Journal: Thursday, May 7, 2020

In Personal

Quarantine Day 51. Oh boy, what a long day it was today.

The highlights today were

  • a 1-1 with my boss
  • a very insightful meeting with end users of my product
  • a successful deployment of a stable, fully-tested release of what I’ve been working on for the past month,
  • a late, 16.5-mile run from my apartment to a friend’s place in Walnut Creek, and
  • a 4-hour game night with said friend and his wife.

On the meeting with my boss. In my last job, I developed a habit of putting together an agenda of everything I want to talk about before any 1-1 (or really, any meeting — but especially 1-1’s). This habit’s carried over to my current job. While my current manager was initially pleasantly surprised by the work I’ve put into our meetings (?), it’s now become kinda expectation.

My agenda almost always starts with an update on everything that’s happened since the last meeting. I’ve found that this has been pretty critical for my current boss, because she’s involved with so many projects and initiatives other than mine (as opposed to previous managers who’ve been intimately involved).

That said, things still slip through the cracks. And, during this meeting, it became clear to me that my project’s progress during the first three months of the year had been oversold. Basically, an epic that we wanted to get done at the end of last year had barely been touched.

Though I had highlighted this when I planned for our next three months, I guess it wasn’t clear just how behind we were on this one initiative. The main outcome of this all this: I have to find some way to prioritize it in such a way that I can guarantee that it gets done as soon as possible.

On the meeting with my end users. Since I didn’t see a calendar invite to this meeting, I didn’t know if I was still invited. But it turns out that I was.

For the most part, I wanted a more junior colleague to complete and present the analysis that the customer wanted, and I wanted my product manager to ask questions related to our product’s performance. For the most part, they did their jobs.

Yet, I’ve realized that a more “senior” scientist/engineer should also be on these calls. In the end, almost a third of the session revolved around me asking questions — and getting some pretty insightful answers that my team wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. That said, I hope that in the future, my colleague and/or my PM can ask these kinds of questions in the future (so I can focus on higher-priority tasks that I’m assigned to), and relay them to the team.

On the deployment. My god. Finally. When it was clear that my code changes had passed the acceptance criteria that I had set out, my engineering lead, Vishal, asked me if I had spent the entire day working on getting everything to work. I hadn’t — because the meetings I just spoke about — but it definitely felt that way (because I had spent effectively the past week on this!)

In a way, the whole experience was a whole lot of busywork… but it also expands a skillset that I want to develop. I’m now also one of maybe 3 people on the entire team who’s run a security-approved deployment to production from end to end.

I was so tired after this though, that all I wanted to do was shut everything down and head out the door.

And that’s what I did. After passing the latter half of the deployment (involving just manual approvals to different geographies) to Nico, I left to run to Scott’s place. My Strava description:

Went wayyyy better than expected, given how warm it was today (started at 84F, and stayed about constant as I ran inland while the sun started to set). Only ate about 3 Gu’s, while consuming only about 700mL of water during the duration of this entire run. Didn’t have to stop at the Orinda Safeway this time to refuel.

Legs definitely started to feel a little heavier after about 11 miles, but by then I was done with most of the vert.

A little sad that most the flowers in Siesta Recreation is now replaced with overgrown grass (so overgrown, in fact, that I couldn’t see the ground in many places).

Was hoping to start this a little earlier, but had work right until 5PM.

When I got to Scott’s place, it was already 8PM. It was still light, but if I had started even a little later, or if I had taken a little longer, I might’ve had to bust out my headlamp.

I think, other than (1) the FKT run with Dave, Lucas and KK; (2) a couple midnight runs around Lake Merritt with Lucas; and (3) the bailout from Diablo by Chris a couple weeks ago, I haven’t hung out with anyone physically.

So it felt really good to see a friend again, in the flesh. Of course, I also felt somewhat guilty because the order to stay at home hasn’t quite been lifted. But at this point, I think we’re close enough to Stage 2 re-opening that I was fine with heading out to hang in a group of 3.

The games we played: Sequence, Tile Rummy, and Mario Kart on the Switch. I hadn’t played either Sequence (in recent memory) or Tile Rummy, so I kinda sucked until I actually won (at Sequence). I’ve played Mario Kart on the Switch at Nicky’s before, a couple years ago. But I haven’t played such then. So I just sucked (though I tied Scott’s wife in the end).

By the time I got home, it was past 1AM. There was a supermoon out. I had already showered at Scott’s. I went straight to sleep, kinda happy after a long day’s work (and play).

Leave a Reply