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Triple Lutz, Triple Toe

weather: sunny
outside: 18.5°C
mood: ...
Work has been A TOTAL ZOO this last week. It's been FANTASTIC. =D


Acting Boss has become Actual Boss now, YAY! It's only the HR Itemology™ that's left to do and that's waiting for Acting Big Boss to come back from vacation next week. The down side of this, of course, is that The Boss is now constantly in meetings, which means there's only one other co-worker available for more in-depth questions and he's pretty swamped, himself. So, we have to deal with the circus that is outside the boardrooms. =}

We may have a new Actual Big Boss soon, but that takes more time and is a more involved process, I guess. I really hope Acting Big Boss takes it; I like him, I think he's cool.

We were pushing for an Pre-release Release for the Huge Partner so they could start training. You KNOW it's not a good sign when you have to use messed up terms like "Pre-release Release". They want to use our platform as a point of sale system. Our platform was never meant to be a POS system. That's been an assload of fun hacks. Amazingly, there haven't been many issues logged... which worries me.

But on Thursday night (which is their Friday morning because they're on the other side of the planet), they decided that next week was not an auspicious date to start. Our mad scramble was lifted due to the alignment of random cosmic occurrences as dictated by A Master™... um, w00t? They've put it off until the next auspicious date which is sometime in September. *snorf*

I've entitled the next release "The Triple Lutz, Triple Toe". =D There are three major features and three different focal areas within those three major features.

I'm a big fat nerd. I really am.

I felt really bad that I've gotten very little of my actual work done. Every day for the last few weeks, I feel like I've been buzzing around in a mad panic all day. But then at the end of the day, I've made very little progress on the test pass in the feature area I was supposed to do. I still logged bugs and did test cases, but not to the extent that I would expect of myself.

Then one day, I was determined to write down every last thing I did and clock it all. I took my scrap paper pad with me everywhere and made sure to write everything down. This actually took a few days and a few tries because it's just too easy to just DO THINGS and forget to write anything down.

At the end of the day, I had one 8.5x11 piece of paper jam packed with items and little notes sticking out of those items, going in every which direction. I didn't even have the time to turn the freaking page to write on the other side, I could only scribble up and down on any free real estate on the same side of the same page. And I could almost tell the exact time of the day I wrote something by how small my writing was XD

My mornings consist of building the source, installing the new build, sending out notification to the team. Then I'll have to individually tell people about some of the details because they didn't read. Worse yet is when they tell me the build is broken. Then I have to spend time helping them chase down crashers and why bizarre things are happening. And it turns out, they haven't installed their updates.

The winner was the one where the client application wasn't working at all. It turns out that the tester had blocked the outgoing traffic from his machine to the server.

Seriously. You have a client-server type of application. You launch the client and log in. A Windows Security pop-up window comes up to say that Such&Such Application is trying to send an outgoing packet. You're asked if you would like to block or unblock this client. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? I couldn't believe he clicked "Block" and then couldn't figure out why shit wasn't working. =D

I'm also helping the Developers chase down troubleshooting information regarding the bugs they've taken on. And at this stage, there's a lot of this going on. On the whole, I love working with these people though. Our Dev and QA are a wonderful crew, there's a lot of laughing and joking every day.

I am also my Boss' Backup Meeting Person™ for certain projects or project topics. I attend meetings that Boss can't go to because of scheduling conflicts. Then I have to send a summary of what happened, what they decided, what we're doing and anything else that's noteworthy.

And then there were a whole bunch of one-time things that I've done in the last few weeks.

For example: our bug tracking system is a home-made XAMPP-like style application. It's a web-Perl-MySQL-Apache thing on a Linux box. It's stable and we've been using it consistently for years with very little modification. It's far from perfect, we navigate around certain things, but it's there. There was one field that was implemented but never used. This week, we decided that that would be a good way to add another dimension to tracking issues of a certain nature.

I wound up slogging through Perl code for the first time in a loooong time. =) It was exhilarating to be in the vi editor again and following through the execution path to the database and back, and to and fro... I found the code that did what we wanted, went to the database, inserted the new record.

And watched it NOT WORK. XD

Slogslogslog some more... slogslogslogslog. I think I actually had a good idea of what the problem was for a while, but I kept at it because I so miss running around in UNIX/Linux and didn't want to finish just yet. =}

But I got that done. I also made some minor tweaks for usability, seeing as how I was in there already. I didn't want to change too much because even though the source code is backed up, but not checked in to any source repository. I wasn't allowed to touch this before, so it's not my setup. Making major changes would be like driving wrecklessly backwards in a Pinto with no seatbelt on. =\

ANYWAY. Now that I have a better idea of what's happening to my days and why I'm not actually getting testing done, I don't feel as guilty for having so much fun at Work. I'll probably be talking to the Boss soon about what I'm supposed to do and how I should prioritize things.

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