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The sweet taste of victory

  1. Sep 30, 2007 #1
    Tonight I finally conquered a program that has been giving me trouble for the past month. This project has been the bane of my existence for weeks; a miserable black cloud constantly hanging over my shoulders cruelly taunting me for way too long. Any time I was having the tiniest inkling of fun, my thoughts would very quickly snap back to the harsh reality of my previous failures with this program.

    I kept trying, trying, trying to get the results I needed and every time I walked away, defeated, and I was closer to having a heart attack than I was to finishing this project. I printed out copies of the code to take with me to class so I could analyze where I was failing so horribly. I would run back to my office to try out any new breakthroughs I thought I had made while I was away from my computer. Nothing. Just horrible failures and results that made no sense.

    That all changed at 8:32 am this morning. I was in the heat of battle: cursing at my laptop, threatening to punch the screen in if I did not see the successful results that I had been chasing for weeks. Finally, it happened. I got the correct results. I told my laptop that if it was playing with me - if the universe had somehow saw fit to show me an incorrect result in the form of a correct result as a cruel joke - that I was going to destroy it for good. I ran no less than five simulations, and all of them were completely correct.

    I have never felt such joy in my entire life. I have never been so happy. I have never been so in the mood for dancing. This is the sweetest victory I have ever had. I have been up for 16 hours and there is no way I am going to be able to sleep. I feel the need to tell everyone in the world about my victory.

    Basically, this thread serves two purposes. One, I got to discuss my victory with people who will probably understand. And two, I'd like to hear any similar victory stories people have had throughout their academic and professional careers. Have at it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2007 #2


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    Believe me, I know the feeling.

    I work on complex problems in simulations. There is the battle with the comptutational engine - the model and the submodels - and then there is the battle with the inputs.

    Then there is the pressure to make sense of the results, and the limited time to do it since customers want results and not a research project.

    The last year I have been cycling through a series of what you described. Sometimes, I just have to walk away from the problem at hand in order to relax and let the stress dissipate.
  4. Sep 30, 2007 #3
    The thing that upsets me the most when my program doesn't return as I expect, is that I know the computer is doing exactly as I told it to.

    I recently spent time wrestling with a language that was new to me. Spent 6 weeks writing the outline of my code, started getting through. Everything seemed fine, it even worked. Then one day, without my knowing, i changed something and it all decided to collapse. 2 weeks (yeah, i know, stupid.) later, it turned out to be a couple of places where i forgot IDl starts at 0 instead of 1.
  5. Sep 30, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Congratulations! It is a great feeling.

    Friday was one of those days for me as well [well, Sat at about 3AM]. In a matter of a few hours, months worth of work came together and I realized that I had nailed a terribly difficult design problem - one that has stumped the competition for over a year now!

    Tsu and I celebrated by eating large quantities of bacon.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2007
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