Much though I love the CommYou project, it's a bit hard on the ego. It's working, but I haven't yet gotten to the point where people pick it up and go, "Wow, this is *cool*", which is kinda the goal. (Necessarily: in order to succeed, it has to really suck people in.) I occasionally have to beat back the "you're a Failure" blues. Fortunately, today brought reassurance on a couple of fronts.
First, there was the consulting gig. Suffice it to say, I'm doing some serious UI programming in Flex; this phase of the contract wound up being about eight full-time programming days, which isn't a huge amount of time, especially from a standing start. (There was another week upfront, but that was all reading into the problem.) So it was very gratifying to show the current state of things off and be complimented extensively on how good it looks and how well it works. (Even moreso to meet the HFE person they just hired, and have her gush about this new UI.) It's all a good reminder that yeah, I really am good at this programming stuff.
I got home from that meeting and some errands at about 4pm, and found a fairly cryptic message on the box from the Senior Deacon of my Lodge. I tried and failed to return the call; given that we had a Lodge meeting at 6pm, though, I had a nasty suspicion of what was up.
You have to understand, tonight was a Second Degree, and the Second is *all* about the Senior Deacon. The second half of the degree is mostly composed of what's known as The Middle Chamber Lecture, a six-page monologue delivered by the Senior Deacon as he escorts the candidates around and introduces them to all kinds of relevant symbolism. And I'm the Lodge's Ritualist, the guy who teaches ritual to everyone else. (It's not obvious from SCA or LARP circles, but I'm a hardcore ritual goon, and pretty well-known for it.)
So I wasn't all that surprised when I got to Lodge and found that the Senior Deacon wasn't there, and it was pretty clear that I was going to have to take it on. Fortunately, I've sat that particular seat several times, and delivered the Middle Chamber Lecture more than a few times. This was tricky, however -- I haven't given that lecture in probably a year and a half, and two hours' notice is short even for me.
In the event, it wasn't perfectly smooth: there were some hesitations that I can usually avoid, and I'm sure I made some mistakes. But I still got practically everyone complimenting me on the work afterwards, so I suspect nobody noticed the errors aside from me.
So it was a good day for job satisfaction. I may not be as good at everything as I might wish, but I've still got some pretty sharp skills...