Apparently not!

Why is it that whenever you set a deadline the universe conspires to make you miss it? I just spent the entire day trying to track down one stupid bug in about 5000 lines of code. Yesterday was equally fruitless. The trouble is that people get impatient. They want to know when something will be ready. Even I want to know when it will be ready!

The answer to that question, when it comes to coding at least, is the proverbial “how long is a piece of string?”. It will be done when it is done. All being well that could be two days. If there are lots of stupid bugs that take forever to find, it could be three months. There is literally no way to predict these things. I have 30+ years of commercial software development experience but all that gives me is a sense of how much work is required to write the code, and even then it’s a guess. I cannot tell anyone, including myself, how long it will take to test and debug. Nobody can.

The major issue with this project is the sheer scale of the thing. This is not some quick fix to store a couple of teleport locations, it is the first real use of a big networked solution that has been in development for months and will power a marketplace, rentals, places to visit, and much more. To avoid overloading the database with thousands of different devices pinging it every minute, all of the remote devices like warehouses, rentboxes, pads and sticks, teleport boards, networked posters, radio controllers, etc., use a complex system of “subscriptions” to get updates, but also need semi-regular pings in case they are offline and miss an update. That’s the bit I have been trying to find a bug in today. It’s big, complicated, and like looking for one needle in a needle factory.

So the long and short of it is that I am still working really hard, I have fixed some bugs, and it will be ready as soon as it can be. That might be first thing next week or at the end of month. Keep your paws crossed for easy short bits of string so I am some hair left at the end of it!

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