The Lisbon (debugging) job | Enea Romania | 0LOVES1
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lucian lisabona

The Lisbon (debugging) job

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Most exciting memories are from those events that don’t quite turn out as you had hoped they would. Running against the clock to finish a project after a night’s sleep of only two hours, then hurrying to catch a plane. All of these things make for a good story to tell your friends.

For Lucian, there’s a story to tell from almost any place on Earth, but the most recent and exciting happened in Lisbon.

When he was young…er, Lucian’s dream was to have a job that would allow him to travel abroad. After joining Enea, his dream came true. In the 5 and a half years he has spent here so far he had the chance to visit China and see the Great Wall, he traveled from the Southern hemisphere, starting from Sydney, all the way to California. In February he had the wonderful opportunity to visit Lisbon, a city he had planned to see with his family just some months before.

The opportunity also came with a challenge.

One of Enea’s local partners had developed an app that could help people who are mute to be able to read using eye movement, but they encountered a problem that they couldn’t solve for a few months and couldn’t figure out where the issue was. Lucian spent about 2 days at the Lisbon partner trying to solve the problem.

The issue had been detected very early, during the first day but the solution was more difficult to implement since the local partner refused a Google patch that would solve the problem. So Lucian had to work around this. Only problem was: by the time they had found another solution, they only had a few hours to implement it.

Lucian and his colleague that was helping him understood that it was actually a problem in Linux. In order to apply the patch, they needed to have access to the sources that the vendor of the platform didn’t supply it to them. Then they needed to understand the issue better and it was quite complicated because initially they didn’t perceive the bigger picture. In theory, if you just took the respective layer, the problem wouldn’t have reproduced. But in the context of the virtual Java machine and with the given application, the problem reproduced sufficiently. They tried several methods, most didn’t work, but finally they reached a robust solution.

Summarizing, the main problem was that the platform was of a “closed type” – because they didn’t had the sources. That was the main difficulty.

And just with perfect timing too. They actually finished work at around 7-8 at night and they had their flight the next day at 5 in the morning. So they did what anyone would do: they strolled the city, next to a happy client up until 2 AM. So, after two hours of sleep the caught the plane back to Bucharest.

So, on a short note: trying to solve an annoying bug in Lisbon against the clock? Definitely tiring. Exploring the city for a few hours before living to the home town? Definitely tiring, but also fun. But the satisfaction that goes with this kind of job: definitely priceless.

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