Work day 16

Ever have one of those days where everything goes wrong and nothing you do turns out right?

Got to work this morning to an email that a UI bug fix that I had done last week had some problems and opened up some new issues. My mentor/unofficial-boss-person Seth (who is awesome and helpful, BTW) listed a bunch of things that he had found wrong with very simple testing. I hadn’t tested my fix nearly rigorously or thoroughly enough. Blah. That meant that the other fixes I had done were probably similarly broken and sucking.
In any case, I worked on that issue for a bit and wasn’t really able to fix some of the stuff and ended up opening some more bug reports for various things wrong with the interface (which, thankfully, weren’t due to my fix). UI work was annoying, and I couldn’t get things to work right, and I got frustrated, and gaah.

Then I moved some of my earlier fixes from last week into a new task branch, because I had been performing them against CORE, and bug fixes here are done on branches and then integrated back into CORE. I felt stupid again for not having branched off in the first place, especially because there were very explicit, very well-written instructions for doing so that I had been explicitly pointed to prior to my starting bug fixes. This took a while and I felt stupid.

Then I had to do a ton of fixing because I had combined 3 separate bug fixes into the single task branch, which is bad (I hadn’t wanted to go through the files and separate the ones associated with each bug, but Seth told me to split them up into their appropriate branches, so I went through and did that.

Then we discovered I had been branching off of MAIN rather than CORE because I had copied the branch instructions from the company wiki and hadn’t realized I was using the wrong one. I had to then go back and rework 9 task branches worth of files, modifying each branch and then resyncing each file (and integrating the changes in CORE that hadn’t been present in MAIN) in each of the branches. I felt so stupid. I mean, sure this is my first time really using a revision control system, but I really feel like I should have picked things up quicker, or at least realized I was doing something wrong when some changes I had commited to CORE earlier weren’t being picked up in my branches.
So yeah, that took a bunch of time that was wasted.

Also, I never did manage to fix the blocking-calls-in-Swing-thread bug that I’d been looking at for most of yesterday. I ended up opening another bug (which ended up being a duplicate of an existing bug because my searching skills fail and I am dumb) for it and didn’t do anything else with it.

Then, after some more tinkering with the UI and still not being able to get it to be correct (although I did manage to fix some errors such as being able to delete the last workspace in the list), I gave up on that and started on documenting some other classes (complementary to the documentation I did last week). I emailed Seth to make sure I was documenting things right, and it took 6 emails because I was being dumb again and apparently have to have things explained to me over and over and over…

So yeah, I feel like I annoyed Seth with my mishaps and ignorance and stupidity… and I feel like my technical skills are severely lacking… and I feel like I pick things up way, way too slowly (I’ve been working now for 4 weeks… spent 2 weeks with the codebase… why am I still having so many problems?)… and like my programming skills are sub-par… and generally that everyone in the company is so much smarter and more efficiet than I am and I’m just a terrible employee.
Goddamn it.

On the plus side of everything, non-work is going extremely well and makes me happy beyond words.
But gah, why am I so stupid?

5 thoughts on “Work day 16

  1. Everyone else there is probably just used to it by now. I’m sure they made tons of mistakes when they first came on board as well.

    But now you know.

  2. Couple of strange questions, but please bear with me:

    1. Do you *enjoy* programming? I know you chose it for a major and all, but usually when you’re talking about classes or work, it’s talking about how much you supposedly suck. Granted, you usually get the “A” anyways, so you might not be giving your blog’s readers the whole picture, but it feels like you just don’t enjoy it based solely on your posts here.

    2. Is your company OK with you blogging about work in great detail? Are you OK with your company or future employers reading about your current work habits on a blog that can be found by searching for your name? I already google my applicants, if that tells you anything…

    Very weird questions, I know. Just food for thought :-P

  3. 1. I enjoy programming, usually. I just complain more often than I say, “Hey, this project is going well.”

    2. I’m not putting in any details, really. I mean, what, you can tell that I worked on some UI stuff, that we have branches in the respository called MAIN and CORE, and that we have bugs like calling blocking calls where they shouldn’t be and deleting things you shouldn’t be able to. Oooo. Oh, also that I’m documenting some code. Oooo.

    I’m fine with future employers reading my blog, I suppose.

  4. งาม = ภาระ I’m not sure why that popped into my head (or even if it’s semantically correct)… but I guess I only have a written vocabulary of about five words to select from :-P Also, I hope the Unicode comes through OK — I didn’t use the HTML character sequences; I just copied from Wikipedia.

    Above anything, I want to say that you’re definitely not stupid. I’ve seen you work; you’re quite a good coder and you pick things up very quickly too.

    Hm, that’s a good point, Zeke. I was looking through the stats for my own website earlier this spring, and at some point I noted that one of the IP addresses that had generated heavy traffic belonged to a computer at a place where I’d put in a Ph.D. application. I really had to ask myself if I was OK with professors ‘n’ such reading all my journal entries!

    I feel like possible employers reading this should be pretty understanding, though. I mean, there’s no bad-mouthing of specific people, giving away of company secrets, etc. Just someone who’s had a frustrating day, which I’m sure has happened to everyone at least once :-)

  5. You do not have a MIT student in the adjacent cubicle pointing out every flaw with your design every 5 minutes; consider yourself lucky >

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