“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him…
The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself…
All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw
I accomplished something at work today. It wasn’t some thing that was unbearably hard to do, although it wasn’t easy. It took a little pressure, a little persistence. It took brass and greasing of palms and it took unseemly hacks. But none of these is what this post is about.
Let me explain…
At work, we face a tiresome issue. Our builds take 2 – 8 hrs. Its been there for a while. Actually it was there when I left 3 years ago and has steadily gotten worse. In fact, its been there so long, that people have adjusted their lives around it. If you want to start work on an issue, you pull the view, start a build (with no changes in it) and then do other things until the first build is over. This could include coffee, Facebook, go-home. Then when that build is over (god forbid it fails) you start work.
When I rejoined, one of the first things I did was complain. I complained everywhere, I wrote mails to aliases, I spoke to my boss, I complained to my colleagues. There were many who joined in the complaining, and others got irritated and slightly pissed. Then my boss told me, don’t complain, fix it.
What I did first was to look at all the people who complained with me. What exactly was their complaint?, what had been done about those complaints?, what are the things they tried?. In this way I got a good idea of what was available. I then looked at how other people solved this problem. I spent some time rewriting Makefiles to see if that made a difference (maybe its just bad code, I thought). Ultimately what I came up with was a re-twist of an existing idea. Using new technology from my reading about the problem and starting where all the existing ideas within the company had stopped, I was able to come up with a pretty simple idea. In short the idea worked and is now being POC’d in my team. Build time – 20 min, Space usage – 100gb can have 30 views (previously it was near 2).
But that is not what this post is about. This post is a pat on my back for being Unreasonable. Its about all the talk, resistance, dead-ends and all the other crap I waded through unreasonably.
What was I unreasonable about? I was unreasonable about circumstances deciding how I would spend my time. Unreasonable about changing the way I work most productively because circumstances don’t allow it.
The cost of being reasonable is a life dictated by others and/or nature at large. It leads to un-productivity, inefficiencies and ultimately status quo.
I am not like this in all aspects of my life, I was in this aspect and this post is a pat on my back for that.