Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Remembering the future

(added book reference below)

Six months from now is January...

Its cold and snowing. I'm drinking a latte, writing this entry and expecting a call for the morning stand up since I'm working from home. I can hardly believe just 6 months ago I missed this weather during a heat wave in July.

As I write, I reflect on the last six months, its crazy how much has happened on my quest to become a better developer.

The summer was hectic, both professionally and personally. We released the Beta version of Ript, it was awesome. We celebrated at the Brass Monkey with a few rounds of beer and great smiles. We all love the application and we learned everyone else does too!

Shortly after the release of Ript, Oksana and I presented The Gentle Art of Pair Programming at Agile 2007. It was awesome! We played lots of games and having the whole team there was a great demonstration of agile team spirit.

While all this was going on, I was on my way to becoming a Rails guru with the help of an expert mentor and a small Oxygen web app.

Aside from my professional adventures this summer, there was a lot going on personally. Somehow with all the chaos, Oksana and I took up surfing with the help of a coworker, Lee. It was definitely an adventure! I also got serious about the gym and yoga after slacking off all year. My husband and I started kitchen renovations (they're finally done!) and we took a trip to Bermuda with my sister and her husband.

Of course I can't forget, I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one night. I'm gonna miss Harry and his friends' adventures...

The low point of the summer was Jury Duty. That's all to say on that subject.

Once fall began, things picked up even more. The release of the Rails application was successful and I sadly said goodbye to my mentor. I then spread my new knowledge to the rest of the team, which Robert was absolutely loving!

We had several new team members join our team at Oxygen and they were totally rockin'. They quickly came up to speed on all our projects (so many projects...).

I spent a lot of time in the fall working on our upgrade to high definition, a domain reminding me of my past experience in broadcast software. I also spent a great deal of time preparing for my DevTeach sessions in Vancouver (Thanks Scott and everyone for the great memories!). Of course I spent plenty of hours blogging, reading various books, blogs and anything else to help my projects and presentations.

On the personal side, my husband and I created a web site for our consulting company, making our business a little more official feeling. Since then he's created several applications and I've been coaching agile practices every so often. I keep telling him to leave his job and work for our company full time so he can be a full time daddy if we ever have kids :P

By far, the most frustrating and exciting project was my kitchen renovation. It was quite an undertaking, but well worth the investment -- I love to cook! Its amazing how agile practices help home designs, renovations and working with contractors :)

Once December came, things slowed down. I love Christmas time. My husband and I took time off and relaxed, prepared for the holidays and enjoyed life.

I took the time to do some counting:
Blog entries -- 63
Emails to Ayende -- just over 50 questions about rhino mocks and other things (with a few reminders to get some sleep :P)
Movies watched -- 73
Series watched -- Smallville, FullMetal Alchemist, FruitsBasket, Berserk!, Invader Zim (again), Samurai Champloo, thats all I can remember at the moment...
Books read (fiction) -- 18
Books read (development) -- 5

After New Year's, work started again. New projects and interest in Ript 2.0, which is super exciting! Our HD release is just a few months away. Broadcast deadlines are absolute, so we have little time to lose.

I'm now awaiting the spring and looking forward to what the future holds...

Thank James Kovacs for the details of my future.

I'd like the following people to reflect on their past 6 months from now:
Roy Osherove
Lee Bankewitz
Scott Bellware

If you are wondering, this is called remember the future. Its a great exercise to use with stakeholders to help determine the long and short term goals of a project. Also a fun personal exercise too! I learned this exercise in a class with Luke Hohmann and he has a book with this and other games called Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play.


Jean-Paul said...

Hey Wendy,

That looks like an awesome exercise, and it looks like you have got big plans on the go!!

I think I'll have to sit down and see what my "Remembering the future" looks like.


Kyra said...

Hi Wendy! Luke from Oxygen gave me your blog address, I interviewed over there last week (I think you were remote pair-programming?)
I just came back from Japan, and I used to have lots of nerdy, anime loving friends back in Palo Alto, but not very many adults like anime over in Japan (go fig ;)) and haven't met anybody here yet. I know you're crazy busy, but let's hang out sometime!
my address is kyra weaver at hotmail dot com (no spaces).
And my blog is http://littlegaijin.blogspot.com
yoroshiku! ^_^

Justice~! said...

I'm obviously a little late to comment, but I really enjoyed the way you tackled this. I think "flashing forward" is a great exercise more people should do to keep themselves on track with what they want to accomplish!

Keep writing!