Tappy tap tap

It’s not often in November I drive around with my windows down. It was quite fortunate that I did though. I kept hearing this rythmic tapping sound. At one stop, I got out and noticed I had a stone in my tire, and I thought “great, found the problem”. After getting back in, and driving away the sound was still there. I didn’t think much of it, but continued on my way. Sunday morning arrived, which we thought would be a great time to go grocery shopping (get there before the church crowd!). There was a slight fog, I could see my breath. My car was covered in moisture and something was glinting on my tire. Yes, in that calm morning there it was in all its glory, the hex head of a machine screw. The coolest thing though was that I’d been driving on that tire for several days, clicky sound and all, and it wasn’t until it sat overnight in near freezing temperatures that it actually seemed to lose any air. The reason for this was that there was a rubber sided washer between the screw head and the tire, presumably keeping a good seal.

Sometimes coldfusion programming feels like I’m losing air. Sometimes there will seem to be a problem, like the clicky sound, but you can’t see it right away. Sometimes it takes an off time or busy traffic to notice it. Usually this happens when queries aren’t optimized. We are a shop that doesn’t rely on stored procedures, everything is straight sql statements within cfquery (cfqueryparam in full use of course). I’ve never really seen the need to switch, we are a small shop and do not have a DBA who guards his data tightly, but it also means that our programmers also have to be database engineers, and decent ones at that. A bad design can cause queries to run too long, which will bring the database server down in times of high traffic. We do take the time to find any long running queries and see if there’s a way to bring down the time. It could be refining the query or using other methods at our disposal. We also have to be concerned about security, keeping the data as safe as is possible, away from eyes that should not see, as well as safe from injection attacks. Yes, I do know Bobby Tables.