Most days, I imagine, skilled craftsmen lay down their tools at the end of the day with a feeling of satisfaction, knowing they built something well. I know a lot of days like that.
But there are days you go beyond that. There are days a craftsman might come home after making really nice cabinets for someone, but only just yesterday learned a new joinery technique that MUST be exercised. Because cabinets are nice, but fireproof cabinets for half the cost is better.
In my free time I’ve been exploring new ways to make cabinets (by now, if you haven’t figured it out, cabinets in my case is software), and I’ve been spending a fair amount of my free time developing the conceptual foundation for something pretty cool.
Yesterday I sat down with a guy who taught me a new joinery technique. (The metaphor is almost literal, here. He taught me how to join C void* callbacks with Swift closures.) It was the closest thing I’ve had to a code review in 30 years, and dang if (let’s call him) Milo wasn’t enthusiastic about filling in the gaps in my code. It has been a long time since I’ve learned so much in such a short time.
So tonight, daily work complete, I’m sitting on the back patio with a beer, and moments ago was that fist-pump, when the new technique worked — the callback happened and the closure captured the generic type — and I thought, “damn, it’s a beautiful world.”