looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Working at WonkaTech

For our current project, I've had to break out my archive CDs of FoxPro 2.6 work that I made from when I left Cornerstone and delve deep into some historic code we wrote 8 or 9 years ago. It still works. Despite all the thought that went into that code, and all the detailed documentation that we made, I now wish that a) we'd put a little MORE thought into it, and b) that we'd documented it better. But it still works. Cornerstone guys, if you're reading this - we did some good stuff. I'm sure you are still doing good stuff, but maybe you'd like to hear that the old stuff still works. The code needed me to tweak it a little, but basically I've been able to add a procedure library full of high quality, generic screens and functions that are busy working away to help make the Sales Order Entry system more stable and faster.

It makes not being able to port it into Visual FoxPro that much less unbearable. (The reasons for not porting the FoxPro 2.6 code base to the newer, more capable Visual FoxPro 7 are tedious and shall not be detailed here.)

We deployed our "cleaned up" version into production on Tuesday night, staying late to take advantage of a scheduled network outage to take exclusive use of the tables and perform packs, reindex, add a tag on DELETED()... the basics. Some of these tables we suspect have NEVER been packed or reindexed. There were a few hickups the next morning, just minor things. We've been working with source code that was decompiled from the current EXE (they LOST the source code... can you believe it?) and consequently the screens had forgetten whether they needed to be MODAL, READ NOLOCK... you know, important things like that.

Argh. We're ok now. Almost everyone has commented on how much faster it runs, and IT NO LONGER CRASHES. A big win. I don't think we'll get much credit for this, because of course, users rarely see things the program doesn't do. (It's not slow, it doesn't crash... but the search screen is now CASE sensitive. FIX THIS NOW etc etc).

It's great to be working on something real instead of sitting around waiting for the axe to fall.

Speaking of wanting a full-time job: We've registered with the online job sites such as Monster and Dice, and after monitoring them regularly I think basically there's not going to be the "ideal job" out there. Even ones that are "kind of" suitable are few and far between. I'm seeing maybe one a week, to which I submit my resume, or email, or whatever it requires. Only one so far wrote back to ask for the resume in Word DOC format. That was two weeks ago.

Our relationship with Broker,Inc is working out quite well, in that we are picking up paychecks each week that prevent us getting too anxious about, say, moving to another city to find work. We really don't want to leave... but I've talked about that before.

The contract they have us on looks like being more like three months than two, but there is plenty of work there, and if we do a good job I think there's a good chance they'll renew the contract for longer, at least for one of us.

In real terms, we probably have just as much job stability as we did for our last 6 months at Acme.