Once upon a time we had a new young programmer start with a company I worked for. We gave him a task to display an up or down arrow on a user interface to indicate when there was a connection to a remote mainframe application. He got the arrow to display but it never pointed up when there was a connection. Days later he was still working on this task when he got very excited and called everyone over to look at his screen. We all looked and didn’t see anything very exciting. We told him so and he yelled, “look! look! the arrow is pointing UP!”. And so it was. We all smiled and quietly walked away.
Today I had one of those “arrow pointing up” moments. For me it was a big red X. I’ve been struggling at work the past few weeks (or months) working on this project. My boss comes by every day to see how I’m doing and I told him he would know when I made progress because he would see me jumping up and down. Today I finally fixed a few things that were preventing my displays from getting data from another device. He saw me jumping up and down and came over to see what was happening.
It was A BIG RED X!
We stared at it together in awe for several minutes 🙂