Category: Work

Right, so

Important life tip. Or, if your life isn’t full of drama queens, then at least it’s an important work tip.

Save the receipts. Save all the receipts.

Not shopping receipts… the receipts the kids talk about. The screenshots of things where people say something that you need to remind them of four months later when they act like they said the complete opposite thing. Those receipts.

Having a long memory helps, so you can remember you even have the receipts in the first place.

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Weekends are supposed to be fun

A rough accounting of how I spent the last four days:

  • Thursday: worked 8am-2am, owing to the previously-mentioned deployment problems
  • Friday: worked 8am-10pm
  • Saturday: commuted into town to work at the office. Left at 6am, got back at 7pm.
  • Sunday: worked 8am-4pm

But hey, at least I had a few minutes to (finally) finish up Yakuza 3 on Sunday night. I had started that one back in January or February and hadn’t been able to finish it due to work taking up too much of my time. Didn’t think it was a particularly great game, but by the time I’d made my mind up on it I was already close to the end anyway. The Yakuza series seems to be an odd one to play all the way through in order now. Yakuza 1 and 2 have both undergone full remakes to modernize the way they’re played, but Yakuza 3-5 are still stuck in ‘remaster’ zone where all they got was a fresh coat of paint. Yakuza 3 weirdly manages to look both up-to-date and out-of-date at the same time, while also having a plot that goes absolutely nowhere at times unless you’re into chasing kids from an orphanage around.

So that leaves me halfway done with the Yakuza games. I’ve already started Yakuza 4, and have higher hopes for it just based on the fact that Yakuza 3 lowered the bar from the first two.

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Measure six times, cut once, still lose a finger

The testing process where I work is pretty thorough. There is little appetite to hotshot a code change all the way into a production public safety system where a bug can have an impact on, well, public safety. Any code my team produces go to QA, where they test it in their own environment without interference/influence from us. Then, before it’s deployed, it goes to the deployment team, who has their own environment and their own means of testing the product, and they test it.

(This is in pretty stark contrast to how things worked at my very first development job, where source control didn’t exist and I was essentially testing in production.)

The deployment team is unique in that they have two environments; the actual production environment serving live traffic, and the staging environment where production support steps are rehearsed before being executed for real. The staging environment is supposed to be a 1:1 replica of the production environment so they can rule out environment-specific issues.

So imagine my near-total lack of surprise when I get summoned to join a call last night at 1am because… wait for it… the software was doing something completely unexpected in the production deployment. Why was this? Turns out the staging environment was in fact not a 1:1 replica of the production environment, and the deployment team missed a detail turning out to be completely unique to production.

I’m probably going somewhere with this story, but being this short on sleep has taken its toll.

But hey, at least the finger-pointing process is always a good time.

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More late night bloggings

I guess that’s three nights in a row, for the first time in… well, ever? Not sure what the scoop is tonight though, and I’m not sure I actually have anything to ramble about this time.

I actually worked this afternoon, for the first time in a week. The more time I spend getting our internet service database to line up with our billing database, the more I wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier in the long run for the kind folks who built our billing system to provide (or otherwise give me the keys to) an API that we can use to provision all our services out of. It makes sense, or at least it does to me considering it’s 4am. Somebody upgrades their speed, the order goes through the billing system, and bam it’s done. No losing the sheet of paper as it makes its way to the next room where the internet guy fills the order, and theoretically changes the speed. Somebody cancels or doesn’t pay their bill – turned off right away.

I’ve actually been able to roll some stuff I learned in this semester’s computer science class into the big project I worked on all summer. (You know, the project that was my life for 3 months, then 12 hours before it was supposed to go live we noticed the hardware we were going to upgrade at the same time didn’t work. So it got pushed back to Labor Day, then to fall break, then to…) This way in 3 or 4 years after I get lost in the wrong section of San Francisco and wind up dead at the hands of a deranged homeless person, the next person can come in and do whatever the hell they want without needing to worry about the heavy lifting database-type activities.

Ok, I guess I had something to ramble about this time.

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The State of the Site, pt. II

I learned how to change a toilet seat today.

Now before everybody starts jumping to conclusions about why this took place, let me set the record straight: I did not race to the bathroom in a diarrhea-induced panic and blast humanity all over the old toilet seat. It wasn’t anywhere near that exciting – one of the bolts snapped for some reason, leaving me with a seat swinging around on one bolt. No big deal, replacement seats were $10 at Home Depot, problem solved.

I’ve been sleepwalking through the day, thanks to being awakened at about 830 this morning. That includes the escapade with the toilet seat, dinner with the folks, a few hours cleaning up the storage drive on my PC, etc. It wasn’t anything in particular that woke me up, but I suspect the sun being out and shining into the room had something to do with that. I’m going to have to hang some curtains I think; getting four hours of sleep on a Saturday is criminal (and having it happen several Saturdays in a row as it has to me is even worse).

I had some issues with the cable after moving everything in here last night – apparently the signal coming into the cable outlet in the bedroom is significantly weaker than the one going into the living room. Running the cable box and the modem through the bedroom outlet resulted in the cable box not being able to pull down the programming schedule from the provider, even though pulling down a list of channel names and displaying the correct time was no issue. So now the modem is hooked back up out in the living room and everything works fine. Cox wants $45 to send a technician out within the next week or two to ramp up the signal in the bedroom – screw that.

Actually, it’s kind of funny – at work all we charge for trouble tickets is the price of any parts used, and we try to adhere to a 24 hour response time. Here Cox is charging me $45 just to roll the truck sometime in the not-so-immediate future. No thanks, I’ll work this one out on my own.

I’ll post some tidbits about some other crap here in a day or so.

And on a side note… what’s the deal with MTV advertising hip-hop ringtones during Headbanger’s Ball? What am I ever going to want with a “Throw Some D’s” ringtone?

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