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Muddle Through


Muddle Through

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Muddle Through

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Nice comforting editorial today Steve, thanks. It's certainly how I've made whatever name I have, more as a developer than a DBA but it's the same principle. I've learned and forgotten more stuff than I can remember (that's why I've forgotten it!) but if I need to know it I'll work it out.

I'd comment that muddling through seems a peculiarly British idiom, perhaps I'm wrong, or perhaps you have been lingually influenced by visits to this side of the pond? Smile
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I continue to muddle through but I make a point of capturing my muddlings on Confluence so the next poor sod has at least a strong starting point.

The great thing about writing stuff down is that those that know better can see where I'm going wrong and correct any incorrect assumptions. One of the problems with muddling through is that, although you will produce something that works, you are never sure if you have produced something that does it the hard way. Where is the trusted source of knowledge on the subject on which you are muddling through?

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Aaron Cutshall
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Good comments Steve. I'd say that they worst scenario I was in where I really had to muddle through was to support an antiquated phone system. It was a proprietary system that had limited connectivity and administrative options and it worked alongside a different proprietary voice mail system that was equally barren of documentation and support. Both systems were from different manufacturers who were no longer in business. No one at the plant knew much about them other than some very basic tasks, therefore it fell to me to figure out how to go beyond the basic tasks and perform true management including expansion and preventative maintenance. I was able to consolidate the management of them into a single dedicated PC connecting to them both via serial ports. Of course, no one was happier than I when the system was replaced with one much easier to manage and maintain.

I did learn an awful lot from that experience. While I've never had the need to manage another phone system since (and do not plan to do so again!), I did learn a lot about how to address problems, research issues, determine solutions and even to how to make improvements in a less than ideal situation.


...when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. -- Mosiah 2:17
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In the beginning of my career, I learned IBM's Assembly language by muddling through mainframe core dumps and the System/360 Reference pamphlet. I believe that discipline helped guide me through the ever-changing landscape of technologies in application and database development. Thanks for the article Steve.


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A degree and professional contacts help get your foot in the door of your first IT job, but it's really resourcefulness, adaptability, and resolve that are essential for your success. If you don't have those three things, then you'll still be busing tables at a restaurant and paying off your student loan debt at the age of 35.



"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
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sdorris 90134 - Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:10 AM

In the beginning of my career, I learned IBM's Assembly language by muddling through mainframe core dumps and the System/360 Reference pamphlet. I believe that discipline helped guide me through the ever-changing landscape of technologies in application and database development. Thanks for the article Steve.


I remember learning IBM's assembly language back in the '70. A great way to understand how a computer really works. congrat's on the learning process.


The more you are prepared, the less you need it.
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It's muddles all the way down... BigGrin

I automated myself out of a job once with 2 DCL scripts on the company VAXen...
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Great points Steve! when you read one of those crazy job descriptions where they want the new person to do everything, you can expect that the person who left was one of those '...take on any project...' types., just like Steve. And it is a great way to learn on the job! Who does not want to get paid to learn?

The more you are prepared, the less you need it.
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chrisn-585491 - Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:09 AM
It's muddles all the way down... BigGrin

I automated myself out of a job once with 2 DCL scripts on the company VAXen...

I once substituted for a migration manager who was on maternity leave. I automated her very manual processes with a few DCL scripts and simplified the process greatly and freed me up to do other things instead. When she returned she was furious because I took a job that only she could do into one that anyone could do and it toppled her position of power.



...when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. -- Mosiah 2:17
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