And sometimes they break at inopportune times.
For example, today a friend asked me how I was doing on the internship front. I told him the current state of affairs, including that I had my portfolio up and online. Sent him the link, visited it myself as well. “Hey, when you click things, does the content change?” “Nope, nothing.” “Same here. Fuck.” The server was being a bit slow, but the tiny script that handles fetching and placing the content on-click didn’t account for that properly, so it would appear as if nothing was happening.
But I didn’t know that at first, so I scrambled about, trying to find the issue. There was pressure behind it, because hey, it’s a live website and important people will be looking at it for important reasons. You can probably imagine me running around with my hair on fire, trying to find the issue and then fix it as quickly as possible.
In these high-priority kind of situations, it’s important to stay calm, otherwise you won’t be able to think clearly. In my case, this wasn’t too hard. The server probably hadn’t been slow for very long yet, and it wasn’t like I accidentally deleted a customer’s entire website without having a backup handy. I remained focussed, did the usual routine to figure out the issue, threw in a quick fix, and then took my time polishing that fix up. And now, if loading takes longer than 0.2 seconds, a nice “Loading…” will appear, letting the user know their requested content is coming.
In the last few days, the portfolio’s had six visitors. Here’s hoping the thing wasn’t misbehaving at those moments!