Friday, January 18, 2008

One of those days

My main task for today was to pick up some zipped files from a server on the client site and bring it back to the office to load onto our development server. Simple enough task.

Except that the network connection was a bit brittle. WinSCP kept failing at 99% complete. The same files were available on the QA server. Alas that box was down: Support hadn't noticed until I mentioned it. So it was back to the first server. I found that if I copied a single zip at a time I could at least keep track of the failures and re-copy when necessary.

Eventually I had all the files I needed. It was then a matter of burning them to CD. Inevitably the desktop I was using didn't have a CD burner but fortunately there was another a PC in the office which had a burner and could see my networked TrueCrypt folder (it was potentially sensitive stuff).

Back at my office I discovered that my access to the shared development network was locked. This happens from time to time because, well, just because. It mattered today because our two sysadmins had already left for the weekend (to Wales and France respectively) so there was no chance of me getting my account unlocked before Monday. So one of my co-workers had to transfer the files to the network. I couldn't actually do anything with the data but at least I would be able to erase the CDs.

While the transfer was happening I went to get a coffee. The coffee machine was out of coffee. Grrrr.

I recount these woes not because they are necessarily typical of my working day (some days I really get lots done) but simply to illustrate a larger point. There's a recent article on the Artima site discussing the impact of languages and frameworks on programmer productivity. The sad fact is only a relatively small part of a developer's day is actually spent coding. There are meeting to attend, cranky networks to wrestle and tea bags to be dunked because the coffee machine's on the blink.

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