Sunday, July 1, 2007


So I'm not in Los Angeles or New Mexico right now; I'm in the Bay Area.

The Bay Area's a great place to live. I've lived here before - about six or seven years total, mostly in my twenties, when my life was all about music (and a mistaken idea that building Web sites would change the world).

But I'm not partying now. I'm working for a big big company, maintaining code somebody else wrote.

Maintaining somebody else's code base often involves cleaning it up.

Of course there's always the adorable little bugs to fix.

And then there's always the bug that turns out to be a little fiercer than you'd expected.

In my case the underestimated bug wasn't really a bug at all; it was an architectural issue with the application's deployment. An RMagick-intensive application storing all its image data on the server's hard drive hit the limit of its storage capacity and fried the entire filesystem. We had to send the hard drive to a retrieval facility to recover the data. Worse yet, I'm the sole programmer on the project, and the issue never happened before, so, to a lot of people, the whole thing looked like my fault.

Of course it really isn't about fault. The original developer knew the architectural issues were there; he just didn't anticipate how big the site would get, or how fast. It was a victim of its own success.

And there's a flipside to this, and it's pretty cool.

In fact it's awesome. Like a high level of awesome. Japanese lowrider awesome.

Whether I avoid scapegoating or not, it's definite that people in this Big Big Company have realized they have a very compelling interest in bringing their Rails infrastructure in house. Big Big Company really is a big big company - so big that if I told you who it was, I'd be overstepping my rank in the corporate militia (as it were). If/when BigBigCo brings its Rails infrastructure in house, the fact that BigBigCo has in-house Rails infrastructure will itself become newsworthy for the Rails community. (Not Capistrano 2 newsworthy, but more newsworthy than some things you hear about.)

So, I've been working crazy hard and it's not over yet. I know some of my readers seriously dig this blog, and I'm hella flattered by that, but the blog's still going to be slow for a bit. Stay tuned, though. Maybe, just maybe, things will get very cool. Like Daim on a truck cool.

(PS: Although my blog's slowed down, my tumblelog's speeding up.)


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