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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SDCC 2009 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ComicCon – A Tragic Comedy - Part 2 of 8

Part II – Problems in Fertile Crescent
Recap – sick cat, long car trip, and computer problems
Next day I logged on and started reviewing emails and looking over what I thought the issue was.  My findings didn’t match the team’s.  I wrote an email to Egypt to have them re-review my suggestions.  I told them I wanted to know the results from some of the debugging tools we use.
My day was fire-fighting and managing expectations.  I got an email from the team lead that the debugging tools didn’t show the issue. Again, I was incredulous.  Being busy I didn’t want to rework everything; nor did I have the time.
By Thursday morning Management was involved. The heart burn had started.  Based on what Egypt told me this issue was off the map. It was unexplored territory in the system. To make matters worse, it was it the land of ‘beyond my abilities’. It was going to take skills I didn’t have.
I’d like to say I’m one of those guys you see on TV that can type 100 words a minute and never has a typo while coding. I’d like to say I understand problems as they occur and can fix them in a jiffy. It would be so cool to be able to recode my systems as the villain tries to hack it.
That ain’t me.
I’m the guy that needs to stare long and hard at the code. I need to read through it a bunch of times. I need to use a debugger to see how the data is being changed. Then I need to think some more. Then I’ll try a solution. Then I’ll try another. And another...until something works.
When I got this new and improved problem, I panicked. The cold sweat of fear broke out and I knew the solution would takes days or longer to develop. A faint fear filtered into the back of my mind: I might have to cancel ComicCon.
Some people have a fear of spiders...or rats…or germs...or zombies. Maybe zombie rats with spiders riding on their backs and lots of germs dripping from their teeth…?   My fear is missing a vacation I had already planned out.  My heart started to race as I thought I might have to cancel my plans.  I could not in good conscience leave for a vacation while the Customer was feeling pain.
Thursday, I informed Management that the solution would be days away. The problem was beyond my ken and I needed some help. Amazingly they got me help that same day. I quickly arranged a meeting with Egypt and the Specialist that Management assigned to me.
One of the first questions from the Specialist was to see the results from the debugger. A great question. Something I should have already arranged and sent to him for review; I was busy chasing rabbits for other solutions.
Then I heard something that thoroughly pissed me off.  I will admit to a state of constant irritation while working with Egypt.  There were cultural differences that frustrated me.  There were personality differences that frustrated. While always annoyed, I wasn’t pissed off. This pissed me off.
Egypt never ran the debugger. They admitted they didn’t know how to use it. Instead of saying that they decided they just told me that the results didn’t show anything. They lied. Not only did they lie, they lied to me.
A few more expletives were muttered. 
The Specialist said he was busy and would re-engage when we had those results. I curtly thanked him for his time. He had every right to say that we were wasting his time. Just like Egypt had wasted my time.
I told the Egypt team how frustrated and angry I was. I told them that they will run that debugger and give me results in the morning. I told them they could expect to work on this until it was fixed. That meant, all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

To be continued...


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