It’s Midday on Sunday and I am on the train back up to Liverpool. I just said goodbye to Nikkie, gave her a great big hug, jumped on the train just as it was about to pull away, sat down and booted up my laptop. I’ve got to go into the office this afternoon to do some out of production maintenance work on the system. Geoff just called and one of the nodes on our SQL cluster has failed, so it might be a long night to get things back up and running properly again. The big advantage of having a high available infrastructure, with a backend SQL cluster is that you can afford to have and entire node fail and the system can keep on running.
So I’m sitting here thinking to myself, I have a very fucking cool life. I’m hacking together solutions for a living. I feel sort of akin to Randy Waterhouse in Cryptonomicon minus the WWII intrigue and global politics. I’m not jetting around the world setting up a data haven like he is, but when I step back and think about it, what I’m doing is pretty damn awesome.
I’ve spent the last week putting the finishing touches on a system that has been rolled out on a UK Ministry of Defence contract. It’s my system, running on Geoff’s infrastructure. It is dual redundant, highly available and scalable. It is totally secure, isolated from the outside world and is designed to meet JSP 480, which is the UK’s standard for networks that are going to contain restricted and secret documents. It’s an amazing piece of work and I’m really lucky to have had a chance to work on it.
I work hard on that during the week, and then I jet on down to hang out with my tall, blonde half-Dutch goddess for the weekend. I’ve got my trusty laptop at my side, akin to a pistol on my hip or a sword on my back. We’re going 3G now, so with the VPN software we are using I can jump on our secure network from anywhere and do some work. I’m a wandering samurai, a roaming hacker, a specialist doing an important job. And you know what; they actually pay me stupid amounts of money to do it as well!!!
Ok that may all be a really idealistic look at what I do, and totally glosses over the mundane, boring work that needs to be done to get everything working, but sitting here reviewing the last, hectic seven weeks I think it’s about time to get idealistic. I’ve done a really great job, and it’s moments like this which make it all worth it, which make you wake up and realise how bloody good you have it, how lucky you are to be living in such an exciting world. Not only living in that world, but playing a really cool part in it as well! Now that I’ve had time to reflect on it all I really can’t believe how lucky I am.

I’m free to be whatever I, whatever I choose, and I’ll sing the blues if I want.
I’m free to say whatever I, whatever I like, if it’s wrong or right, it’s alright.
Free, to be whatever you, whatever you say, if it comes my way it’s alright.

Written while listening to Whatever by Oasis.

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