Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coming up for Air

I promise I will post more stuff soon.  In the meantime however, my brain is submerged under multiple projects. One of them is very cool and I will blog about it soon.  First however, I must finish it and get it through testing and into production.  The other projects aren't as exciting but they help pay the bills so they're at the top of my list.

This one project however was a rare goody for me.  One of the few times in my professional life where someone higher up pulled me aside and said "automate this stuff" and let me loose on the cat farm to start the herding process.  Hearing those words was like an alcoholic being asked if they want a bottle of 50 year old Scotch, or a sex addict being told "you're going to Vegas for two weeks and here's a open-ended credit card."  Yep.  The word "automation" puts me in a trance like few other things do.

To outline what the "cool" project is about, well, it involves a complicated assemblage of the following ingredients:

  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • Active Directory
  • SQL Server (multiple actually)
  • SWBEM SCCM Providers
  • VBscript
  • ASP, JavaScript, XML and CSS
  • A bar code scanner
  • PXE booting
  • Gallons of caffeinated beverage substances
  • And last but definitely NOT least: a room full of some of the most progressive and dedicated minds I've been around in a long time

On this last bullet:  I've said it before, many times, too many times, and usually after having consumed way too much alcohol - that if I could build a team of all the best nutballs I've known, we could do anything.  I mean AN-Y-THING.  Nobody is an expert at everything.  I'm certainly not.  Some people think I'm some brainiac (others think I'm a complete dumbass, but I won't go there), but really it's about being fortunate enough to work with smarter people.  It rubs off.

Working around smarter people changes how you think.  It helps you step back from the trees and see the forest.  It teaches you not to rush to provide an answer as if some game show buzzer is about to expire and Alex Trebeck is going to follow up with "oh, I'm sooo… sorry."  Nope.  None of that.  It's quality over quantity.  It's accuracy over deadlines.  And that's something I cannot teach myself.  I have to learn it from others and it involves baby steps.  I'm forty-six years old and I'm just now starting to feel like the pieces of information I've absorbed over the years are coming together to form a picture.  If I can manage to survive another twenty years I should be doing pretty good.  Then again, there's my student loans.  Eh.  Oh well.  I can dream can't I?

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