Monday 19 January 2009

May you live in interesting times


I must say, the joy of travel palled for me a little yesterday.

The airtrain bit was great. Checkin with Qantas was fine - although my flight was early (wtf?) so I nearly missed bagcheck.

Anyway. Got on the aeroplane, spent ages just sitting around. Obviously there was at least one other person who had planned to turn up on time instead of early. Finally took off, the flight was ... flight-like. Nothing particularly of note.

Got off aeroplane in Melbourne. Retrieved baggage, checked back in with Jetstar, and wandered the terminal looking for food (it's only 8pm or thereabouts). Finally found a vending machine, and paid ridiculous prices for a snack. My flight to Hobart was scheduled for 10pm. Which was fine.

We left at 11pm. That sucked.

Disembarked at the airport ... and no taxis. It's midnight, it's chilly, and there are no taxis. 20 minutes later, after sitting on the concrete and security staff making phonecalls, a taxi turns up. The taxi dude is kind of cool, though - he knows what linux is, and dicks around with electronics in his spare time. Awesome. Get to the uni and press the silver button and ... I've fallen off a list. After about an hour of digging through, they say 'sleep here, check back in the morning'. Kudos to those lovely reception people - it was *really* late, and they went above and beyond.

So, after leaving home at 8am brisbane time, I crawled into bed at 1.30am Hobart time. The downside to all this?

I haven't had a coffee yet.

Friday 16 January 2009

I feel all growed-up

So, this morning at 3.30am AEST, my first major public-facing project went live. It went off without a hitch, and whilst there is some polishing left to do (stylistic, and some functional) I am pretty impressed with it.

This project has only been a 2 month effort, true, but it has been a pretty massive effort. I am perhaps excessively pleased with myself for actually getting it over the line in that time.

I am really enjoying this new place of work. The atmosphere is great, the people are great, and there are lots of really exciting things on the horizon.

2009 - BRING IT ON.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

How distributed teams are broken

Distributed teams can work. There are several examples of this in the open source world.


Sometimes, they are just really annoying.

Like right now, when the senior developer is a 3hr time difference away, which makes having strategic meetings somewhat difficult - especially when they have to be rescheduled to later in the day. Were this other person in the office, we could all just go down to the pub and have this meeting, despite the office boardroom being occupied.

Oh well. Could be worse. Actually, next week, it will be. I'll be in Hobart, most of the office is in Brisbane, and our senior developer will still be in NZ.

It's mostly the time differences that make things awkward. For instance, I can spend an hour searching for the answer to a question that the guy for whom it is 8pm could have answered in 30 seconds flat.

The physical separation also ensures that there is not watercooler chat - meetings have to be organised, days or weeks in advance, to make sure that two-way communication is possible. Impromptu discussions about code or process issues simply can't happen, between the remote and local members of the team.

There are some benefits - flexibility in workplace hours and location is nice. But it does come at a cost.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Been a while ..

So it's been some time since I posted on this blog.

I have news!

I've been selected as a Google Diversity Delegate ( for LCA2009, and I'm thrilled.

See all you shiny people there!