Monday, March 9, 2009

non-distracting alpha

After spending a week dedicating my brain to the efforts of release testing, I had a realization of just how distracted office life is. Prior to my arrival at my current employer, I was telecommuting and enjoying the associated super-productivity. When I made the job switch, I continued the super productivity, but it took much more effort and longer hours.
I enjoy being in the office, I am a social creature at heart, but my work often suffers from the little distractions here and there. When I am in my "zone" I get amazing things done in minimal amounts of time. I can multi-task like there's no tomorrow. But when you add in the chatty noises of people on the phone all day within earshot, the movement of 200 people in a high rise building, and the general distractions of working in this environment, productivity goes down hill.

Last week I was able to work up 13 defects (in the office this work normally takes me 3-4 weeks to research and complete). I even managed to learn the missing pieces of my IDL knowledge base (not that anyone wants to be a know it all on indirect lending, but it helps when debugging) I didn't have much free time (no shopping or beach trips) but I feel super accomplished and refreshed. I didn't even manage to get in my traditional CA sushi fix! I am still a little shocked about that one. I did find a break for fish tacos, a late night dinner trip to Asti (super yum Italian seafood in gaslamp), and was able to meet up with a few friends for late night meals/drinks. Just not my normal CA travel agenda, which was fine.

I also managed worked in a 3:20 am showing of Watchmen on the last night, banking on the long flight home to recoup some sleep time. I figured it was a good reward for working 12-14 hour days between alpha and keeping up with projects back home. My favorite line of that movie being "I am used to going out at 3 a.m. and doing something stupid." I think the lack of sleep and the timing made that way more hilarious than originally intended. I loathe the color yellow, but the film was made well enough for me to ignore my normal annoyances with color palates and allowed me to focus on the great storyline. (I think I would have liked giant CGI squids better for the ending, but that's just me)

Misc thoughts on the upcoming release:
*account number change - great idea, but can't use it with remote poster/failover D :(
*loan queue enhancement - bug free and looking forward to the screen and field additions
*masked hb param changes - again long time coming security feature that will be put to good use
*syc off/onhost - possibly my favorite list item
*ezwriter datafiles - I don't use ezw, but I know alot of people who will appreciate this addition
*created by fields - looking forward to this one and modifying the fmhist searches out of existing specfiles to speed up processing
* lots of good stuff in this release and nothing too crazy to warrant months of pre-load testing

It was a great week. I learned alot and was able to share my brain with a few other industry people in the process. I will have to get make-up sushi another time :)

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