Almost to the finish line

Sorry for the long silence. I have been coding furiously to deploy a decent-looking (and functioning) public beta, and I’m finally down to the wire. Expect a first look next week. No matter how hard I try to account for unknowns, learning curve, etc., in software estimation, I always “misunderestimate.” If you’ve been around software development at all, you will recognize this as a universal phenomenon. I think it’s due in part to the fact that if we had known at the start of a project what we know by the end, we would never have started! Because software is less tangible, than, say, building a bridge, many folks (including developers) think, “how hard can it be?” Perhaps we should think about software more like building bridges. It takes months and years to lay a proper foundation, pour the pillars, raise the beams, pave the road. And in software, you’re almost always working with something new, and therefore have to throw the first one away. True to form, I’ve written most of ROA twice now.

There are currently over 7000 lines of code in my “little” project. I did not see that coming. The learning curve was steeper than I thought, although in retrospect it was silly to think I would be as comfortable with a brand new platform within a few months as I am in areas where I have many years of experience. And the amount of code required overall is much greater than I thought. Almost every week, I think, “Finally, I’m done building foundation, I’ve got patterns I can copy, and now I can just turn the crank.” And then I find some new wrinkle that requires still more infrastructure code. By the way, I’m really, really pleased with my latest bit of infrastructure: a queuing, batching, caching dispatcher just like the one Ray Ryun mentioned in his Google I/O presentation last year. It solves architectural problems in GWT that I’ve been wrestling with since Day One.

But I digress.

I have enjoying watching a bit of the Winter Olympic games these past couple weeks, and have especially admired the athletes’ determination to “keep on keeping on.” Starting is easy. Finishing is HARD. I struggle daily, sometimes hourly, with discouragement and motivation to finish. It’s so much bigger than I thought, and I’m only one man. I can’t do it by myself, but with God, all things are possible. Lord, teach me to rely on the Holy Spirit to supply what is lacking in me.

6 Responses

  1. How true, how true!

    Prayers do get answered. We need to listen and hear God.

    He will SHOW us many times his answer, so we can see it.

    God Bless

  2. I hope you’ve surrounded yourself with Christian brothers to encourage you so you finish the race

    saw your talk at devnexus
    nice job
    best of the three presenters I saw

  3. Are you kidding, Mike …. David surrounds us !

  4. Kidding aside. I love you, dear brother. You are a blessing to me personally and now TO THE WORLD! We stand because he makes us stand. We “bear up” because He bears us up (Psalm 68).

  5. ps: love the spell chek

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