Victus Spiritus


The most deadly game, Bugs

05 May 2011


The Invigorating Power of the Sun

There's nothing quite like a stroll in the warm sun with a soothing breeze after a hectic weeks, months, decades(?) lost in code. I dove deep into the visual studio debugger wrestling with a large model integration project at my day job, which kicked into high gear last in March.

As I converge closer to the project deadline, the resistance to move forward rises exponentially. With each layer of planned model functionality added, two new unplanned features are required.

Bugs are ridden down like screaming villagers fleeing from the four horsemen, yet the relentless press for features enables them to breed like bees (what, you expected rabbits). Revealed errors demand rapid rectification and resolution, with a combination of remote process debugging and gratuitous print statements which capture program state. If you dare lose track of state for a moment from your conscious thoughts, expect a good hour pulling it painfully back together (no email, twitter, Reddit, or HackerNews).

A moderate complexity test case reduces the probability that each new feature and fix has limited repercussions on previous stable results. A broader set of cases awaits version 2 alpha's completion.

Like vodka and valium, freaking out and critical review don't mix

Fortunately I've been through this dance enough times to maintain a semblance of calm amidst the storm. My role is doctor and my primary concern is to remedy mostly my own sick code1. That and complaining to my wife before passing out has been cathartic, I owe her a wonderful vacation after this project concludes.

1= there's an oath coders take to fix all broken systems no matter who's at fault. For all that is holy just make sure it's the code and not your thinking that's broken.