shivver13 (shivver13) wrote,

Catching Up

It's been a while since my last life post. Since then, at work, I've done the last bit of time on the project I've been on since last August, taken a week's vacation, and now joined the team of an existing in-house project.

The old project

I should really say that there were two projects, both for the same client company. Project A was the one that I'd been on since last August, that had gone live to the public in late November and we'd been doing ongoing development for since. Project B was started around late January - they reorged A's team into two teams (A didn't need as many people anymore), with me and my husband, the QA team, serving both. Then in March, they brought in a small outsource dev team, "to help with development" as they said, but we've all been here before and knew they were going to replace us. Sure enough, after a few weeks, they said that we'd all be taken off both A and B, that the outsource team would be taking over A, and who knows who's taking over B.

I'd say that the last two months of working on those projects was a cf, but not for us. It was frustrating, for sure, but I fear more for them than I mourn for us. The team for project B is Indian, and they're about the same as every other Indian tech team I've worked with. They are technically competent but there are cultural differences that prevent them truly shining. For example, they do not like to disagree or to tell you no, so if you ask for something and they either do not understand what you want or cannot do it, they will still agree and then flounder for the next couple of weeks trying to figure out how to do it. However, they still do good work and the leader for project B understands how to work with them, so they should do fine, if a bit slowly.

Project A, however...

The individual developers on their team are excellent, but they have no discipline, and their project manager is more interested in pretending to be a developer and trying to write code than in organizing the project. For example, he organizes the requests from the client into a body of work for the sprint (that's the time period for the work, normally two weeks), then tells the developers, "And if there's anything else you want to work on, just add it." This basically means that the devs add their pet projects and at the end of the sprint, the client's work is halfway done. He sets no goals or deadlines, and a release happens when the client finally goes to him and says, "Hey, it would be nice if we got those features you finished a month ago to the customers."

(And then, of course, when that happened, it took him two weeks to finally get the new version out, and when he did, it failed because he hadn't followed the established release procedures and thus hadn't realized there were configuration changes that needed to be made to keep things working. He was lucky that my husband had been shadowing him, so he knew about the configuration changes and pointed it out as soon as the software failed. No, my husband wasn't allowed to tell him beforehand, "because it's a learning experience".)

I really liked Project A. I think that the product is cool and it was developing into a useful application, and people were really starting to use it. I'm not saying that I think it's going to crash and burn because of this new development team, but its road is a lot harder now. I also really like the client lead (he was great to work with when we were developing the app), and if the project does crash and burn, it'll be on his head, and he doesn't deserve that, because it's not his fault.

The vacation

My home state is easing off the shelter-in-place restrictions - I believe we're now in what's called the "phase 2" step - but I realized that I hadn't actually processed that. To me, we're still in lockdown as much as we can manage, so life hasn't changed much, and "vacation" basically meant that rather than sitting at home working all day (or, as is more appropriate, sitting at home playing Animal Crossing while project A's team flails around all day), we were sitting at home doing nothing all day. Which was brilliant.

I had been rather proud of posting new stories in May - one completely new one for Good Omens that I really like because I think it's rather clever (and apparently no one is getting the point, as far as I can tell from few comments I've gotten for it) and one that I'd been working on for a couple of months and finally pushed through, for Blue Rain - but unfortunately I've been playing too many video games lately to keep writing regularly. I need to get back into the Camp Nanowrimo mindset. I am actually working on a fluff piece for BR but it's not coming out as fast as I'd like.

I have been, however, working hard on my calligraphy, one to two hours a day, because it's just been so much fun. I am learning Copperplate, and despite all of the issues I've been having with the pen nib, I'm actually progressing.

You can see that I am still pretty shaky (omg that 't' in 'partes' is awful) and my letter sizing and spacing varies widely sometimes, but I'm pretty happy with my progress. I've been keeping all of my practice sheets with dates on them, and when looking at them like that, the improvement is obvious.

However, I've been distracted. You see, the client lead for project A above really enjoyed working with me and my husband, and he decided to sent us parting gifts. As far as we know, he didn't send gifts to anyone else, so we are truly honored. To my husband, he sent two pounds of gourmet bacon, because my husband is well-known for his love of bacon. It was awesome stuff. Yum. My gift, however, was delayed for a while. He told my husband what it was, and my husband didn't tell me what it was but said, "You are going to squeal when you see it. He was obviously paying attention. It's better than anything I've ever gotten you. He one-upped me. I'm going to have to kill him." Then came the jokes of, "I wonder how big a box he needed to package Tennant up? I hope he cut air holes."

The package finally arrived on Saturday, and it was this: My present

And he was right. I squealed. He got me a Good Omens present, with the intent that I fill it with calligraphy.

So now, my goal is to record all of Agnes' prophecies in that book. I've gone through the novel and written them all down, and now I'll be watching the series with the pause button in hand. I also need to learn an appropriate script. I wanted to do it in Copperplate, but it's too big and fancy for what a handwritten book should look like. I decided to learn Chancery Italics, which is Italian and not English but is more like how I want this to look, and here's my first attempt at trying to mimic it.

The new project

Now I'm on the new project, which, as I noted in an earlier whiny post, I don't want to be on. I still don't, but I don't have a choice. It turns out that the project that my husband went to, which he thought was going to want to acquire the other guy on my current project, probably won't want him and will want me, so there's a non-zero chance that I'll be off this project in a couple of weeks. It makes it a little difficult to work, trying to learn this project when it's possible, maybe even probable, that it's all a waste of time.

Luckily, right now, they have me doing strategy work, reviewing processes and making suggestions, rather than actual hands-on testing work, which would require a lot of hand-holding as I learn the application. That isn't going to last long, though, so here I am hoping that I get to do something more interesting and more aligned with my interests soon.
Tags: real life

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