It happened again. I was working on redundant ss7box yesterday. When I launched the second ss7box there were lots of route audit log messages. Odd because ISUP was not running so there should not have been any route audits. How could I have screwed up so badly?
I got up and walked away. I did not return for over twelve hours. In that time I realized that I was not clear on how to configure redundant ss7box yet. Maybe the configuration was screwed up.
This morning I confirmed that the problem appeared as soon as the new redundant ss7box was started. I looked closely at the ss7box configuration and found that the same port number for sockets to the ISUP layer had been used on both ss7boxes. I found a new configuration rule.
This find strengthened the thought I had yesterday that configuration definition is still too complicated and redundant. Getting the configuration correct is difficult for me, so it will be impossible for a normal user.
This experience demonstrates the importance of taking time to think as part of the debugging process. Setting breakpoints and adding print statements are important too. What's more, it's active debugging. It shows that you are doing something. On the other hand, thinking is passive. It's often done while you are doing something else. It looks like goofing off. It's not. It's probably the most powerful debugging technique that I have. I first heard about it in engineering school at the University of South Carolina from Dr. Pettus. I've found my own way to what he was talking about. It takes a while to get there.
Problems are usually not solved on a time line or according to a deadline. If they are, they can be forced and awkward. Taking time to think through a problem and letting the solution come naturally according to function of the brain doing the thinking is valuable. My brain does not arrive at solutions well under high stress. It won't find any solutions when there's a lack of stress. Finding a tolerable balance of stress is the key.