I know, ’tis the eve of Christmas Eve, but I’m going to go full on geek with this blog entry. So bear with me.
You see, I’ve been a little bit stressed about getting a project completed at work. I haven’t been losing sleep from the stress or anything like that, over the years I have learned how to deal with stress when the situation calls for it, but I had this need to accomplish something before Christmas and when I started the workday this morning I really didn’t think that I was going to be able do it.
A couple of weeks ago I was showing off a very rough draft of the latest functionality I am building into the application they use at work. The new functionality will be a task management system that will be used by several key individuals and their teams in our organization, so I’ve been feeling a little pressure from myself to make sure this new part of the application does what it needs to do. During the presentation, one of the future users asked if I could add a “drill down” capability to one of the data lists of projects currently being worked down. It’s a really good idea; the user clicks on a button and the tasks associated to the project are available for the user, easily accessible and simple to modify. I love efficient user interfaces, and that’s something that I strive to achieve, probably to a fault, so when they asked for this I answered with my standard reply: “of course I can.”
And I knew that I could build this. I fully believe that a computer can do anything we want it to do and if it doesn’t it’s because the programmer is lazy. Those that say “It can’t be done” or “the system can’t do that” are just lazy as far as I’m concerned. It might take some extra time or there might be a learning curve, but something as simple as building a drill-down “info box” in the middle of a table should be a no-brainer.
I’ve never built anything like this before. But after many hours of Googling variations on a theme, lots of experimentation and some yelling at my work MacBook Pro, right before the end of the day today the functionality was there and working brilliantly. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not going to change the world with my coding skills but at the moment I felt really good. I accomplished something that I didn’t really know how to do that long ago. And I figured it out all on my own.
I had to call Earl down to my basement office at the house to show off what I had just built. He was impressed because he could tell I was excited about it.
And this is how I know that I am a full-blooded, full-on geek: I spent 15 minutes clicking on a “+” sign just to watch the new animation of a drill-down info box showing itself in the middle of a table full of data. It even passed the cursed “Internet Explorer” test. Right before the end of my day, I pushed the update to production.
And then I did a little happy dance. Happy Christmas to me.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled holiday.