This post may go some way to explaining why there are no films about software engineering. Although, this isn’t actually about software engineering. It’s about the stuff you have to do so you can do some software engineering.
Anyway, last week it was time to install a new version of my company’s development environment on one of the test machines. Let’s call the development environment ThatThing, (or TT for short), and the version I’m upgrading to version PantsOnHead. I’m installing on a brand new user account, and doing it via remote desktop for an extra level of frustration. All names have been changed because I need to pay my mortgage.
Me: Ok, TT, install version PantsOnHead.
TT: *sigh* All right.
Me: Now load up my project.
TT: Shan’t. Can’t. Don’t know where any of your Dynamically Linked Libraries are.
Me: *Sets PATH environment variable.* Ok, can you find them now?
Me: Great! Now load my project.
TT: Shan’t. Can’t. Haven’t got the NetworkDataSquirting module.
Me: Why not?
TT: *shrug* Anyway, don’t you think you should download the updates for these critical fixes first?
Me: Yes, fine. Let’s do that.
TT: Shan’t. Can’t. You need to update the updater software first.
Me: For the love of…. Fine. Let’s update the updater software.
TT: *huge harrumphing sigh* There. Happy now?
Me: Not exactly. Now let’s apply those critical fixes.
TT: Can’t you just leave me alone? There, I’ve done it. No doubt you’re going to criticise that too.
Me: Can we get back to downloading the NetworkDataSquirting Module now?
TT: Fine. Just tell me where it is and I’ll do it.
Me: Don’t you know?
TT: Nope. Don’t know nuffin.
Me: *google fu and forum searching* Apparently you need version SomeRandomNumber. Not sure how I’m supposed to know that, but here it is. Now install it.
TT: Done it!
Me: Ok, now load up my project.
TT: Shan’t. Can’t. Don’t have the Module of DatabaseDoingness. What’s that noise?
Me: Just a human, bashing her head on the desk. *Searches*. Here, install this.
TT: It’s just one demand after another from you. There, I’ve done it. Are you finally happy now?
Me: We’ll see. Load up my project.
TT: There you go, poo face. I’ve loaded it. Haha! It looks like it might be ok but I’ve secretly changed the location of ThatSystemLibrary.dll. It won’t build at all. And you’ll never figure out how to fix it. There’s no way to persuade me to pick it up from the right place.
Me: Actually, we’ve been through this many times, most recently a few weeks ago when I installed version PantsOnHead on my laptop. *Creates new project, creates new file calling function from ThatSystemLibrary.dll and adds to project, adds existing file calling ThatSystemLibrary.dll, so forcing TT pick up ThatSystemLibrary.dll from correct location.* Ok, now can we please run my project?
TT: Absolutely! So thrilled to do it for you. There you go. Oops! It seems to have crashed deploying a NetworkyDataThing. Oh dear. It hasn’t done that before, has it? Whatever will you do now?
Me: I hate you. I hate you so much. *searches forums, deploys NetworkyDataThing from library, checks with NetworkyDataThing Checking tool, consults colleague, repeats, swears, bangs head on desk, reboots remote test machine.* There. Will you now please run my fucking project?
TT: There’s no need to be so rude about it. All you had to do was ask. Here you go. It’s running. Ooo, looks like you might have a bug. That’s unfortunate, isn’t it?
Me: There is not enough tea in the world.
Actually, now I’ve typed that up, it occurs to me that there might not be any movies about this, but it does bear a certain amount of resemblance to quest-based games, such as Skyrim, which I’ve been watching my other half play this week. You know the bit, where some NPC sets you puzzles to open the Magical Box of Powerup, or to go and collect their absent-mindedly misplaced navel fluff from the Troll-filled Cavern of Inevitable Death*.
This week, I need to upgrade again to TT version Wibble. A friend asked me, “What are the chances of it precipitating the end of the world? ” Quite honestly, I’d check you’ve got a clear run to the bunkers and get in some more tinned tomatoes. Prepare yourself for the Multiverse’s most boring apocalypse.
Player: So why is it called the Troll-filled Cavern of Inevitable Death?
NPC: No reason. Hurry up with that navel fluff, and there’s a nice cookie in it for you. Maybe even chocolate chips.