I always thought that to prove yourself good, you have to be out of your depths. One step to get that is to be out of your familiar surroundings. Preferably in a situation where everything’s not close to hand.
In Philadelphia, the problem was threefold : getting up to speed with a project I was part of 10 years ago, finding out how and where my help would be relevant, and prototyping what could be prototyped.
All of that had to be done without shutting down the place, rebooting the servers as seldom as possible, or disrupting their workflow.
I can’t really say that I didn’t disrupt their work, but in the end, when you have little to work with, you end up having to do better things. That’s something most of the people I encounter in the business don’t get at first : I know we have 2 Ghz machines and whatnots, but you should always target lower than your dev computer. The users will always find a way to overload their systems with resource-consuming things, anyway…
That’s really my kicks, that’s what I like to do : debug and optimization. And it’s also where the money isn’t these days. And boy am I glad that there are still a few customers who actually give a damn about it!
Anyway, since the thing went well (rather well, let’s say), I had the opportunity to spend part of the week end in the City That Never Sleeps, the Big Apple, New York City. Well, I guess this town had a bad influence on me : I didn’t sleep :D
And now I’m back, and out of my depths on another project. While this is not NYC, there are still quite a number of interesting things to do!