I took a challenge I never expected myself to take before!

Before going into this post, I would like to give a brief summary about what I do… I am a Sr. Systems Engineer, I have worked on many products and technologies… In the past 3 years I’ve been working with Google technologies mainly on G Suite (former Google Apps for Work), and it was a great experience I can never thank God for allowing me to be in this place, now this is not the time to talk about what I managed to get/learn from my work… but I’ll do that soon!

In addition to my knowledge, I’ve been writing code since 2 decades and maybe more. Since the days of VB5, I was just a kid in elementary school, I started out by helping my uncle designing interfaces for his freelance work at that time (mid 90s). And I fell in love with coding and programing,… Since that time I’ve been doing great with VB and VB.NET, until I decided I needed to expand, I got into PHP, Linux scripting, PowerShell, and Python… Before hitting the wall of C#!

Keep in mind I’m not a developer and I never was… I just love coding. My current work has made me put everything I know and have to good practice, including my coding background…

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With my struggle in C#, comes the other catalyst, CUSTOMERS and their requests. Because we are a Google re-seller, we offer deep support to our customers including customization and special scenarios build. We use GAM a lot and I love it. And here where my story starts!

A customer was using GAM to manage his users’ signatures, he was happy and everything was smiling at him, until the cmd.exe of Windows decided it no longer love him and started inserting strange characters into his signatures when using GAM…

I know about Google APIs, and I know GAM uses them, but I don’t know how… Well, that has changed now, I know about Google APIs, and I know how THEY work, and I know how to write applications in C# that call and use them! All because of the cmd.exe of Windows and the customer who hated each other!

To be honest it was a situation where I was presented with 2 options, either get myself lost trying to figure out what is going on with his cmd.exe, or either I look into that big shiny door of Do It Yourself… and I decided to enter it…

Talking about Google APIs and C# is like talking about the force you see when you put 2 magnets in front of each other, both on the same + or – side… they will never stay together…

It was the hardest pain I ever had to work my way through the classes, methods and calls of the libraries in C#… the documentation issues and the resources were all painful to work with, I was completely on my own alone in a nuclear ship in the middle of the ocean and no manual for how to operate that thing… I sometimes felt sad that I wasted a lot of time for nothing… many times I got frustrated and decided not to go on and just admit defeat… but then something kept me going and gave me hope of ‘just try this again’ or ‘just read the manual again’…

In 2 weeks, I managed to do:

  1. A client application that do scheduled backups for folders on Google Drive every day
  2. A fully functional signature manager that integrates with Active Directory and can manage signatures automatically
  3. A data size reporting tool that compares the sizes of mailboxes between Gmail and local Exchange server or Exchange online!
  4. And I’m still now thinking about new stuff to do… All in C#

I don’t know what gave me the power to break that wall, but all I can know is I had a dark challenge, a scary one to me, and a very complicated one… but somehow I managed to win and do what I wanted. That will be fuel for much more, not only for coding, but for things that extend beyond work into my other personal and life issues!


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