Home-Tech and Learning New Things

November 2, 2004 20:00 by keithkaragan
I've finally completed a minor renovation to my kitchen, many more hours later than anticipated. I really can't believe how long this took. Part of it is due to my ineptness as a builder/renovator, the rest I'm sticking to blaming on the house. It's old, nothing is square, plum, or done in a way that even resembles the ways things were done in the house I grew up in (built in the 1950's) - and thus the skills learned as a child don't apply in the same way.
This house was built in 1913, and isn't anything fancy, but has seen the comings and goings of a few technologies: Coal heat, gaslight, plaster & lathe, knob and tube, armored electrical cable, and I suppose a lot more. This makes changes a crapshoot since your not sure what your going to encounter until you get inside a wall, or need to change a light fixture.
This has me thinking that there's a clear path between my experiences fixing up the house, and when I'm programming and need to maintain or change old code (mine or someone elses). The same held true when I worked in the electronic industry. I would know what product I was going to work on, but never knew what to expect until I took the covers off a piece of equipment.
Since I code much more often than I swing a hammer, I've developed the sense to assess and adapt to accomplish the task, fix the problem, optimize some bad code, or whatever needs to be done.
Today, when facing the scary task of a really bad situation with the room I finally let that sense take over in that realm and accomplished the task without incident (no swearing [well maybe a little], freaking out, crying, or calling real estate agents. I'm chalking this experience up to astride in personal growth - a hard earned one that had me on the brink several times before today. Pushing ones self beyond your limits is a healthy thing (at least mentally), it reinforces the fact that you can still improvise and use common sense and your witts to accomplish the task at hand, even if the medium is pretty alien
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