Mike’s Dump

July 19, 2005

Hurts So Good

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 11:35 am

I started reading Joel on Software this morning. While I was reading the introduction I came to a part that said, “Managing software projects has nothing at all to do with programming”. I laughed (cried a little inside) and kept on reading. I was thinking a lot about that statement as I came home on the bus today.
On a really good day of coding I could reflect and say I kicked ass today. I worked 10 hours straight building this component or finished debugging a really difficult problem. After that my brain would be mush, but it was a good mush. It hurt so good.
To me it is kind of like jogging. When I wasn’t so lazy I was going to the gym a couple times a week and I would jog on the treadmill for 25 minutes. Each time I would push myself to go a little further. Near the end of the run I would try to crank up the speed and sprint the end. When it was done I would feel like I wanted to puke but that was ok if I could beat my best distance because I felt like I accomplished something.
To me the same applies to coding. After a good day of coding my brain feels like it has been through the Egyptian mummification process and it feel great because I’d have something to show for it. The beer at the end of the day would be the icing on the cake. Those were great days.
Today I also experience that same brain liquefication but without the natural high of coding something really cool to dull the pain. There were some good parts of the day that I was able to help a couple people out with their projects but then there were the others. The meeting request from hell that I bitched about last week showed up again (the good news is I don’t have to go (insert dance of joy here)) but there was no updated agenda 🙂
Then there is dealing with people that only have RAM. When these individuals go to sleep mode what was stored in RAM is lost. Everything that people have tried to cram into their RAM throughout the day has been wiped out and we are doomed to go through the same process at a later date. I’m personally starting to feel that trying to re-educate these individuals will only lead to my insanity (isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results?). I could try permanent marker… that could be fun. Important information that should be shared with the client could be written directly on the face. That way what is communicated to the client is the same thing communicated to the development team… I think I’m on to something here. I’ll pay for the markers myself I just have to talk a couple developers into holding them down while I write.
Some days it is harder to pick out what I accomplished but the more I think about the today the more I realize that it hurt so good, it was a good day.
Bottom line, Joel is right. Programming has nothing to do with software project management (not that I’d classify myself as a PM, just somewhere in the middle). The highs are different and the lows are different but at the end of each day the beer tastes just as sweet.
Now sing it!
Hurts So Good
John Cougar Mellencamp
(John Cougar Mellencamp/G.M. Green)

When I was a young boy,
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m gettin’ older, so much older
I love all those young boy days.
With a girl like you, (with some code like you)
With a girl like you, (with a compiler like you)
Lord knows there are things we can do, baby,
Just me and you.
Come on and make it
Hurt so good.
Come on baby, make it hurt so good.
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should. (Sometimes deployments don’t feel like they should)
Hurts so good


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