Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ramblings On the Magnitude of Our Work

I love code.  I like to write code, I like to read code.  I dream about code, sometimes good dreams, sometimes bad repetitive ones where I’m stuck in a for loop and can’t get out (anybody else ever have that dream?).

Although not the best metric, sometimes a project is measured by lines of code.  As of right now, the GDCT Next Gen site has over 10,000 lines of javascript code alone; not counting the server side code that handles the database interactions, authentication, logging, profiling and business rules.

Here is some code that updates a timer questions response.  There is certainly more code that this code relies on, but it’s the front line in how we start the process of updating the bubbles and scores for a timer question.

This is about 17 lines of a 1200 line file called pages.surveyTimers.js.  All of the code in this file is written by hand, none of it is generated by a tool; blood, sweat, tears and quite a bit of dubstep music have gone into every line.

... blood, sweat, tears and quite a bit of dubstep music have gone into every line.

But, there’s a bug in this code.  It’s a small one, a sneaky little one character bug that causes the score not to update in certain situations and in other situations the scoring bubble will not update either.  There is no compiler error in the console because of this bug, no indication from anywhere that there is an incorrect character that will cause 5 new tasks, and widespread panic, to be created.  This character could be the result of just a small instantaneous lapse in focus while refactoring one of the other 1200 lines of code in this one particular file; perhaps while adding a new feature or abstracting out this common code from somewhere else.

I wanted to share a bit of the magnitude of our work with you.  This app is no small feat of software engineering.  It’s a complex and mysterious bird.  That’s why when I hear about the tasks coming up as a result of testing, I am not disheartened.  No piece of software comes out perfect the first time and we have the processes in place to fix issues and respond to feedback.

Now Playing - M83 - Midnight City

1 comment:

  1. haha don't get bad dreams aboute the coding ;-)
    Keep up the good writing