Sunday, 16 January 2011

Out of breath!

Wow, what a week.

In the last week I’ve barely had time to breath – let alone do anything else.  So apologies for anything that I have missed…

We are ready to release a new product at work – really it should have been released last week, but with constant changes in specification, and with no lack of business knowledge at the start of the project (for those specifying) we were busy until Friday.  It’s been hectic to say the least.

Friday was going to be my wind down day for the week – I normally try to do as little overtime as possible (I’ve had burnout in the past, and really do not want it a second time), but this week it has had to be done.  I think that we are there now – there are a few last bugs to solve, but unless there are more changes in specs we are finished.  With everything going on I was busy all day – with my thoughts going ten to the dozen; s much for the wind down.

Now for the merge and release…  There is a usability test at the start of next month, and we need to be live before then. 


This week I have also had an issue with the after effects of last week’s laser.  I was expecting the pain; I was expecting the rash like after effects of having your hair and follicles burnt.  What I wasn’t expecting of still having the ‘rash’ now, and only having been able to shave properly for the first time yesterday.  That was really annoying!  I was supposed to be going to some friends, as Stace, on Wednesday.

They are really great people, and even though they have never seen ‘her’ they always treat me as Stacy.  Always – and it means the world to me that they do.  I was really looking forward to actually going as Stace, and having their support.  I give some coaching to him for his work, and we normally do this in one of the local cafes – it would have been nice to have been out as Stace with him.  But on Wednesday there is no way my skin was going to let me do that.  I shaved, in order to get ready but the results were not great.  (In case you had not read it in the sentence that was some English understatement there).  It’s shallow I know, but it would not have been good for my confidence to have been out looking like that for one of my first times in public.  So ‘male’ me went again…  That was such a disappointment and anti-climax from the build-up I had during the day.  Oh well next time (and not in the week after laser!).


And I have some personal projects to start at home as well…  There are three that have priority with me.  The first is to do a small website, using HTML 5 and jQuery.  It’s the way that we have to move at work, and whilst I am not a frontline developer anymore, and whilst I have never enjoyed the HTML end of development, I think it’s important to know these things when I supposed to a working foreman to my team.

Second, we are thinking of moving towards using Scrum more in the office.  We were supposed to be doing that a while ago, but it never really materialised.  I want to get up to speed with project management using Scrum and see which of our future projects I can apply it too.  I think that the developers would really like it, though I am not sure that the business would be able to cope with the initial hit that it is going to take to move from what we have to where we need to be.  And without the support of the business it’s just not going to happen…

Finally…  I want to do some problem solving with my team.  I have a number of very good, intelligent developers in my team but I think there is an issue of some of them thinking using the keyboard – and that is something I want to change.  When in university we spent the first half of the first development course not actually in front of a computer.  We did problem after problem, with increasing complexity and spent the time developing the skills that you need for solving issues – something that has left me in good stead ever since.  I really want to spend time here as I think that this more than anything else is going to help lift the level of the department – the ability to see what the problem is, and figure out how to solve it is more important in creating quality solutions that having x design patterns (also important!) in your head.

I think.

(Incidentally if anyone knows of some nice online resources for any of those things please let me know!)


Hopefully this week is going to go a little simpler.  Though I somehow doubt it ;p



  1. Argh on the shaving post laser (at least from what I hear)

    "were not great"

    As in, don't cross the streams? :-)

    As to the problem solving stuff, if it's possible, get the necessary parties away from their computers, into a room and include a large pad of paper + pens. Low tech, but not necessarily a bad thing IMO! :-D

  2. As in moon surface bumpy and requiring more foundation than my brother uses on walls when he plasters... Par for the course I guess, just wasn't prepared for it.

    I'm planning on a meeting room with no technology at all. (Well maybe a beamer to display the problems on the wall).

    I just am not sure how to go about it...


  3. I felt I should leave a comment but I don't know a thing about programming, Stace. I am a techie of sorts but that part of my brain just does not seem to get it. I took a programming class while in college and I passed it but not without daily help from my wife who does have a mind for this stuff.

    I do hope your don't get burned out.

    Calie xxx

  4. Thanks Calie.

    The project is almost finished now (we started the deploy flow this afternoon) and so the idea is that it's less busy for a couple of weeks before it gets all interesting again.

    After suffering from burn out a decade ago (and still suffering from the after effects) I don't intend to take that route again. If it gets too much I take some time out and go for a walk these days.