Ship-It… Ship-It-Good

The day that I shall call Thriday is going to be an interesting one.

Tomorrow at noon, pretty much all the Engineering staff at Campaign Monitor will be challenging each other to build the best product they can from-scratch in a 24 hour time period.

Why?

Because, Why Not!
Also, it is presumably fun. And it sounds like there is a prize for the winner. Who knows.

There is a minimal amount of prep that gets done in the lead-up to the day; trying to woo other staff to join your project, brainstorming, some designing and planning. But all the heavy lifting gets done in just one day.

It’s an interesting exercise in discipline. It’s very easy to design something that is just too complicated to fit within the allotted time with a small team. Everything has to be agile. Everything has to be shippable in minimal increments, because there are no extensions to the deadline. And then it has to be as impressive to all our colleagues as it can possibly be, because we are also all judges.

I think the team I’m on has got an interesting problem ahead of us.

There’s a bit of intense data processing involved, a bit of web UI, a legacy system we need to suck data from, and then on Friday a presentation to do.

It really is going to be a little microcosm of IT; planning, managing, designing, developing, testing, selling.

I’m looking forward to finding out who will still be in the office by midnight.

Day 363 – Memorable Ending

3 – The Best 100 Closing Lines from Books

I must admit; I was hopeful for this link, and sadly disappointed.

The problem with closing lines out of context is that they lose the build-up before them that imbue them with most of their meaning. I’m sure all these closing lines are lovely and amazing when read directly after the book they belong to, but in isolation most of them didn’t do anything for me.
Continue reading Day 363 – Memorable Ending

Final Approach

Today is an auspicious day.

On July 17th, 2013 I started my ill-advised challenge to myself. Which means I’m now slightly less than a month away from the finishing line.

I thought I’d take this occasion to call back to the The One With The Rules and The Very First One. I really had no idea what I was going to write about on a daily basis all the way back then. I had no idea how far I’d make it through; because as much as I am aware of my own stubornness, I also have a healthy respect for common sense.

I have re-adjusted the rules a few times along the way to keep my sanity.

And to keep it interesting, at the very least for myself.

29 more posts remain, and then… For Something Completely Different.
(although still blogging)

I hope you’ll stick with me for the final approach, and perhaps come celebrate with me when it is all over.

Day 305 – What Are Your 100 Things?

61 – My 100 Things

Bucket lists are a little morbid by definition, but that doesn’t make them a bad idea. While looking around for a suitable list to link to today, I actually found a do-your-own-bucket-list site, and I created one. It was a lot harder than I expected to get a good list of a hundred.
Continue reading Day 305 – What Are Your 100 Things?

Day 297 – Beginnings

69 – 100 Best First Lines from Novels

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and so does a novel.

I think I’m getting really good at beginnings, but my middles could use some work, and sometimes I just don’t know how to stop. Stopping is tough; ideally I should stop at the point where the writing ends, but I think I often go well past that.

Good middles probably require revision. I’d like to blame the hectic schedule of one post a day for a total lack of revisions on my part, but I think it is also a level of laziness. I have what it takes to do revisions. I do them at work all the time. Agonising over the right tone and content of an email. Some paragraphs get re-written and replaced a half-dozen times before finally materialising as I intend them. Not that it takes particularly long either; I do all my agonising very quickly and efficiently.

I really have no excuse, other than a certain level of laziness and burn-out.

So far, the toughest part of this writing challenge has been trying my best not to re-tread the same ground too much. I’m sure I will have doubled over some terrain more than was called for… but I do not have a particularly good memory, and I really couldn’t tell you what I talked about more than a few posts ago without actually reading my own blog.

And there have been a few tough days.

Sick days. Mentally drained days. Bored and uninspired days.

Pulling a post out of nothing on one of those has made me question more than once whether I should just call off the rest of my challenge. More than once I’ve told myself that getting to 150… halfway… 250… surely is enough to prove the point. I can just stop and it’ll be just like I did an actual 365.

And although that’s true on one level. It’s also completely untrue on the same level.

And I’m just too stubborn.

Once I start something I have an almost obsessive need to finish it. I have listened to some terrible music, watched some terrible movies and read some terrible books all the way through, simply because I couldn’t bear to give up. There has been exactly once that I stopped reading a book before I finished it. And I won’t shame it by naming it.

And there it ends.

Day 255 – Recovery and Countdown

At long last it seems that my back is starting to behave. My shoulder feels much better after 2 weeks of slow recovery. Just two weeks away from my next Melbourne trip…

… let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to very carefully try a class or two at the gym. My legs can take the brunt of it; it’ll make me feel less like a potato.

If that goes well, I might also at long last make it back to Wet’n’Wild on Sunday. By mid-April their season will end, and I’ll have to find another hobby to keep me occupied over winter.

Winter Is Coming!

And also, the inevitable count-down of my challenge. I’m kinda excited by the idea of starting the final-100 from April 8th onwards. One final marathon of attempted originality to take me to the finish line… and a new start into the unknown.

I should start planning a victory party, because this has definitely not been an easy challenge so far. I may have been a little cavalier in taking it on; but if I don’t stretch outside my comfort-zone I’ll never learn anything new. And I’m sure this is going to be useful discipline.

Day 64 – Celebrating Two Months

I am now about two months into my 365 day journey. It hasn’t been as hard as I had feared, but on the other hand, I do think I need to make a slight adjustment to the unspoken part of the rules.

Rather than write boring posts on the days that nothing much interesting happens that I can share with the world, I’ll instead be trying for one really good photo to put up. When I have to take special steps to get the picture I put up, I might write a paragraph about that, but otherwise it’ll just be a picture… and the unwritten understanding will be that the most interesting thing that happened to me that day was the taking of the picture 😉

I don’t think I will be needing to do that too often, but it’ll save me some agonizing over topics, only to be followed by more agonizing over poor quality by my own standards.

Anyway, on to the topic for today.

The Making Of...
The Making Of…

About a month ago, Peter kindly made good on his bet against me making the one month mark with a very nice bottle of wine from South Africa. Today I made good on my counter that after another month of him reading and commenting, he’d get the display box back with something else inside. He didn’t seem as pleased to have the box back as I had anticipated…

And so I did.

And apparently the cookies even turned out edible. By the time I headed home, three had disappeared. I don’t know if Sarah reads any posts, but if she stumbles across this one: there were 13 cookies there before Peter had any.
Just so you know.

I guess it’s safe now to dig into the further batches at home. (Pro tip: when possible, always get someone else to eat your wares before you try them yourself)

I’m sure there are other regular readers, and if you care to, you can let me know who you are and I’ll do my best to get something appropriately rewarding your way as well.

One more month till the quarter-way mark.