Word on a Whim

Old Dog New Tricks

This was supposed to be a blog that was mostly about writing – only I haven’t written anything recently, nothing in English, that is.  At work I write computer programs but the switch from iSeries RPG to web front-end C# with Sequel Server has resulted in me coming home feeling utterly mind-fucked; my head a cage-full of monkeys as the ideas of the fiction I might write come and go amidst the frustration of knowing exactly what the system I am working on is supposed to be doing, but not having the language skills to make it happen.  Then the nights are full of mind-loop dreams of unsolved and surreal problems that I would never get to the bottom of, if I tried all night, because they do not exist!  And there is the nuisance of Christmas approaching.

I don’t really have the aptitude for C#.   I believe it was created by a bunch of … gents who were concerned that higher level languages were a threat; opening the IT doors to none-IT staff.  Unfortunately, it has also closed doors for some veteran programmers, and I thought I was going to be one of them.

The transition from ‘top down’ to ‘object oriented’ programming has not been sudden.  The system I had worked on for hundreds of years was decommissioned some time ago and I expected to go out with it.  I was glad to be kept on but the deadlines for the latest project were particularly tight and I found I was doing extra hours at home, weekends and evenings, in order to just about keep up.  I am lucky enough to work with a small team guys who are not only technically brilliant but good friends too, and supportive – but I am determined I will not be carried by them.

I am picking up the new skills, slowly.   If you throw enough mud at a wall some of it will stick, but all the mud that has hit and slid away has been depleting, and all I have done in my spare time is easy-reading and nosying on friends’ Facebooks.   I am tentatively confident that this is about to change so that work can stay at the office and I can put some disciplined thought and time into another writing project.

Keep warm, and try not to get too muddy 😉



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4 thoughts on “Old Dog New Tricks

  1. Nice post Jules you write from the heart 🙂

  2. As you know, I think you are a very good coder. I have no doubt in your abilities at all. But I understand the intimidation of learning a new language – I get the same feelings, just not with programming. Doing anything new that is out of your comfort zone is always a struggle, especially something you always doubted yourself in. I don’t believe you’re being ‘carried’ as much as you fear. The company you work at (naming no names!) is a business first and foremost and if you weren’t pulling your weight you would be told. Keep your chin up, have faith in your abilities, and keep going. Remember my offer of help is always there 🙂

  3. Thus spake the technically brilliant ex-member of the team!
    Thanks, Simon. You are a star.

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