It’s very much a daily grind at the moment. In the day job, it’s a constant stream of work to get the long-awaited migration/server upgrade ready to go in time (and having all of two programmers and one tester to upgrade and migrate three interlocked web applications plus all their ancillary services while maintaining availability and everything else is a long, long process. I think this has been going for about 4 years…).
In addition, I broke the cardinal rule of the workplace and managed to accidentally volunteer myself for a focus group that’s attempting to create a new set of monitoring and analytics. In my defense, I had no idea I was volunteering at the time. I just commented that it would be nice to be able to tell what parts of our software got the most use and how that related to what parts of our software had the most bugs reported against it. Next thing I know I’m in charge of the focus group to build it.
I am so out of my depth it ain’t funny. This is uber-introvert, world’s worst self-promoter, totally not a leader trying to run a freaking focus group. Yeah. Riiiiight. I do better with things where I’m working on my own, not coordinating or leading things. Ugh.
All of which means that I’m just not braining when I stop doing the day job. There may be braining happening towards the end of the weekends or on rare occasions if I get a spurt of extra energy during the week, but for the most part, ze brain, she iz ded.
A bit like the derpy Westley who’s gracing the featured image today, really.
I remember focus groups. But I try not to.
Quite. I did not expect my – entirely sensible – comment to turn into a focus group, much less one that I’m leading. As Ned Kelly said, “Such is life”
Brain is not ded, she is beaten into submission, in a coma, and resting.
She shall return.
Hopefully stronger and wiser.
Brain feels more like the norwegian parrot, what is not pining for the fjords. Hopefully she will indeed resurrect and be stronger and wiser.
I keep finding myself on committees by fiat. “You always have such good insights!” say the Powers That Be. Darn it. Alas, it’s too late to mimic the Wisdom of Wesley cat.
Oh, yeah. I’ve been voluntold a time or two. It can be crazy – I spent a lot of time on a committee I got voluntold for, did a presentation a whole lot of people liked and made a whole of points that a lot of people thought were excellent… and nothing happened.
Aha, you need a friend who can play Consultant – anyone from Far Away, with a briefcase, who can tell them the exact same thing everyone has been saying for Quite Some Time Now. [NOTE: NOT volunteering. Too far. And I’d be tempted to carry a labrys… ]
Alas, yes. The Expensive Consultant is automatically more credible than we mere peons.
That presentation was fun, though. I started with the basic process we use to onboard new clients. Then went through a full block of post-its added to all the different steps of the process showing the different “customizations” that happen, all to point out that we didn’t actually have anything resembling a standard process so of course the whole thing was horribly inefficient.
Since then we’ve been acquired by one of the megacorps, so things are even more interesting now.
Alas, having the ability to come up with ideas that impress the Powers that Be by no means translates to the ability to persuade your peers that your ideas are any good. (Rumor has it that it works the other way around, too). Different set of skills. Condolences. (I’ve been *told* I’m very smart, but somehow no one seems to listen to me, so I hermit) (Ze brain, mebbe hibernating, not ded?)
Not only that, but the ideas that impress the Powers that Be tend to be diametrically opposed to the ideas that impress the peers.
Along the way I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said something like “If it was my call I’d do this thing, but what do I know? I’m not a manager.” (usually spoken in the wake of the latest ridiculously complicated “initiative” coming from somewhere up the management chain).
I am minded of two guys who, having each read a brief review of PL/1 in some magazine, were tasked with figuring out why a PL/1 program, which had performed flawlessly for a couple of years after the designers and writers absconded, suddenly didn’t. PL/1; self-modification is our forte. P. s. We rewrote it.
Ah, the joys of maintaining code
The joys of maintaining code you did not write: only slightly more obnoxious than maintaining code you did write.
Mind you, I suspect that there’s a hidden process in there which turns brilliantly written new code into horrifyingly inept legacy code.
Also known as the feeping creatures, stemming from feeping creaturism.
Unleash your inner Vlad. Unfortunately you can only stake their heads on poles outside the office, verbally, but give them the full Aussie vocab if they need it to stay on task and answer those two questions implied in your comments, determine if there’s an issue, and then how to fix it.
And stay away from bright windows, just in case.
My inner Vlad is not something that needs to be unleashed anywhere. I still find myself thinking that certain obnoxious parties would be much improved by a nice long pole with a good vantage point.
I’ve had the exact same experience. Made a comment that there should be a serial version of an ANSII bus standard (Lesson: don’t make spurious comments in a bar after a meeting). Spent the next 11 months going to a monthly meeting as chairman until standard was written. Learned a whole lot about Roberts Rules. Also learned that writing an ANSII standard standard in that short a time is a real anomaly.
I know better than to volunteer, but I hadn’t realized that in the eyes of the corporate world, saying anything can mean being voluntold.
You guys did well. Standards are nasty things.
Ha! ANSII may be difficult, but, try writing a standard that involves lawyers.
Having implemented a pilot electronic filing system when working for the state supreme court; my boss, the director of the state court administrative division tasked me with drafting the national standard for the committee formed to write an E-filing standard. The participants were all lawyers, many at fairly high levels of their respective state court administrations; except for me and another IT professional, who became by co-author. High level lawyers don’t know sh1t about software and networks. Every meeting was very contentious and wanted changes to the draft, usually things that had been in previous drafts. After more months of this than I could really stand, I quit as did my co-author. The U.S. Department of Justice wrote me a very nice letter of appreciation. The committee then wrote something that on later reading made no sense but sounded wonderful.
*scritches the Dwead Piwate Kitteh
The dwead piwate Westley-kitteh accepts your offering.
Treat it like a group project in college, ask for folks in the group to volunteer to do the various parts.
When nobody steps up, just do it all yourself and your own way. When you circulate your completed work mention you are seeking folks to step up and re-do any areas that appear to have issues. When dead silence is the only response, send it to your boss with a nice cover letter thanking all of the folks who left you alone.
Probably less hours, certainly less personal interaction and the big plus you aren’t going to be tagged to maintain some other contributor’s iffy code five years down the line, just because you were the project lead.
All of which is wonderful advice apart from the bit where I don’t have a clue what to do with it.
Actually, a lot of this is going to be figuring out what the different divisions of the megacorp do at the moment, then figuring out what would work as something resembling a common standard.
Once I’ve got that, I can define an XML format for the data and use it to feed a dashboard – and the only part of that I know how to do is define the XML format. But oh, well.
Next time I keep my big mouth shut.