After many years in school and working lowly, but rewarding, jobs in IT, I truly feel learning is one of the best attributes that I possess. It is an attribute that everyone should strive for and keep close to them no matter what.
As I have stated many times before… I am an avid listener of podcasts and video podcasts. I love them because they help me stay up-to-date in this frequently changing world of IT. I would have to say my newest vidcast that I have been enjoying lately has been HAK5. They are just a bunch of real down to earth people talking about technology! They are a bit goofy but that’s okay with me. I believe they were recently added to revision3, and I’m quite glad they were.
I really enjoyed the piece by Chris Gerling on reverse engineering on .NET applications (and more). This is a very handy skill to have especially since I work with .NET. As I watched the podcast I didn’t think much about it. I found it to be very cool and engrossing; tres geek. I like how they broke the segment down onto multiple episodes (inside of being deluged).
Come a few weeks later (now), a couple of the network guys came to my cube and asked me if I could help them with an application a previous developer wrote. I politely said “Sure! Not a problem”, which they responded with “Great one catch though, all we have is the EXEcutable and we need it ASAP”. I think that was actually two catches, but anyhow.
I said calm and coolly, “all we need to do is decompile the application get the source code and we’ll be ready to go”. I suspect it was not the answer they were expecting. I was calm and cool because I just watched the great hak5 episodes that involved reverse engineering! Hot dog. I earned major cred points for my attitude and how quickly I was able to reproduce the code for the problem.
After inspecting the code we found the problem to be a configuration code; not a development bug. This was such a critical step the problem solving process. This also proves that learning is a lifelong process that needs to continue beyond school and become apart of your life.