It's the sort of thing that should make me feel happy I have a job, but spending four hours this afternoon trying to track down stupid bugs in our code kind of took that edge off. The trouble ticket was on a basic function of the box that, if our testing department actually worked from even a half-assed excuse for a plan, they'd have caught a long time ago. And for some reason the network was incredibly slow today. Not the internet, the LAN. I'm talking "10 minutes for a 256K file transfer between two PCs on the same hub" slow. This turned the most basic testing I was trying to do into exercises in hair-pulling frustration.
But that's not all. The directory I was working in had files with names like "fs.php3" and "fs1.php3", and "file_share_shared_tab.php3" and "file_shared_tab1.php3." It seems "fs1.php3" is a rewritten version of "fs.php3," and isn't being used anymore, but was left in CVS anyway. After deciphering this and cleaning it up, I realized that "file_share_shared_tab1.php3" was not a replacement for "file_share_shared_tab.php3"--it was an almost identical file being used for a different case.
In addition to this, one of our management types was talking with a big potential customer testing our remote monitoring "product." (I put it in quotes because despite the fact that we've installed it at their site and are trying to sell it to them, it has never been put in beta, much less production.) The customer wanted to know how to do something--I'm not sure what--that our GUI wouldn't let them do, so Management Type told them the monitoring system's root password so the customer could proceed to render the system inoperable.
"That's okay," Management Type says. "We can sell them a training class in how to use the back end."
A co-worker who has this job as his first serious one out of college asked me if all places were like this. "Was Intermedia this confused and screwed up?" he asked. I thought for a moment, and then said, "Not really, no."
I bought the scanner I'd written about waffling over. It's a good scanner but I can't say I'm not having second thoughts about the purchase for financial reasons. Between scanner, laptop and the trip to Further Confusion, I've run up about $3200 in debt in two months. That's more money than I have in savings, and for a guy who's afraid that his company might be going away in four months the wisdom is... questionable.
Part of me thinks this makes getting another job--while I still have this one, so it can be a direct transition with no loss of income--more imperative. But I don't want to have an "anywhere but here" attitude.
Of course, the question is whether it's even possible for me to find a job that I'd like and that has a comparable salary to what I'm making now. The opportunities for un-degreed quasi-programmers have become few and far between, and you can generally forget about relocation--increasingly employers aren't even interested in talking to people outside their local area, because they don't feel they need to.
Well, it's been a long day, capping a mostly inspiration-free week. Off to curl up with a book and some coffee before bed, maybe.