Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Software Development : Choleric Infant

This semester I am taking another software engineering course. After talking with friends who program for a living and discussion with others I found the above relationship. From first glance you may not quiet agree. So in true grad student style I will spend several paragraphs conviencing you that it is true.

Software development of any kind absorbs significant time and most geeks are (to put it mildly) obsessive people. I am not saying this is a bad thing. Quiet the oposite. It is a very good thing. There is an Earthlink commerical where the one person explains that a geek gets it done and a nerd doesn't. So if geeks weren't the great people that they are, then I totally wouldn't be writing this blog and life as we know it won't exist. Think about how much stuff is run by computers (both hardware and software). However, I have completely fallen off of my topic. So lets get back on it.

Everyone has or has known someone with an infant. Infants absorb the parents life. A choleric infant (for those of you who don't know) is a very fussy infant. Usually, parents walk them around or bundle them up and go for long car rides. It is the constant motion that helps to calm down the child. A choleric infant complete absorbs the parents life. It is even more hands on then an infant and general the joke is that you can't (or won't) put the child down.

Every know anyone working on a huge software project? They become obsessed with the project. Life keeps moving on and they probably don't even realize it. Software projects are massive undertakings. Geeks involved just can't seem to put the project down. (Or even if they do their brain is still working on it). The issues are unknown, always changing, and quiet frankly unpredictable.

This summer I was doing a research project. For days (almost a week) I studied the code line by line trying to find the problem. It turned out to be not a coding mistake. I had made a huge error in logic. I had all the right lines of code, but I had extra I didn't need. Ask any programmer and each have dozens of similar stories.

Choleric infants are equally as unpredictable. No one knows for sure what casues choleric infants. Some are worse than others. The long and short of it is, software projects absorb ones life. Choleric infants absorbs life. Both unpredicatable. However, in the end both result in great pride, excitement, and a sense of accomplishment. Thanksfully, software projects tend to "grow up" a little faster :-)


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