Into the fray

I have a big meeting in fifteen minutes where I have to defend a whole platform against a roomful of people. I doubt the folks who write AOLserver will even show up, which will leave me all alone to defend it. I have papers and figures and drawings, and it probably won’t matter. They’ll make the switch and then they’ll realize that they can’t do everything they used to, and feel bad for not listening to me. I would much rather they listen to me now than realize their mistake later when it’s too late to turn back.

If I have time today, I’m going to write an essay about national cultures, but don’t hold your breath for it. I’m still sick, and work is really busy. I went to bed at 9:30 last night and barely woke up when the alarm went off.

Categorized as search


Nine days. I have nine days off in a row. I don’t believe it. It’s too good to be true. I have a terrible feeling that I won’t get to take all nine off because something will break at work, someone will need me to rescue them from either their own incompetance or implement somethin that will make somebody a whole lot of money.

Every time I’ve tried to take a vacation this year, I’ve had to move something around. I have to go back to work, do something and mess up our plans. Please, not this week.

I like what I do. I’m good at it. Whenever I look at where I am, I think back to my interview for this job over two years ago. The guy interviewing me asked what I wanted to be doing in six months. I said I wanted to be the go-to guy. I want to be the guy people come to when something needs doing. I’m that guy. Then he asked what I wanted to be doing in 5 years. I said I wanted to be running a big site like Amazon (yeah, shoot for the moon). Well, it’s almost three years later and I’m the only production guy on one of the most-used search engines on the web. There’s a whole team for the backend. A whole team that keeps it up and running. I am the only guy who works on the frontend and middleware pieces. And now, I’ve got a dozen other search projects that I’m the only frontend guy on. I guess I’m running a collection of sites that gets (I think) more hits than Amazon on any given day. How crazy is that? How messed up is the world that I’m the only guy for these projects?

You know, this stuff is bad for my ego. It’s made me arrogant. I’m trying not to be, I swear I am. I know I’m in the position I’m in because my group has made some really bad decisions over the years, letting the wrong people get away, while replacing them with people with little-to-no talent or imagination. That means that they make up for the lack of talent in most by overworking those that have some. That’s also the way they lose good people. It’s a vicious cycle, and now the economics of everything mean we’re not hiring. So, it will be this way for the foreseeable future. What a downer…

Categorized as search

Inspiration Complete – Please Close Door On Way Out

I was talking about inspiration the other day. Well, it works. It works so well in fact that it scares me.

There’s nothing greater than having a big idea, building it and seeing it come out right. It’s just great.

I showed it to my manager yesterday, who promptly realized that I could be writing myself out of a job. See, what I did was take all the thousands of lines to Tcl I have to write to create a search product and turned it into a bunch of configurable HTML tags. You have to love AOLserver. After pondering the fact that I could be creating the cause of my own demise, I realized that that’s OK. I’ve worked on Search for two and a half years. I’ve done pretty much everything I can do with it. And, there are lots of other stuff here that needs work. It may be time to take that next step and conquer a new geekMountain™.

What a great day.

Categorized as AOL