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Search - "improvisation"
I'm having an existential crisis with this client.
We are spending millions of $s every year to make sure the product's performance is perfect. We are testing various scenarios, fine-tuning PLABs: the environment, application, middleware, infra,... And then we provide our recommendations to the client: "To handle load of XX parallel users focusing on YY, yy and Zy APIs, use <THIS> configuration".
And what the client does?
- take our recommendations and measure the wind speed outside
- if speed is <20m/s and milk hasn't gone bad yet, add 2x more instances of API X
- otherwise add 3xX, 1xY and give more CPUs to Z
- split the setup in half and deploy in 2 completely separate load-balanced prod environments.
- <do other "tweaking">
- bomb our team with questions "why do we have slow RTs?", "why did the env crash?", "why do we have all those errors?", "why has this been overlooked in PLABs?!?"
If you're improvising despite our recommendations, wtf are we doing here???
One day I will crack. Hopefully, not sometime soon.3
Never had full time mentors, just some great examples from great people:
Some years ago, I was new on the job. They sent me to see a colleague for the "transfer of knowledge" as he was leaving and I had to take over his projects.
He greeted me with a big smile and said:
"Oh, look, I just spilled very accidentally a cup of coffee on my pc so I've lost all information. Only thing I remember is that you have a call with this project today at 14 o'clock. I'll be gone by then but don't worry, just say we are late with delivery and it will be fine. I hope you all the best with your new job!"
I'll always remember him. I learned the value of improvisation, the utility of a cup of coffee and how to take things easy.
I always dream of doing what I learned from him sooner or later.5
I like to say programming is the art of "creative logic". Much like architecture has an aesthetic to consider or cooking has well-defined procedures with greatly varying inputs and outputs, there has to be room for creativity, be it at the planning stage or during wild improvisation sessions.
Without that creative aspect, software development sounds dreary to me.
Where science meets art is where the magic happens.
If only the artists shared this view and actually took an interest in the technical side...1
Software development has acquired some interesting jargon over the years, but I keep wondering if other languages and cultures have commonplace expressions for what can be translated as "improvisation-oriented programming" or "hammering code" (i. e. hacking something in a brutish way)