Today I got to put together a new server at work. Not install an OS, but the actual physical hardware. With our implementation of VMWare at work, this is a far less frequent occurence than it used to be. Most times, if we need a new server for a project, I can just point click, and build from a template, and within a short time, I have a basic system ready to go. That has been a great thing, and (as I was one of the principle proponents of building up the VMWare infrastructure) I can't say enough how much easier and efficient it makes our team. So, you might be wondering why I'm making a big deal out of doing something a bit more archaic, such as building a hardware system.
Simple, there is intense satisfaction out of taking a pile of raw parts, that on their own can't even function, and putting them together into a working unit. It might seem silly, but the snap, and click of putting in raid controllers, memory cards, fans, and hard disks makes me happy. I believe it has to do with the very physical, tangible nature of the task. So much of what I do at work, dances around in the ether. Sure, you can measure the trouble tickets, emails, phone calls and all that, but all of that is a side effect of what I do. You're measuring the symptoms of my work in that fashion, not my actual work. And even at that, the measurements are really just ideas. But with something like this server, it's a physical thing.
Before I put it together, it was just an empty space in my server rack. Now, it's a large steel box. If I dropped it on your toes, it would hurt. If you walked past the rack, you would see it. It's lights would blink and flash. They exist. You can look at the racks, and you can see all the physical equipment that my team and I have put together, and maintain. Sometimes it just feels good to be able to see your handiwork.