intjonathan: (Default)
(On stress.)

The weeks approaching a release feel like looking at the 10-day forecast and seeing "42F, 90% chance of precipitation" 10 times.

Your hibernation instincts kick in something strong, but you can't sleep right. The overwhelming urge is to make everything to just go away.

But you have to go through it. The puddles are deep, but the power is out. There's nowhere else to go.

Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement. It's good.
intjonathan: (girl)
cramping shoulders, mild excema, poor posture, dehydration, insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, jitters.

spooky tree by niralisse on Treemo
These are a few of the signs that I'm encountering crushing stress. Ironically, were I still in school, this would be finals week. I thought such weeks would be few and far between when I finished schooling, but it turns out that at a startup, they happen about once a month. It's really wearing me out.

If I make it through:
tomorrow, I get to decorate my tree.
Wednesday, I get to go to a movie.
Thursday, I get to put together my new computer.
Friday, I get to sleep in.
Next Tuesday, I get to go to dinner on the boss' dime.
The next two weeks, I'll be off work for a week.
The end of the month, I'll have thrown two epic parties and finished the most dynamic year of my life, all while playing 3 games of speed chess.

You wouldn't be able to sleep either.
intjonathan: (mamimi)
R&B on my new BFS sounds amazing, almost hilariously good. Modern mastering techniques ensure that hip-hop bass kicks on even cheap car speakers, so when you combine Missy Elliott and a Serious Bass Device, you get reminded that there are frequencies of music that ears have nothing to do with. I'm glad I have cool housemates.

I remember thinking something along the lines that after we put the site out for public use, the speed of development would slow to ensure a high-quality product. I was not the only one who thought this, and we were all of us wrong. The money clock dictates that the features must be released, the feature checkboxes must be filled, whatever it takes. Next year, I tell myself, then it'll be calm. It's probably a lie, but it helps me sleep at night.

rollin even by niralisse on Treemo

Every developer dreams of working a job where the engineering and management practices are sane. Yet, for some reason this job doesn't exist. Its employees will tell you that Google is a happy, magical place where Quality Is King. Microsoft employees will tell you it's pretty good where they're at, despite the rest of the company's departments. Amazon employees will be jealous if you have a real desk.
So while the bureaucracy at HITS was impenetrable, the engineering was solid, and we worked hard to ensure we met business needs in a maintainable, understandable fashion. At a startup, or at least at this startup, market timing trumps nearly every other factor. It's quite frightening to throw everything I learned about software quality out the window so we can meet carrier testing requirements on time. I've taken to reading my software engineering textbook at night just to remind myself that I'm not insane, the mobile industry is.

dusked by niralisse on Treemo

Aphorisms for today:

  • Money can't buy happiness, but it can sure keep you entertained.
  • A beer in the afternoon is delightful at work, but don't drink it because you're hungry, or you can expect to stumble home with a stupid grin on your face.
  • Software development is primarily a human endeavor. Ensure you choose the right humans to do it.
intjonathan: (bjork)
I got a feeling that something is not right. Had it all day. I hope it fixes itself. If I stop focusing on doing something, my heart starts racing and I'll stare blankly at something, unable to focus beyond the adrenaline. It's really starting to freak me out.

I found this weird snaily type thing in my bed this evening and it was freaking me out for hours until I figured out that it probably fell onto my shirt on my way home, which I then put on my bed. Finding unidentifiable biological things between one's sheets is never a happy experience. It certainly didn't help the preexisting stress situation.

I programmed the furnace to turn on this morning but it refused to cooperate, even on override. Instead a suspiciously musty smell has been emanating from the intake all day. I secretly hope that tomorrow it will turn back on and I can write it off as a fluke, but I have no idea about the likelihood of that happening.

Got to see the new office space today, it's great except for the front-facing office arrangement. There's only 3 real offices with doors, and they're all too big. There's a large reception area and a mailroom, both of which are basically useless for us. We do get a conference room, which has cubicles in it right now but that should change.

Dont box me in by niralisse on Treemo

There's a lot of things we'd rather have, but it's really clean space in a great location, so it's really hard to complain. Nearly anything would be better than the cramped bullpen we're in now, so let's be thankful.

New Treemo office space by jeff on Treemo

I'm going to go crazy if I sit around here all night, so I guess I'l go hit up the video games at Deb's. If I'm going to be grouchy, I'd rather be distracted.
intjonathan: (Default)
Edit: We're live! Go see it and sign up!

We're looking down the gun of an evening launch and an early morning start tomorrow. It's been about a year since the project started, and we've got as much of a media blitz as we could muster hitting tomorrow.

All 7 of us are in the office, sort of waiting for blockers. Everyone has been asked if there's any crises left several times.

One major worry is speed. It's extremely difficult to get a quick sense of how an application will scale on the web. We're expecting an exponential traffic increase very quickly, and are hoping things don't slow down interminably.
Of course, slowdowns (and even inavailability) are somewhat expected for any new site, especially if you get digged or slashdotted. We're hoping for the kind of attention that burns servers down.
intjonathan: (haku)
Cable modem's upstairs, CAT5 is strung about the house, and I'm feeling better. There's still an absolute mountain of stuff to do, and it's very hard to take it one evening at a time. I'm starting to understand the cultural idiom of taking years to unpack every box, because when all you've got is 3 hours a day, that's how long it takes.

I strongly doubted the value of my Thinkpad when I purchased it just one quarter before I graduated, but it's turned out to be one of the best purchasing decisions I've ever made. Having something so small, useful, flexible and durable by my side during all this fluttering about the continent(s) has been invaluable. That I got it for only a few hundred dollars after selling old gear is icing on the cake.

Work is a brisk 15-minute mile away. I'm looking forward to being used to it. We're horribly busy this week, as CTIA is next weekend and we've got a bunch of demo stuff there for Jeff and Brent to show off. If you have internet access on your phone, be sure and check out the site. It's improving rapidly and we've got a bunch of neat tricks for your phone to do. I'll probably be roped into doing late nights tomorrow and Wednesday so we can squash all the P1 bugs before the Thursday push to the live site. I haven't worked with the rest of the site much, since I've been doing side projects, so I'm kind of dreading it. I also resent having to still go to work when the house is such a disaster, but it's the only way I can afford this silly space anyway, so I guess I better go. The house isn't going anywhere, but the site sure is.

Moving is best described as an iterative process of evaluation, ownership, chaos, control, refinement, and mastery. It is not a sequential process of evaluate, select, own, master. The mastery phase is temporary, as life changes around your stuff, and you must evaluate again, own the problem, create a mess, tame the mess, perfect things the next day, and make it routine. By the time I had to leave Orchard Meadows, I could make a box of Annie's with my eyes closed. Today, it took about twice as long as it typically would, and involved many unnecessary or inefficient steps.

My nature is to seek perfection in routine and surroundings, to refine until my day rolls by like an ancient river. Moving is a 100-year flood. The river flattens houses, swirling in an angry roar of force until the land is tamed and the flood retires.

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June 2012

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