Z: 99 Red Balloons
Some people observe that life is an uphill journey and all that matters is The Climb. I believe no such simple analogy for my career here at Aeste. You may remember that my task is to port the AEMB to QEMU and that I have successfully replicated an existing architecture as a first step. I was under no illusion that what was to come after that would not be much more difficult—but to say that I was completely prepared would be to give an undeserved compliment to my professionalism. Of course, given the style in which I have blogged thus far, you might already have figured out that my professionalism is by no means in accordance with the traditional model of stoicism. My work ethic lies in the key idea that I strive to enjoy all I do and be proud of what I accomplish in the end.
After such an introduction, I think I must continue to demonstrate exactly (to floating-point accuracy) how much I enjoy myself here at Aeste. By the way, Aeste’s hiring and you can join in the enjoyment of an employment that welcomes individual excellence and communal sharing!
In this second phase of my porting the AEMB to QEMU, I have been taking working code apart to analyze, modify, and put back together. Sometimes I discarded the old code after analyzing because writing new code was much faster and cleaner. As programmers well know, changing anything that already works—no matter drastically or not—often invites bugs. In response to the analogy of The Climb, I find that this new world of bugs is more like Duck Hunt or a desert paradise where 99 Red Balloons appear out of nowhere, never at the same time, and never with the same magnitude. I like balloons, but for the sake of argument, I shall be the hunter who attempts to shoot down the floating bubbles. I don’t get to pick my targets, but I get to decide which balloons I attempt to obliterate first.
Hey, if one is able to view all work as play (in professional moderation, of course), one must have achieved a Zen in the office, yes? Not quite. Those who think that the world of play contains no ill-feeling must never have played hard. In some people is an inner drive to challenge limits continuously. In some others is a desire to showcase their skill, art, and finesse publicly. In another set of people is a great fear of screwing up and failing. Most people have a combination of these symptoms (and other quirks not listed here). I have the best disease: I feed off many of these little motivations and say “at least I’m not so extreme in [insert quirk here] that I [insert corresponding stereotype here]”. This infection is great, because I get to work my socks off and still feel good about my comparative normalcy. I still feel frustrated from time to time, but I bounce back quick enough.
Quick enough to shoot them balloons down before they…well…cloud my vision; before I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work I have to do. At time of press, yours truly has a semi-functioning, semi-complete model of an AEMB system on QEMU that can boot up a binary executable. And he is rather proud of it. His socks are still on, which probably means that he has a long way to go before he is overworked.