, and I'm in the same boat. At least this time they're using an okay language (C, instead of Modula-3), but they're using it all wrong. No abstraction. No comments on variables. That's one very easy lesson. If you can only comment one thing, it should be your data structures. Instead, I guess I'm picking up work that was created with the point-and-click mentality, who don't see a problem with copying and pasting a block of code some 20 times throughout their code. Oh, and their code tends to live in a single file per application, and rely on bizarre libraries installed off of the root directory. It has makefiles where most of the options don't work. Some time back, someone thought CVS was a good idea, and started using it for some of the projects. That's great, and I've been working on making their CVS smarter. However, this checkin happened after the code had already forked into at least 5 different versions, a main branch and several for customer needs. Argh. Stress.

I could react one of three ways to this. I haven't chosen yet.1) I could apply massive amounts of brainpower to fixing their broken code, cleaning it, and rewriting much of it. This would involve attempting to merge their divergent codebases back into one tree (#ifdef). This is a huge amount of work to be thinking about, however.2) I could attempt to just focus on whatever small changes they want made, and see if I can manage to change things without breaking anything. I don't know If I can manage this.3) I could see if I could manage not to get involved. I don't know how possible this is.

Oh well. Hmm. Quealy has been commenting on sentient on his journal. It's a mailing list for the local atheists group that I met Martha through, and the home of many a fun argument. He still expects people to be rational, or at least to agree with him, and bemoans their general lack of intelligence there. Still, it's a fair criticism, but there's a bit of overplayedness in how he marks himself and Leon as above the people there, at least in my eyes. Both of them have earned a demerit for one thing they said apiece at the one time they cam to the philosophy group. Oh well, although I was/am a bit disappointed in each of them for their seperate statements, I don't want to overplay it, lest I make them too angry :) And at least on Quealy's demerit, I may be a bit too pedantic about rigorous thought.

Yesterday, I missed my normal trip to outland, instead playing gamecube games w/ Amanda.Well, time to think about bed.

Tags: programming, work
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