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Qs and her code-baptism of fire

Last week, Tuesday evening to be precise, a client called us. It was a rushed call, the line was not that clear too but from what I heard at that time, she wanted us to create a program which is due by Friday.

Qs and I have done two database projects for this client already, so I thought it was just a simple module modification, a new report perhaps, or probably help on a PowerPoint presentation or something.

But still, in the back of my mind, I was thinking, perhaps they really want a new database program.

A database program that needs to be completed in, at the most, two days.

When the client called us again during lunch of the following day, somehow worried that we haven't arrived yet (we scheduled to visit around 3PM), I was thinking this must really not be a database program because database projects usually needs at least six months to be completed. (Well, at least in my case (some even years))

Three hours later, we found out that indeed the client wants us to create a 'simple' POS-type database program that will record the sales of their yearly three day bazaar.

It was indeed a database program.

The client did understand the situation and requested just the 'basic' modules. The things that can fit in that amount of time.

In times like this it is the 'challenge' that drives (and blinds) us usually.

We have some developed data entry engines already, and of course Visual FoxPro as a tool by our side.

Now at this point, I failed to mention that an alien activated my wisdom tooth 27 hours earlier. I was not feeling that well, so qs, my loving-wifey-who's-been-using-VFP-for-a-year-already, decided to tackle this two day project.

I on the other hand if strength permits, would do the reports.

After almost a couple of sleepless nights, data transfers here and there on our computers (we don't have that sourcevault/core-related stuff yet), at 5PM the next day, we were installing the basic modules in the client's site.

Installed. Demo-ed. User test drive and every thing went smoothly except for one child database where I forgot to set filter to !deleted().

But aside from that the test went smoothly.

The next day I decided to visit the client early to oversee things. Thank heavens, after 90 transactions, the program was running well. I even interrupted to install a minor update, observed afterwards and things were still working perfectly.

There's that joy a programmer/developer experiences when he sees his work at being used. I see buyers holding the print-outs and I'm having that same feeling I felt just like the first time a database program of mine was used in the university I worked in seven years ago.

How I wish qs was there that morning because for some reason she wasn't able to accompany me. She was scheduled to visit the next day.

Now here's the funny part.

It was around 9:30AM when I decided to go home. When I arrived, qs and her grandmother and her parents wanted to visit the bazaar. So I decided to come along.

(The client's three hectare community is just three city blocks away.)

When we arrived, I decided to stay outside while qs is savoring that 'my-database-program-is-running-running' feeling.

After 30 minutes or so, qs and her parents and grandmother were in line to pay. There were three customers before them paying.

Now take note that at this point the program never crashed yet.

Three customers completed the transactions... print went well... no error.

Qsez dad and mom paid. Zoom the printer printed nicely.

... and now it is qsez turn to pay, she handed the goods to be recorded and...

Guess what... the database program crashed for the first time.

It worked smoothly during our test drive, the client's test drive, from 7:30AM to 10AM up to the point where qs was the one paying.

The client who was also operating the database program even informed the swarming customers... 'Naglalambing ang program kasi siya ang may gawa.' (I can't translate things exactly but partially it means that the program is being affectionate to its creator... something like that.)

Three minutes later we found out that the cause was a loose printer cable connection.

Call it coincidence, call it fate, baptism by fire... (I have my own experience in my old workplace (program crashes for no obvious logical reason + customers swarming and piling up).

Call it what you want... but I strongly believe, the aliens have something to do with it.

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