Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On getting rusty

Having spent the last two years transcoding the wiki, moving the blog, getting non-standard drivers working in ESXi, taking classes, switching jobs yet again, worrying about elderly parents, watching in-law drama, and generally not having a whole lot of free time, I haven't been writing much code. Many of my toys are stacked up in the corner, suffering from neglect.

The good news is that ESXi has minimized a large chunk of my usual rework (e.g., rebuilding the main system every 3-4 months and annoying Sparks to no end). This past weekend, I reached the point where I was attempting to install the new version of the LiquidSoap scripting language (see previous post) and then writing fixes for a Perl jukebox on top of that.

The bad part is that I've come to the realization that I'm so out-of-practice that I can't "see around the corner" while writing code. Embarrassingly, I had to drop back to methods learned a quarter century ago: composing flow charts, single-stepping through same, and tracking state on paper (bleh!). It's almost as bad as having to document someone else's code.

The good news is that I've taken good notes over the years and much of the coding can be done cookbook style (+1 for modules!). Hopefully it won't take too long to "blow the carbon out of the cylinders" and get back up to speed. I've got a couple weeks-worth of documentation to write and (hopefully) will have time to get back to coding in Perl and C.