Today, I completed the last feature in a major software project. Since January, I’ve worked on this FileMaker Pro database solution, two days a week. From the initial design which was mostly replicated from an old version, to “customer” interviews, to the interface concept, to schema construction, to what seemed like endless features, detailed testing, to today. In between, we squished many bugs and had one false start when we encountered a major flaw in FileMaker Pro 8.5.
Hours upon hours of screen layout and report design, staring at relationship graphs, stepping through code, and scratching my head, cluelessly wondering why my scripts wouldn’t work right. Threads of code and ideas often crowded my mind. Solutions appearing in the middle of the night, while resting between points on the tennis court, or as I lathered my hair with shampoo in the shower. There were laughing threats to cut intruders with my plastic sword which hung from the monitor in the shared office during my stint with this client.
As I was wrapping up my work with a sigh of relief, I dropped by to wish Phil, the company president, a Merry Christmas. As we talked, I told him of my accomplishment and that we could now see the “light at the end of the tunnel” and deploy the software to the company. At that point, Phil reminded me of the film Von Ryans Express. He described a scene where the train went into a tunnel only to discover that the Germans had a large tank awaiting at the other end.
So much for light at the end of the tunnel. And thanks for those words of encouragement, Phil.
I can imagine that writers feel the same lightening of spirit and sigh of relief when they pen the words “The End” on the final page of their book. The work is good and it’s finished.
I know, there will be more to do when we deploy the software to the company. And during those first few days, I’ll be fending off irate staff with my plastic sword. But for the rest of this year, let me have my peace.