Mountain View: Day One Recap

Yes, I am in Mountain View, and I really wish I had more time to see all my friends out here (I’m especially bummed about not having time to hang out with my brother, his wife, and Sam. It’s just a two day trip, and it’s chock full of meetings, all about this. We did a big presentation yesterday about it, what’s coming (shhhh, it’ll be cool), and how the world can join in. It was extremely gratifying to see geeks get really jazzed about it. It proves that even though I can’t explain it worth a damn, we’re headed in the right direction.\
I’m having a really good dinner last night at Nola’s in Palo Alto, and laughed our fool heads off. We rehashed the “good old days”, talked about geek energy and how to harness it, and what it feels like to be working on something we can truly be proud of.\
I was talking to Joe afterwards about stuff we’d worked on before, the old projects that still hold a special place in our hearts, and I thought about this silly fulfillment system I wrote when I first came out to Virginia to finally become a “real developer”. It was a maintenance system. People submitted tickets, filled in a bunch of detail about the affected system, the problem, the request, etc. Then, someone got the ticket, did whatever was in the request and then closed it. It ran reports, was extremely flexible in setting up types of requests, etc. I wrote it almost 6 years ago, and thought it was dead. I hadn’t touched it in about five years and figured people stopped using it and forgot about it long ago. Then, I got an e-mail about a month ago (and an IM yesterday) about it, asking who owned it, and if someone could add a feature to it. I was stunned. This thing that I thought was dead and buried has been used every day for five years by a couple different teams. No one’s touched the code, cleaned out the database or anything in five years and it’s still running like a champ, taking requests, running reports, etc. I thought the thing I was most proud of was what I did on AOL Search, but I think I may have a new winner. Almost everything I’ve ever written has a fairly short shelf life between versions. This tool is ancient and still going strong, which not only scares me, but makes my geek pride swell.\
Today? We’re talkin’ modules, modules, modules and javascript. Oh, and between all the module talk, I have to figure out how to create CSS blocks on the fly in Javascript. I’m really close, but man, does that spec need some work.

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.


  1. Dude! I was in Mountain View last night, getting stood up by my friends. Too bad you can’t hang out with the West Coast SXSW crowd. We’d show you a good time 🙂

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