Eddie Cygnarowicz likes organization, which can be trying—especially for someone whose last name no one can pronounce. Mistakenly, he thinks he has life down to a science. Just like programming, everything can be structured into an algorithm that produces predictable results. Of course, life is more complex than flipping bits and bytes, as he discovers. Unexpected events can make a shamble of the best-laid plans. Life is more closely allied with chaos than logic.

Career Stress

Keeping pace with fast-changing requirements and rapidly evolving technology is difficult. But even when you’ve made a mistake, you’re just a bit off in a binary world. Eddie is a skilled software engineer, proud of his expertise as a code monkey. Unreasonable requests, missing requirements, and impossible deadlines are standard in application development. Eddie combats the uncertainties of the job and life’s surprises with humor, cynicism, and the misguided notion that he’s in control of his life and career.

Through trials and tribulations, Eddie Cygnarowicz learns more than he cares to know about the myths of job security and business ethics. But that’s life. There are lessons to be learned whether you asked for them or not. He thought he had his life mapped out, but somewhere in the chaos, he lost the source code. Still, he’s hopeful he can get back on track with a re-write and a few revisions. Life is a multiple-act play—Eddie isn’t sure whether it’s supposed to be a tragedy or a comedy. He’s determined to figure out his part, even as the script keeps changing.

Wake-Up Call

"TIME TO GET UP ALREADY? I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Patting my nightstand, searching for the alarm, I thought I must have gone blind. Then I realized it was still dark. As the fog lifted from my sleep-befuddled brain, I realized the phone woke me, not the alarm. Of course, the thought didn’t sink in until after I had knocked the alarm clock to the floor. Who the fuck would be calling me at this ungodly hour of the morning? With a sigh, I resigned myself to start the day early. It could only be night shift operations. Something had crashed, spilling bits and bytes all over the raised tiles of the computer room floor. There was some unwritten law in the IT universe: no applications fail before 10 pm. Any exception that crashes the system must occur after midnight.

Stifling a yawn, I reluctantly answered the persistently annoying ringtone. I recognized the voice immediately, Tim Jamison, third shift operations staff. “I hate to wake you,” TJ began. “But Larry isn’t answering.” It figures, I thought. The data center operations manager, Lawrence Brinker, was notorious for ignoring late-night phone calls.

“I fail to see how this makes it my problem,” I replied. I rolled out of bed, deciding to make some coffee since I was awake. Application developers develop a caffeine addiction early on in their careers. Long hours, late nights, and impossible deadlines demand a stimulant. Coffee isn’t tested for in the standard UATs (Urine Analyst Tests). A study should be conducted to determine how long a developer can function without sleep, given only coffee and dark chocolate...


JBroken: Symbiosis
Kindle Paperback

Available now, on Amazon a Kindle version of the story is ready for download. If you prefer to turn pages, a paperback version of the novel is available for purchase. If you have read the story, let me know if you enjoyed the book. It is easy to do; just click on this link to fill out a review. Happy read and thanks!

The book cover artwork is a fractal image created using the Xaos fractal generator. Simply put, a fractal is an infinitely repeating pattern across different scales. An image is created by repeating a simple process driven by non-Euclidean Geometry. The Mandelbrot Set, commonly used to create fractals, was named for Dr. Benoit Mandelbrot.


For more books written by Steve Croy, try the Library Page. Happy reading! - SC