Where the hell am I?

OK, so you’ve got your shiny new Computer Science degree. You’re ready to change the world, one app at a time. You’re consumed by visions of beautiful, elegant, and efficient code (all properly commented of course). And then… and then you catch a glimpse of your first production code. Like your first glimpse of some magnificent animal – you can just picture it working, processing transactions, connections, users, mission critical stuff. You can almost hear the sound of the code (perhaps the server room isn’t the best place to do this?). Functions with names such as ‘NX_transKeyAcct_023’ and ‘REC_AcctChkVar’ entice you to explore what logic lies beneath.

That’s when it hits you. The gnarled and twisted loops. Level upon level of nested logic statements bordering on the insane. Function bodies so long they disappear into the depths of the code editor. Integers appear. 3, 7, 47. What magic is this?

Is that really in production? You check the login details. No. It’s not a dev server you’re poking around in. You look again. You grep. Maybe it’s just dead code that’s never used. Grep starts belching line after line of results. A little part of you dies.  Welcome to the world of IT. The unglamorous bit. The bit below the surface. The bit that will crush your soul then use it as an ashtray.

This is for all those in the belly of the beast. Those poor, poor people making IE6 compatible web apps. Those of us who have to deal with requirements scribbled on a sheet of A4. Those of us who have to deal with shared Excel spreadsheets being used as an alternative to BigTable.

It’s not all fun and games though… Stay tuned for updates on everything from QA, development methods, managerial hilarity and deployment catastrophes. You’re not alone! :)