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What am I doing here?

I was waiting in the small lobby for someone to come down to fetch me. I had arrived early as I usually do, so I wasn't upset about waiting. I wouldn't have been upset anyway - I get paid by the hour whether I'm looking at pictures in the lobby or pecking away at a keyboard. I'm happy enough to wait and have enough random junk running around my brain to keep myself amused for hours after the pictures and magazines become old.

I wondered why I was there. I don't mean in an existential sense, and I don't mean that I hadn't been given some clue as to why I had been summoned, but that had been a little vague.. some specifics, but mostly nebulous. I really didn't know what to expect.

Of course I didn't know what I'd be doing, either. In a big flow chart sort of way, sure: customers presents problem. If I have an immediate solution, I present or deploy that. If not, I'll study the problem and then either fix it or suggest a work around. At the ten thousand foot level, that's what I do. Lather, rinse, repeat. Examine, dissect, fix.

The funny thing about it is that in many ways it doesn't really matter what the problem is. Server out of space, make this talk to that, this used to talk to that but it stopped, this is slow, that's broken.. shrug.. different day, different stuff.

A few minutes later my contact came down and led me into the building to look at his problems. Five hours later I left, having fixed one problem, suggested a better way to do another, and finding the last temporarily intractable and needing more information.

Just another day. Why am I here?



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In fact, my main conclusion after spending ten years of my life working on the TEX project is that software is hard. It’s harder than anything else I’ve ever had to do. (Donald Knuth)

One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs. (Robert Firth)







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