A typical work day, part 3

Sometimes, software development is like surgery. I am in the middle of code changes that will allow the use of the proper employee ID as the main identifier for people. There are multiple steps involved. First, I had to change all fields in the database that referred to PersonID and were integers to the new EmployeeID and set them as varchar(10). Then I had to identify each place in the source code that referred the old value and replace it with the new value. Finally, I had to make changes to database stored procedures that referred to the value. I have completed this cycle once, so far, and have several additional stored procedures and code functions to update. In the meantime, the application is not working because all of my changes must be in place for this to work. So at this point, I’ve cut open the chest cavity, and severed some arteries. Now I need to reconnect those arteries to the new attachment.

In the middle of all of this, I paused to submit my expense report for my trip to Pittsburgh last week. We have an online system for doing this and it took me about 10 minutes to complete the process and submit my hotel receipt. I am owed just over $300 for the trip, which I expect I will get on one of the next two paychecks.

I also decided that once these identifier changes are complete, I’ll need to completely update the data model document for the application so that the entity-relationship diagram matches exactly what is in the database. I’m supposed to send a copy of the data model to some of the customers anyway, so that they can evaluate some of the fields of the database in order to answer some of our technical questions regarding security. So once I’m done with the current “surgery”, the next step is to update the data model.

In the meantime, it’s just after 10 AM, which means the Apple Store is now open. I need to run over there really quickly in order to pick up a new case for my new iPod (the old case won’t work for it). Forunately, the Apple Store is in the mall above which my office building sits so it will take only a few minutes.