10.1.09

parable of the bad programmer.


Crayon Physics Deluxe from Petri Purho on Vimeo.

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Have you ever worked on a technical project that literally (well, literally enough) haunted your dreams? Where the client you were working for, though you got along with them well personally, had a completely different set of eyes than yours (literally, and figuratively), and it seemed that you could make no correct decision on your own?

A project from which you were so desperate to escape and get on with your life that, behind the scenes, you hacked together a borderline ridiculous and at least thoroughly inelegant solution to a sticky and terribly time-consuming problem, because: heck, you were never going to have to deal with that code ever again....this website would last them forever (hopefully literally).

And then, through some hideous alignment of circumstances, you find yourself not only working for the same person again, but having to reverse-engineer your own gross and undocumented code so you can figure out how to overextend it into an even more fragile state?

Oh...no? Huh. Uh, no...me neither.

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Maybe a few moments with Crayon Physics Deluxe will calm both of us right down. Here are some examples of how (not) to play.

UPDATE: OK, it is possible to become too calm as a result of Crayon Physics Deluxe. For instance, I wouldn't recommend playing it before going to the gym, because all of your testosterone evaporates into a big hostile cloud that takes off down the hall to look for beer and women.

Now in order to re-engage with my primal wrath I'm having to read about the revisionist history at work in drafting Bush's legacy. Before long I'll be like a pill-popping cliche, seesawing wildly back and forth between mania and depression, desperate for equilibrium: Crayon Physics! Bush legacy! Crayon Physics! Bush legacy! etc. etc. etc.

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Tonight? Sushi! Maybe. Today? Miso soup with tofu and leeks, because I forgot to eat before working out, and believe it or not, miso soup was the easiest/fastest vegetarian thing in the house to make. We didn't have any bread. It was good Emergency Food.


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2 comments:

Zora said...

Heh. This dilemma goes beyond programming. I think of that situation every time I work on a guidebook for a publisher that doesn't pay me royalties or promise me a future job. It's always tempting to do a half-assed update, but inevitably that would end up being the one book I work on again in the next edition. Arg.

Crayon Physics Deluxe looks like the proto World of Goo (Wii game), which is also oddly soothing.

MEM said...

Well you are a better professional than I, b/c...

Wait, maybe that's my problem: I don't even do this professionally anymore...I burned out on it years ago, and have begged people please please not to hire me anymore. b/c there's no amount of money it's worth to me.

And yet, it seems there's a shortage of web people out there. Which sounds unlikely in the extreme. Ah, well. this one's a special special exception/favor. Never again, until the next time.