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Brain fatigue

I have spent the better part of this week thinking really way too hard at work. From monday through tomorrow we’ve had visitors from around the continent at the CDL who in some way are involved in the Pachyderm project — a big damn ugly thing that is slowly becoming more beautiful. And shock of shocks, there was actual code written today. The project has been alive since last year around this time, and just TODAY we wrote some code. Okay, well there’s been a lot that has been going on with the project, from repurposing the old code base (this is a total rehaul of an older application) to extensive designs, and this week was also full of heavy design issues. But finally, I feel like we’ve broken the hymen and we are finally consummating in code. Today 5 engineers sat around a big table with laptops and hammered away at their keyboards, conversing through IM and in person, breathing in the sweet perfume of dry erase markers, and fending off the prying questions of higher-ups in the joy of finally creating object code. I know that most of the other guys are probably up right now in their hotel rooms continuing the feverish typing and coding. Me? I fucked around on the web all night long, listened to some MP3’s and I am blogging. I enjoy programming, but I just don’t have the stamina to do it all day long and all night long. I would go insane. I’ve done it before for Excite, and it drove me insane. And yet — when the passion grips you, all you want to do is make it all work. Our deadline is October for a beta release, and I know we’ll be hard pressed to make that without putting in some late nights, starting yesterday. It was good to start with the group like this, because we’ll all have something to carry home with us, the experience of actually working on a project together. This reminds me a great deal of when I was flying out to Colorado repeatedly for Excite, and yet I’m feeling more success on this one.
I have to say — it is utterly astounding to me just how much software costs to create. I mean, really — it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. Literally, if not more. How does anyone justify it? And when it’s done, is it worth the price you paid? I wouldn’t buy it.
But, it is my job and I am glad that someone cares enough to pay my salary. It’s all a big mind game, and I’m one of the players in the band. But, it’s not what I plan on doing forever. I’m already conceiving my exit strategy. I want the computer to become fun again — not just my job. I want to play here, not work here. Or at least, work less here, and share my time with other more creative activities. Something that doesn’t involve a CRT or a plasma screen. Let’s try paper.
But, I can’t comlain too much. I am paid well, and I have a pretty cool job all things considered. I get paid to sit around with other geeky guys and talk about concepts and think into a box and type letters and make things go. I don’t have to take out the trash, or pick berries or file reports, sell widgets I don’t give a shit about, or deal with assholes (most of the time). I have it pretty sweet. And yet — I am not satisfied. Go figure. I’ll get there, and I do thank the universe for giving me a job that suits my lazy-ass deadline-motivated problem-solving nature.

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