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keeping up

Today I got to code to solve a problem. The Army’s bit of code which moved flight records from the maintenance database into the pilot records database broke, and I got to write a replacement. It’s trivial code, really: take a fairly complex SQL join generated by MSSQL, and write its results to an XML file using a particular schema. Still, I got really, stupidly excited about this.

I also learned some things:

  1. I am very, very out of practice. More than four hours into the exercise, I was still debugging. The bugs were things like MSSQL Optional Feature Not Implemented, not actual logic errors, but still. That’s too long given the complexity of the task.
  2. I have a lot of fun coding. In a basically unprecedented move, I was delaying leaving work until the guy whose office I was borrowing made me leave so he could lock up. Especially given that I’d had an 11 hour day at that point, this is a significant development.
  3. For all that I rag on MS products, the MSSQL query designer really does take a lot of work out of the process of writing complex queries.

Actually, 90 minutes into the exercise, a civilian contractor came by and worked magic and solved the problem for which I was writing code in the first place. I kept working, using the excuse that my version will be more featureful than the Army’s, and that by having the source to it the Army will benefit. The real reason is much simpler: I’m having way too much fun to just give this project up. I am perpetually at the 50% mark and working rapidly towards completion; I’m not going to let this just escape me.

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