July 15, 2008

Hot Potato

Knowledge transer is a worthless process -- for me. Our senior software architect, Josh, is leaving in favor of full-time fatherhood and is tasked with briefing me on the inner workings of the network website. We meet and browse the scripts that keep the company running, but as he says to me, "You won't really understand them until you've got to work with them." His advice implies that something will be broken and need fixing before I've a good sense of my new role. It's a daunting truth. A webmaster assumes a great deal of responsibility for a company's image; not as consequential as a surgeon's responsibilities, sure, but a step up from the meager roles I've filled in my professional career.

Otherwise, for the first time in several weeks I do not feel rushed. With the sales department's portion of the CRM complete and the booking department's contact manager in use I am free to focus on the future rather than the present. As a cherry on top, my deadline for the event management portion of the CRM was pushed back 5 weeks to October 6th. My vacation begins tomorrow and I am happy to say that work will not be on my mind while I'm away from my desk.

It took me 2 hours today to write and debug a batch in SQL. The batch ran for 1 hour before I canceled it and rolled it back. Another hour was spent breaking down the batch and executing it as smaller, more manageable queries. The time it would have taken me to write a Perl script to accomplish the same task? 15 minutes. That's the last time I try and write a stored procedure that relies on cross-server joins.

Today's second valuable lesson -- after never write batches in Transact SQL -- was learned when the HVAC guys put a tarp over one of our server racks while working on the ceiling. The fans on the backs of the servers sucked up the tarp, which blocked air flow and caused the rack to overheat and shut down. Production servers failing midday is always a good time! Our system administrator, Robert, was less than pleased.

1 comment:

Jared said...

Enjoy the trip! Just remember to break in the hiking boots first!