Internet, Technology


September 10th, 2005 by Jeff | Dump Core


Today has not been a good day. My wife snapped this picture on her camera phone today during a rather frustrating moment. This weekend was our big deployment at work to bring the application we support into SOX compliance. For us, that meant tightening security around the application to keep nosey people out of where they don’t belong. I won’t go into specifics like who the customer is and what application it was, other than it’s rather business-critical, the app is Web-based, and security was not a top priority when it was originally designed. I pretty much gutted the entire thing and redesigned vast portions of it, especially the authentication system. I also know more about compiling and installing OpenSSL and Apache than I ever wanted to know.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned here:

  • Perl is unforgiving to typos in variable names.
  • Five rolls of Life Savers in one sitting can give you such a sugar buzz.
  • No matter how hard you try to plan ahead or how thoroughly you test, if your development environment doesn’t match production, expect bugs.
  • Make sure all the software components you intend to use are installed or available to be installed before you start using them.
  • When the sys admin for your machine asks you, the lowly developer, how to do his job, panic.
  • When your dev machine crashes and doesn’t get fixed for a couple months, panic.
  • When your dev machine crashes and you find out the vendor doesn’t even make spare parts for it anymore, really panic.
  • When you realize that your three production machines run the same hardware as your dead dev box, forget panicking and run. Run as fast and far as you can and never look back….

Unfortunately, tomorrow is also my first official day as a regular Sunday School teacher (i.e., not a substitute) and I’ve barely studied the lesson. So now I’m going to cram and crash. Ugh.

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