Today marks my first post using the category of ceditra. As a reminder for those who don’t recall this post , ceditra is the term created by Brazilian artist Abril Pajyaso for the process by which art is created through a random process.
Now that the recap is over, let’s move on…
Personally, to obtain my inspiration, I have selected a variety of source materials including an almanac, dictionary, and a few works of literature. Through chance, one of my sources is chosen and then I attempt (stress: attempt) to create some form of art (at the moment, that art is mainly written entries to this blog whether it is an opinion or poetry…my what a lengthy aside this is). Today’s entry comes to us courtesy of Martin Manser’s The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. The random proverb that was selected (by a super-secret process; patent pending; all rights reserved) was “let the cobbler stick to his last“.
Simply put, this proverb means that people should not offer advice in areas outside of their own knowledge.
My challenge here is to write something (anything) with that proverb as my leaping-off point. So what to type…what to type…hmmm….
I find this adage funny because it is the antithesis of my vocation. I am not computer programmer (anymore) and yet it is in my job description to criticize the coding work done by others.
That is my job. I’m a software tester for a major IT firm in the DC metropolitan area (yeah, like I’m going to spell out its name so my superiors can see that I write a blog…dream on) and have been employed by them for nearly six years.
Of course, I don’t look at my job as criticism. I am not critiquing developers on their ability to write code because I have no idea what a DO-WHILE loop in Ruby looks like, but I do comment on the discrepancies of an application from a user’s point of view. It is my responsibility to point out that, despite the best of intentions of the programmer(s), the computer program does not work as designed. Now, no one wants to be told that their hard work doesn’t meet spec, but that’s what I get paid to do.
Just like a good parent, a computer programmer (and as a former code-jockey, I can say this) is rather fond of their lines of code and see it for the beautiful, talented, intelligent child that it is.
My job, and I do it well (and with much élan), is to tell people that they have an ugly baby.
Ultimately, of course, it is far better (and cheaper) for me to point out that the baby is ugly rather than have the paying customer holler back to our management that the application does not work as requested.
I may be told that, like the cobbler in the proverb, I should stick to my last (of course programmers use much saltier language and the better ones can even throw in insult in Klingon), but at least with my criticism in hand, the developer can make the baby cuter.