The Woes of Work

This week it seems that I have developed programmer’s block. I don’t know if there is such a thing, but I have felt totally unable to do anything involving code. I can’t write SQL, I can’t write Ruby, and I can’t even think through concepts that my co-workers are proposing.

It probably doesn’t help that my co-worker wanted to share the same development database instance “since there are only two of us, what could possibly happen?”, and he has been migrating my ass to death. Also, with constant foundation changes, my code literally breaks every night. It also probably doesn’t help that no one likes my solutions before I even have time to flesh them out into a prototype. And the final nail in the coffin is the constant interruptions in my day from supporting everything else that we do.

When I code, I have a tendency to go with the simplest possible solution to a problem. Generally, this means less code, less bugs, and the least surprise to the end user. This also generally requires less effort. This week I have felt like someone running beside a train in which my co-workers are comfortably sitting, discussing some pretty “out-there” solutions, and I am gasping for air, and reaching up trying to grab onto anything to pull myself onboard.

I would love to develop this project in an agile way. This isn’t just some methodology written on paper – it is a mindset that you have to embrace. In part- if you build your foundation in an sensible and orthogonal way (from The Pragmatic Programmer),  then the problems of tomorrow don’t account for your design today. However, my co-developers want to build the beginning code with this grand vision of the end baked into the first lines of code. I am not ready to field questions about how ‘x’ is going to fit into ‘y’ in some scenario yet. I haven’t even written ‘x’ and ‘y’.

Our boss finally said on Thursday that he is going to remove the deadline on our project, so that we can take our time. Initially I was pretty upset, because when projects get put on the back burner, we rarely move them back to the front again. However, in my current state maybe it is for the best.

Maybe I just need a vacation…


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