Conversely, write about something that’s kicking ass right now.

Being a web developer can simultaneously be the most rewarding experience and the most depressing experience. The best thing about my job is that I get to create something from nothing, and that something can actually be useful to someone else. My worst thing about my job is that people complain about everything. If a website is humming along and doing what it’s supposed to do, people shouldn’t really notice. If something suddenly stops working, the Internet will rain down hate on said website and you will know about it.

I’ve been at my company for almost four years now, and for 99% of that time, we have had to maintain a legacy site that has no ties development-wise to the people who work here now (the work was originally contracted out to an external firm). It was also some of the most difficult to maintain and temperamental code I’ve ever laid eyes on. What always seemed like a simple enough bug fix or request on the surface turned out to be a giant iceberg that could take down 100 Titanics. At once. The site was beyond redemption no matter how many times we tried to redeem it.

We finally realized the only way to move forward was to cut our losses and start over from scratch. Building a site from scratch is no easy task, and building one that must serve many masters is even more difficult, but somehow, with the incredible talent and work ethic of my coworkers, perseverance, optimism, and zero tears, we birthed a completely new site that other companies would have built with double the people and double the time (we had neither luxury).

There are still kinks to be worked out, as every site is pretty much a living thing that constantly evolves, but I’m really proud to be a part of something that will help many people for years to come. And we literally created it from nothing. Isn’t that something?


P.S. The title of this entry came from a meeting where someone offhandedly pointed to as an example of some feature we were thinking of implementing, and our product manager started calling our meetings “BATTLE ORG” because the site we relaunched is a .org site…I guess you had to be there.

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