Wood filler is your friend

Most people reading this blog will know of our great workweek schedule.  We are here Monday through Thursday from 8 until 6.  This gives me lots of time on Friday with the house to myself to work on projects to re-do my 1902 built twin home (just the one side of course).  Now I am certainly no carpenter, I’ve learned my skills from my father and from lots of trial and error.  Although I have had formal education in programming, it’s much the same way in my career as the tech world continues to change.  This Friday, I was working on two projects, one, an email issue that popped up after some settings were changed on the server, and some moulding replacement, cove on my staircase, and quarter-round along the floor trim.

Carpentry, like programming, is a game of precision.  Both require measurements to be very accurate, and the knowledge of your tools and what they can do is just as important.  In programming, you may have all the logic set up correctly but you absolutely need to know the ins and outs of the programming language you are going to use.  In the IT world, you need to have a firm grasp on the programs you run daily.  Just like carpentry, you may know that your measuring tape was read correctly, but when you go to use your mitre saw, if you don’t know where the blade is going to cut, you’re going to be off.  That’s much like how we need to keep things running smoothly at DDA.  Before going into something, we need to know that we have all the tools we need, and how they work.  I like to ask, “Does ColdFusion have the functionality we need or do we have to pull it from javascript or java itself? What ramification will we see if we change this setting on the mail server?”

As with everything, we are not perfect.  I am a far better programmer than carpenter, but I’m getting better at both.  When dealing with carpentry, an incorrect cut can sometimes be fixed with a little bit of wood putty, or wood filler, as long as you’re painting – ‘stainable’ wood filler never seems to look right.  An incorrect measurement can send you back to the big box store to go get some more wood.  With programming (or IT) a little change can sometimes be a complete disaster, not just having to recut some wood or repaint.  Sometimes a mistake can cost your clients a lot more.  The old addage, measure twice, cut once can be applied to my tech world as well.  Don’t go changing something until you know exactly what the outcome is going to be, and be sure to test it before making it live.  No amount of ‘wood filler’ can fix a client missing a day’s worth of orders.  It is your friend, but not a savior.