Tuesday, February 16, 2010

smoke and a pancake

Mum's duck & melon salad was a real treat on Chinese New Year. After getting my groove on at the Team Sprint Cup (38.19 seconds baby, yeah!), I sat on my furry, tired arse and watched a heap of Farscape.

Sorry if that offends you. I'll be the first to admit that Farscape is a bit shit. But I like it. I like it the way I like the original series of Star Trek. There's charm in the costume latex and muppetry, the formulaic storylines and cliché dialogue. It's a special kind of escapism.

Caught up with @ihavedirt last week for pancakes at Pancakes at Carillon. He had the potato au gratin with chips, I had a mushroom crepe with hash browns. I had no idea what a cathartic evening it would turn out to be, but I guess you can't help but feel relieved after a big crepe.

We updated each other on stuff that's been happening at work and at play, then somehow got to reminiscing about what cowboy webdevs we were back in the day. Back when all we had was goddamned Zope and whatever Python we could muster without compromising system security.

We were rebels, baby. Two chesty young bucks pioneering our own seat-of-the-pants web programming in a tiny 2 x 5 corporate dungeon (which, to be fair, had a lovely view and afternoon sun - but it was dungeon-sized). We didn't know much by ourselves, but together, we created from scratch a shopping cart & credit verification system using just a vision, a Google search engine, and a few choice swear words.

We built a customer feedback system for our support knowledgebase, a Flash feature (banner) rotation system, and awesomest of all... a broadband number checker, which was simply a screen scrape of results from the website of the company I now work at.


By today's standards, what we did was peanut work. Anyone in 2010 can do it, and just about all the 'innovative' brand names do. But back then, not knowing that much and having only curiosity and audacity to guide us, we did some pretty rad stuff.

At least... looking back now, I feel a bit proud of it.

@ihavedirt made that part of my career tolerable - I hated 2.5 out of the 3 years I worked there, but since that's now safely tucked in history and I don't program anymore, I can say feel glad to have been a part of the awesome & functional abomination that we built.

Man, I really like pancakes. :)

No comments: