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November 17, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

Validataion and Impacts

The kick-start didn't happen until after lunch. Bob and I commiserated over lunch about how when we were in the office littl coding ever really got done. By the time I'd caught up on my email, checked out how all the stocks were doing, and made my morning latte it was time for the engineering meeting. When the meeting was done and I'd gotten a chance to talk a little with Cera it was well past noon and Bob came over to ask if I wanted to lunch and take a walk.

A bunch of my email was actually from Arun's group, with a bunch of questions about what we'd done, how we think, what we were doing. THAT was the best feedback I could have gotten about yesterday's presentation. It was a real relief in a number of ways and Arun was very explicit about what he thought the benefit was for his group. That was good. So I feel much better about yesterday, today.

The day was just gorgeous, high 70's and clear as a bell. So we went to the local deli and then walked, Bob-speed, out onto the paths behind the deli. We went all the way around the back of that area and then back around back to the bike path which then took us back to work, talking about as fast as we were walking about anything and everything and how things were going on both fronts. That was very good indeed. It's always good to talk with Bob in order to get grounded in what's possible with software and how things are going on the whole for the company, for him, and how he sees where the group is going and what kind of impact we can make.

It's really amazing. A group of just about ten people being assimilated into a company of maybe 1500, and we're making some impact in how they do business, how they think about their software, and how they do their everyday development. Having John as the lead of making the builds happen has really opened eyes around here and he's had a lot to offer them in how they do things and what the real problems are. He's been doing so much to make things better, not that the folks here weren't already doing that, but some of our perspective about how necessary it is to figure out what people want before writing anything has really made an impact.

Having all of us engineers be on the front line of answering questions from users has honed our need to make it right from the start. To not get that call in and to not be the one in the way of a customer getting a job done.

That is very good.

So, energized from talking with Bob, I did the mechanical work to get everything stabilized and checked in. The changes I'd done yesterday were fundimental to our innards so I wanted to check them in as soon as possible so that everyone would get a chance to work with them and test them out. Everything else I would be doing would be on the side of what already worked; but this stuff interfered directly with how everything worked. So I got all that stuff in. Then, as usual, after a discussion from the morning engineering meeting, I then proceeded to do completely different work to get some stubs in for other functionality, which took the entire afternoon. That all went in pretty smoothly and by the time that was done it was dinner time.

I really should point myself as these entries when I'm estimating my time, next time. Then again, I estimated six weeks for the big problem that I have only three weeks to do, and I burned one on angst. Kathy asks why I don't watch Buffy or Angel anymore, and I tell her that it's 'cause I have enough angst in my life, I don't need for my entertainment to have more of it as well. I think it's one of the reasons I've avoided Fight Club as well, eventhough I'm also somewhat fascinated by the reputation of it's solidness. The whole line about how 'we grew up thinking we'd be movie stars, millionaires, and picture perfect and found out that it was all bullshit' is way too angsty for me. Pain and destruction is no answer, even destruction of oneself. There's so many other options, it just seems... screwy. Like watching a movie of someone trying to break their way out of a room and the whole time they're ignoring the door and the window simply because they've assumed that it was locked.

Sure. Characters are different than me. They think different than me, but when it goes too far contrary to the way I try to think everyday, it's like a complete disconnect. It raises the voice in my head that says, "This is wrong. This is a belief that can destroy a path that is working if I choose to accept it." I do know that I can choose not to accept it, but the way my brain and emotions work I usually 'try things out' for a while because it just is at the top of my brain.

Yeesh. Now *that* was a tangent.

Dinner time turned into a small excursion with Cary, Bob, John and I out to the Pearl Street Mall, where we just went into an Old Chicagos because some of us had never been there and we had okay food at actually pretty okay prices and talked a lot over the table. By 8:30 p.m. John and I were so exhausted from the bad night before that we just decided to go home rather than stopping at the Foundry for a shot of scotch with the others. They decided to go home, too, and so it was. My back was really bugging me, and the soft-back booths at OC was just killing me. So I was very glad to get into the Passat with its lumbar support and just zoom home.

After the last few nights, John and I finally decided to try sleeping apart for a night. I was smart and took a painkiller as well before going to sleep. We both made the guest bed upstairs and John gave me a very gentle backrub before I went to sleep. As I slept, the wind picked up and eventually it woke me up as it howled and boomed against the house. The whistling along all the edges of the house was so loud, and I could hear Fezzik's wading pool start sliding along the porch. The house itself, however, didn't even creak as the wind pounded the walls outside. I was very impressed. After a brief time awake, I went back to sleep, soundly and thoroughly. That was very good indeed.

The wind should clean out the air tomorrow. Hoorah! We'll see how much it actually helps

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