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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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Anthony Lawrence
Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs: Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to do, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do. (Donald Knuth)