Errors24 Jan 2017
As software developers, we spend most our time working out various glitches in our code. The job requires a lot of problem solving. Even before we write any code, the first challenge is to think about how error-prone our first attempt will be. If you are any kind of a developer, this will prompt you to start looking for an alternative approach. Shortly you will again start to contemplate how error-prone that new approach may also be.
Next you think, "there must be a better way to write this program". Which you will soon find out after spending some keyboard strokes searching through Google. You find someone has written a Gist on how to install Nginx on an Ubuntu instance. Happy day. Until you look at it closely at the elegance and the complexity and wonder "This code is quite good, so elegant in fact, if an error would occur, will I be able to deal with it?". Moments later, you finally find the courage to dive in.
That is the basic cycle we go through in our jobs as developers. We can always find that someone has already written what we need to implement. We go on GitHub and think how we will eventually have to sample someone else's code and use it in our projects. After all, that's in the whole spirit of having an 'Open Source' community.
When the Germans first launched the V-2 rockets during the Second World War, it was technology miles ahead of the competition. The Americans and the Soviets knew they had to borrow some of that technology, if not all of it.
So we spend most of our time checking for errors that we even forget to check the ones we have in real life. We swarm our computer monitors, locked in our rooms, convinced what we are coding will justify the end. Most times it is true. But the more time I spent closed within my safe bubble, the more life reared its ugly head. As a result, my relationship with my then girlfriend began to slowly deteriorate as we began to drift in communication. I was so busy writing lines of code and performing error checks that I even forgot to check on my own flaws. We can choose to hide behind our computers. But eventually life will pass us by.
"If you wait long enough, everything will change" - Carl Sagan