Dan - 6,191 miles, 264 hours
In my current role for the Treehouse Organization, I'm helping them come up with an enterprise solution for upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Having not been behind a desk in months, and having not really had my hands in anything this technical in years, I was excited and ready for the challenge.
Naturally, I went straight to my project manager background and drafted up a charter and product backlog in the first few days. With a solid plan in place, I then went and scoured Microsoft's documentation, reading every thing I could about large scale enterprise deployments. I started drafting options paper, after options paper, to come to the best decision on how to move forward, until I finally realized that at some point, I was going to have to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. I went to the convenience store, bought enough snacks to feed my entire floor, slipped off my shoes, curled up in my chair pretzel-style, put the Above and Beyond on blast, and went to work.
Over the next week or two I sat glued to my three computer screens, spending hours bouncing back and forth between typing commands into PowerShell, spawning virtual machines, editing boot scripts, and configuring more network properties than I ever thought existed. At one point I think I had five virtual machines, two servers, and a couple tablets all going at the same time. I've been happy to find out that after all these years of being a consultant, the nerd is still strong with this one.
During one particularly long day at the office, I came across a feeling that was all too familiar for us during college, and perhaps even more recently for you. I'm sitting here cruising along just fine, knocking out one issue after the next, and then out of the blue I end up with a big red banner, an error message, and a single hex code. I check the logs and of course nothing was written there, and a quick Google search on the error code leads me to forums with either half baked answers or bumps asking if anyone has figured it out yet. Commence head banging.
After trying to work through this thing for a couple hours with little to no information in regard to what's wrong or why this thing is bombing out, I decided there was only one way out. Line by line, setting by setting, I must have sat at the computer for another hour or two past when the building lights went out. Finally, just when I was getting towards the end of my rope and ready to turn in for the night, I reluctantly run one last test, and boom! Thing starts running like a gazelle. I explode up from my chair, two fists ripping through the air, screaming like Tom Brady just threw a fade to Gronk in the corner of the endzone. Touchdown Snowflake! I guess some part of me forgot how much fun it is to stay up late churning through a problem, and the joy of finally being able to get it right. Good thing everyone was gone by that point in the night.
It was so good to be able to spend a few hours together the other night before you left back for Chicago. I feel like our time together is always getting cut short for one reason or another, which bums me out because I've always really cherished our friendship and enjoyed being able to learn so much from you. You're a constant reminder to keep it kind, cool, and light. And God knows this black room boy needs that.
Hopefully the next time I'm back in Chicago we can find some more time to kick it. I'll be sure to make a point of it.