23 May 2006

Banging my head

    Why do I keep banging my head against the wall?
    Because it feels so good when I stop.

Yesterday I spent the entire day trying to resolve a configuration issue on a new server. The site I've been working on runs beautifully in my office on the computer I develop on. When I tried to deploy to the production system, it would not work, not work.

Would... not... freakin'... work.

I hate problems like this. You know there is some little configuration change you need to make, you just don't know what it is. Some checkbox somewhere will magically resolve the problem turing a cryptic error into a happily running website. You just need to find the damn thing.

My day goes like this: I spend hours googling error codes and re-reading documentation (yes, I actually RTFM). In general, get nowhere. Every so often, I come across a potential solution. For a few minutes, I think I've got it, I feel like this is definitely it. I click refresh on my browser and mutter obscenities when the error fails to go away. I repeat this process. Over and over.

Of course, one of the potential solutions finally resolved the error. With no warning, clicking refresh suddenly yielded the desired (if not expected) result: a happily running web site. I took no joy in the success, though. I don't feel like I've solved a challenging problem or designed an elegant solution. I just feel like I've been banging my head against a wall.

And it didn't even feel that good when I stopped.

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