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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Haven’t had anything but reviews to share lately, and not insightful ones at that.

I’m heading to Washington, D.C. to meet some friends and explore a bit this weekend. It’s my first trip, so if there’s anything I should definitely see/eat/drink, let me know. I can’t promise I’ll get to it, but I’d like to experience as much as I can. I think I’ve decided Tryst is the coffee shop to try, but maybe there’s a better option.

Two weeks later, I’m heading to California for two weeks, one week for a conference, and the second week for a work trip. That should be good.

Work has been killing me, but not for any external reasons. I’ve had a project on my queue since I took over this group. I keep making progress on this project, but it is like running on a treadmill — I’m putting a lot of effort into going nowhere. I have tried simplistic approaches, and I have tried complicated approaches, and most compromises and combinations in-between. More often than not, I get a solution that works for 95% of cases. I push things a bit to try to get to 96%, and it causes spectacular failure in one of the layers I’ve built to get to this point. And it’s not a situation where I can offer three approaches that mostly work, and let the user decide — all fail in miserable and inconsistent fashions.

One of my favorite descriptions of what it’s like to write software all day is that it’s like taking an test, all day long. I don’t know where I first read it, but it strikes me as perceptive. My problem has been that every time I check over my work before I hand the test in, I find the entire sequence of operations to be corrupt from about 20% on, and I never get anything that I can rescue past that 20%.

I guess I’m also struggling a lot with “if I can’t solve this stupid problem, why should I be trusted as a technical manager?” I know there is supposed to be a ramp-up time during which a manager isn’t that effective, but I feel like I am now headed down a black hole of project suck.