Saturday, 6 April 2013

That's smashed it!

A busy and fun week has flown by for me.  But I won't bore you too much with the details.

I have spent the week trying to work through the stress test results from last week to try and make them usable for the system.  A lot of work, and a lot of brain melting - but in the end we ended up with some useful data.

I've continued with the rewriting of the documentation for my new project.  It hard work, I'm  not a natural writer, but at least I have the opportunity to make sure that the project is mine, and ran how I feel it should be ran for the best results.  The business documentation is finished, reviewed and sent to the business for their comments before sending out to partners, and the technical documentation for the developers is coming along.

Oddly enough I find the technical documentation harder than the business, even though I can write it in English without having to worry about translating it to Dutch. I know what I want as a developer, and it's such a hard balance to strike. What is not enough information and where is information overload!

Still, it's got  me into the project in ways that I wasn't before.  Even if it has melted my brain! :)

And then there is the TFS migration.  Day two of the second migration and still it's not going as it should.  I see some hard discussions trying to get the machine to perform as it should.

But that's not smashed.  No...  That is something rather more annoying :)

We had a Scrum of Scrums this week- where all the Scrum Masters come together and discuss new ideas and issues so that we can all try to improve (both ourselves and our teams).

One of the things we decided to do this time was join each others daily stand ups, to get an idea how other teams do them, and to tell the Scrum Masters in those teams any improvement points that you can see as an outsider (it's always easier to see improvements from the outside).

So...  I was with one of the teams on Friday morning seeing how their team did their stand up, with my phone in my pocket.  My phone that had already hit the ash tray outside the entrance once causing the top of the screen to shatter in a way that it was still totally usable.

And then it wasn't in my pocket.  It was lying on the ground face down.  I have a feeling it bounced off of a table on the way down, as when I picked it up the screen had completely gone.  Whilst the factory screen protector kept it from falling apart it was no longer really usable as he edge of the screen was the epicentre and it spread 5mm or so into the screen before starting to thin out.  The the strands of the shatter went all the way around the screen.

So...  As much as I loved the phone it was time to look for a new one. An advantage of the TFS migration taking so long was that whilst there was not enough time in between doing stuff to start something new, there was enough to get some reviews on the screen.

Now... In the past I have done an iPhone, I've had two android phones.  And whilst I love my last phone I did not want to buy the same one again.  So.  Time to try a Windows 8 phone. I wanted the Nokia 920.  It has the same resolution screen as the Sony that died and is a nice looking phone.

I did notice, however, that the 820 (the "cheap" one) had the same hardware, except for the on board memory, screen and battery.  But it was an amount cheaper.  Choices.

I got to the shops and after waiting for a family to buy a phone (or not) by committee over 1/2 hour the sales woman came to help.  And, wow.  She really knew what she was talking about with the phones - and that fact that I am a techie as well seemed to go down well.  I've never had anyone so enthusiastic about selling me a phone before.  What the hardware differences were between the phones, her opinions on the price quality of the phones, what she liked and disliked and what she though would fit my needs best.

And at the end of the 20 minute talk, when I had a very good idea of what I needed she told me that she couldn't sell me the phone, as they had no Windows 8 phones in stock - but recommended a shop that could, seeing as my phone was about to die (she warned me of backing it up immediately whilst I could still use it).

I love it when a shop does that, they can't sell you something, but they still did their absolute best to help me.

I got to another shop and they had an 820 on display.  Yes the screen is definitely a lower quality, but the Windows OS, and the screen quality itself, made up for it and it was pleasant to  use.

So...  I'm now the proud owner of my first Windows phone. I know that it's less than 24 hours, but so far I love it.  Easily the best of the three OS's (although their are some glaring emissions that I hope will be solved in future updates).  Let's see whether I change my mind after owning it for an amount of time... :)


  1. Hi Stace!

    Well, first of all, you *are* a natural writer, sweetie. :c) Take it from someone who manages to eke out a living as a tech writer!

    Of course, there's a difference between technical writing and "normal" writing :-p, but I can tell you're a good technical writer as well because you asked yourself exactly the right question: what is the line between thoroughness and overkill? Or, to put it another way: who is the audience? Figure that out, and you're more than halfway there.

    I'll write to you privately about this - we don't want to bore normal people to tears while we fly our nerd flags! - but I've been working on a fun project (no, seriously!) where we not only use agile, but have been figuring out the answer to this very question.

    The key is getting input from the folks who know the answer - which, again, you intuitively grasp. In fact... OMG... it can't be... but... you might be a born writer, Stace! How horribly sad for you! Soon you will be mentally copyediting billboards and newspapers. I am so, so sorry, sweetie! lol Anyway, I'll stop now, lest ALL of your readers fall asleep!

    Also, since we're friends, I won't hold your ongoing inability to recognize the superiority of the iPhone against you, and wish you well with your new phone. :c)

    Oh, by the way... I dropped *my* iPhone not once, not twice, but three times this week. An act of solidarity, perhaps? lol We *do* seem to share both similar personalities *and* a dearth of basic motor skills!

    Hope you and Mrs. Stace have a wonderful weekend!!!


    P.S. Six days and counting 'til THIS girl sees Muse in concert!!!!

    1. Thank you for that! Not sure I can agree, but thanks! :)

      Asking the question is something I'm happy about, being able to do something useful with the answer is where I am concerned. We'll see what the guinea pigs say when I ask them for input (always a scary thing, asking for input from Developers as they usually have some ;p)

      I will admit that the iPhone was in my radar again for about 5 seconds. The experiences of too many people in the office with loose screens and the abhorrent amount of money they want for the phone put me off ;) Double the price of the Nokia for the same performance! (OK I'll admit that the screen on the iPhone is better per resolution, but the Nokia looks great despite that - I was amazed at how good it looks!)

      Yup... Clumsy and me go hand in hand. Unfortunately I also have a penchant for nice gadgets, which is not a good combination :)

      We had a great weekend, thanks. A post (or two) to come! And I'm in pain from it too, and not clumsiness this time :)


  2. Should that not be "Scrum Mistress"?

    1. I can see the point, but it does have a different vision when you say it!



    2. I like Scrum Mistress! You could even wear your witch's hat!

      I worked on one contract that used agile. We were a small team, and we had a lot fun together. Everyone had a nickname: Rock Star, King Kong, and Cher (his real name was Krishna - don't ask!). As for me, I was known as AC - short for Allen Craig, which for some reason was the name on my office there. (That is *not* my real name, needless to say. lol)

      But in the case of our fearless leader, who assigned the rest of us our nicknames, we showed the mutual respect we all shared by dubbing him with the moniker of... Scrumbag. :-p

      So when you consider that, you're really getting off lightly as these things go, Stace!

      == Cass

    3. I like the idea of the hat when being Scrum Mistress. I always say that there are times when I simply have to be a bitch in order to do the job well. The times people don't appreciate, but like the longer term results of :)

      And yes, it could be worse! ;p


  3. I didn't know you were a masochist..? :-D

    (Tweak, tweak!) :-)

    1. I didn't think I was either and yet still I tried the iPhone for 18 months!