Generally at the end of every week I take a few moments to fill out some of the paperwork required by the day job, reporting on what it is I did every day for the week and marking the hours worked. This information is used by my managers as a means to understand where my time is generally spent and by payroll to cut a cheque at the end of the month. While recording the information for the last five days1, I was struck by how much was actually accomplished. It's no secret that I've been rather bored with some of the stuff at the day job these last few months, but this week was quite different. The standard fare of bug fixes, database management, Excel work, and SQL tasks were all in attendance, but so was actual development. Creative muscles were flexed, useful knowledge was acquired, and something new was created.
The last time I felt this good on a Friday night was … I don't know when, but it really needs to happen more often.
The act of sustained creation is something that I enjoy a great deal. We create, change, and destroy things in short bursts a hundred times a day, but how often can we sit down and focus on something for an entire week or more and see that the fruits of that labour are good2? Back in 2016 and 2017, I had the opportunity to work on objectives that were days, weeks, or even months in the making. This was when a new LMS3 was being developed at the day job and incredibly complex problems had to be solved with seemingly simple code.
Many of us enjoy solving problems. Some of us enjoy solving problems with code. For me, I enjoy solving problems with code that encourages people to re-adjust their expectations.
I keep very detailed records of what I do every day in Outlook, which makes it rather easy to report exactly what I did, when, and — if applicable — with who.
By "good", I don't mean "awesome". I mean that the effort resulted in something positive that has brought some marginal amount of order to the chaos of reality.
Lesson Management System, which is a fancy way of saying "a piece of software used in schools".