When it rains it pours

I woke up this morning to the sound of our sump pump furiously working.  As I was getting my belongings together I got a text message saying “Good luck getting to your car”.  I didn’t understand what that meant until I walked outside.  The street that I live on didn’t exist any more, Maple Avenue was now Maple River.  Water was up on the sidewalk on  the house side of the street and there was a little path that I could see asphalt still by my car, the trick was getting there.  I walked halfway down the block where I could get across the street and took the sidewalk back on the other side.  As I stood by my car debating how to get into it, a white truck drove by.  I saw a wave of water heading straight for me in movie-like slow motion.  The wave made it over my car and over the sidewalk. I’d just barely jumped out of the way so that only my legs got splashed.  Once all the cars went by, I leaped over the 3-foot wide creek into about an inch of water and tiptoed into my car, just about soaked.  Luckily I have a decent drive, it gave me time to dry off before I had to get out again.

This reminds me of a few things here at DDA.  One of them is how oftentimes work pours.  It seems like some times I have a steady flow of work to do, and then all of a sudden I’ll have several projects that need to get done ‘yesterday’.  Those projects work the same way as the water trying to make its way down the sewer drains, there’s just too much to handle all at once, but by design, eventually it all goes down, but it is going to take time, and in the meantime, there’s a flood.  Most sewer drains can physically only handle so much water, you can’t make it go down any faster, and likewise you can’t really speed up programming.  Since each of our interactive websites are custom built, there is little we can use from previous projects that will make it go more rapidly.  Sure we have code that does things similarly and we have the knowledge to make things go as quickly as possible, but we can’t prevent custom programming from taking the time that it needs to get done.  Let’s say we need to add a simple form to a site, we have done hundreds if not thousands of forms over the years and that’s something we’re used to doing.  What becomes time consuming is that no form is the same.  While most things we do collect normal information like name and address, it’s the specifics that change, so we still wind up having to hand code and modify.  We also do projects which require some sort of login capability.  These programming-based applications will share a good deal of the same code to keep the sessions ‘secure’ but rights, privileges, and user information changes from project to project so we can start with a base code-set but all things are custom in the end.