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Satisfactory programs you did

let's take money, time, efforts, labor, language,experience, OS , personal fun etc.. out of the equation. What is the best satisfactory program you have done? ie.. Program that you think is worth while for the society..

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Hmmm I dunno about worthwhile.

The single diskette file copy program I wrote at Apricot to meet a Lotus 123 installation requirement when R&D failed to come up with anything after months was satisfying.  Not least because it was done in two days.

But then it really wasn't that complicated to do as I used the run time library argv to process wild cards.  The rest was simple memory management.  But it was very satisfying.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 22, 2003

I usually liked team projects, because I could see that the program development progresses faster, and because of the social interaction. I was in a good team, then.

As solo projects, I liked some simple ones:

Backup program written in Python.

It was very simple to write, but it was extremely nice to get exactly what I needed in a backup program.

I still use it after quite a few years!

Multithreaded web spider done with Delphi and pure winsock. It was intensely satisfying, at that point.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

My most satisfactory program from Circa 1980. on an Apple ][
10 PRINT "Heston was here!"
20 GOTO 10
Heston was here!
Heston was here!
Heston was here!
Heston was here!
The only satisfactory program I have ever written!
Everything since then has been too much like work!

Heston Holtmann
Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Yeah.. those were the days. One would get all excited over the sound of the key presses.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, July 22, 2003

We re-implemented a sonar system that cost $10 million per installation on COTS equipment. Our total cost, including development time and all the hardware for four installs, was $5 million.

Nothing like saving big chunks of taxpayer dollars to make you feel good.

Chris Tavares
Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Has any software ever been 'worthwhile for society?'

Ged Byrne
Tuesday, July 22, 2003

First random Quake 1 game mod ;) first significant programming endeavor, done with no programming experiance of any kind ;) It's cool when you make something happen and understand how you did it (I did, that time).

Haven't done much useful. The best things I did were quick one-off programs, like attaching volume control to my joystick's throttle, because it's there... I like those projects you can get done in a few hours. Longer ones don't feel as satisfying.

Another good one: I wrote a time tracking web app to do what my company needed in less time from scratch in PHP/MySQL in less time than it took others to try to hack an existing one into usefullness. I like getting things done insanely quickly (and having them work well).

Mike Swieton
Tuesday, July 22, 2003

I get the most satisfaction from seeing users get value from my programs. The intellectual content, or how much fun it was to develop is part of it, but I find it most cool to visit a customer and see them running something that I wrote years ago.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

I think it tends to be the last one written!  Mine is a data migration program that saved the company somewhere between 3 and 5 million!  The funny part was that it's not rocket science and is built around maybe 4 API calls to the old system and about 2 Windoze calls.

It's gratifiying to me to see something so simple work so well.  :-)

Greg Kellerman
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Greg... congradulations! Not necessarily on the program, but on cutting through the red tape that companies usually surround around such projects.. They usually think nothing good can cost less than $3 - $5 million.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

While not my program, Jim Kent's GigAssembler, was instrumental in the government beating Genomics to decoding the human genome.

Here's a New York Times article about it:

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The one I liked the most was a Commodities Trading System for use on the actual trading floor.  My bro and I wrote it, and it's still used (with some Y2K mods) in Winnipeg.  It was initially used in Winnipeg, Sydney and London.

Happy to be working
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Multiplayer "snakes" and a Defender clone on the TI99/4A. Half the kids in my street where absolutely hooked on it and I loved it.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I wrote two windows services that automatically fax reports to our customers.  The two services are on different machines.  One service is connected to the database and the other is oblivious to the database.

A great exercise in the power of distributed programming.

Bryan Shaw
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Corps Battle Simulation (CBS) -- US Army simulation built under contract by JPL and used to train thousands of soldiers up to and including division-level staffs. I was responsible for the IV&V for a couple versions back in the early 90's. It was in regular use by the US, West German, and South Korean Armies for years. Probably been replaced by a different simulation by now, but for a while it was a hugely useful tool. Also, I was one of the three voting members of the CCB for CBS, was a SME for some of the combat engineer functionality, and served on the team that devised the rule base for the infiltration automation feature. Important, hi-vis project, worked with great people, very successful missions.

The late 90's complete overhaul and re-launch of the websites for a family of major hotel brands. Enormous improvement over the previous site, brought in truckloads of money booked over it. Still does, though it's been re-skinned and the family of brands have been bought since then. Multi-million dollar effort, paid for itself quickly.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I felt pretty good about an Access database I built for an HIV/AIDS clinic in Zimbabwe. It handles their purchasing and distribution. It's simple. It saves them lots of money. I feel good about it.

There have been several threads lately with several posts indicating that software is all about making money, or personal satisifaction derived through the sexiness of code.

I don't want to be poor, and I do get turned on by sexy code, but these are things that drive me to do software, not things that drive my life. I'd feel better flipping burgers for an organization whose mission I support than writing machine code for an organization whose mission I find deplorable.

I'm certainly not interested in getting into a battle of politics, but the comment above to the effect that no one spends time writing software that is worthwhile to society wrankled.

And I had a liquid lunch.

So I couldn't resist.


Thursday, July 31, 2003

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