Monday, August 30, 2010


I can never seem to get any of the things I really need to do finished on a Monday. I'm always overcome by other last minute critical issues either of my own making or some other equally critical venue. More often the latter, but it seems that, lately, I have been causing myself a lot of pain by putting some things off that I don't want to do. Not that I won't do them, it is just that they are usually not fun to accomplish.
I've discovered today that they are even less fun when you put them off (as per what I usually discover in every other set of circumstances like these that I continually get myself into :)) One would think I would learn. One would wonder why it is that I keep doing this to myself.

One doesn't have an answer for that. :-)

Anyone else do anything like this, or are you all better at accomplishing the 'un-fun' better than I am?


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Previous post title got me thinking...

Being a teleworker or a telecommuter is a great thing. I can show up for work in my PJs or I can sit on the porch, in the hammock... There are a number of benefits to working from home, but there are also many drawbacks. Many of them a product of not setting rules to work by.

Many people try to keep our attention on burnout, or to use a friend's label "Volunteer Vertigo", but most of the time a simple set of rules would keep us from being affected. I'd like to share some that I use, and I am interested in what you have to add.

1) Set up a 'workspace'.
For me, this is as simple as the table I use for my laptop in my office.

2) Make the rule that nothing other than work will go on in this 'workspace'
Sounds easy, right? Well, it isn't. Something as simple as reading your snail mail in your 'workspace' can undermine the rule. This is a difficult one for me to follow through on. I've begun going so far as to get up from the workspace and walking away when the phone rings. It gives me the chance to keep my mind focused.

3)Ensure that you set work hours.
Most important rule, and most likely to be seen as flexible. In IT it is easy for us to get blinders when we are working on something we enjoy. We lose track of time. This has the side-effect of causing us to begin to dislike what we once loved. I consider this rule one of the most important, if not THE most important.

There are many other little rules that I have, but I think I will stop there for now. I may continue in a later post and cover things like "recreational surfing must be done somewhere other than your chosen workspace." Also very important, however, I think the ones above are the keystones. If you can achieve those, then the rest are up to you.

Let me know what you do to keep from working all hours. :-)


Monday, August 9, 2010

All Work and no Play...

So it has been some time since I had the chance to blog here at all. Not that any of you were waiting with bated breath for some new drops of idiocy from me, just that I wanted to use this to capture my thoughts... mostly for myself.

In the intervening time, I went to Prague for the Platform Rally, was asked to attend and present for the Ubuntu Hardware summit, started doing several songs that I have collectively dubbed 'situational blues', been approached by a friend to do a general topics podcast (details to be posted soon), all while lying amongst tons of bugs and e-mail.

It is true that there are thousands of kernel bugs. At times they get overwhelming, but we are working on policies around all of them that i hope will guide reporters to filing the best bug reports that they possibly can. I'm also excited to have several new folks triaging bugs for us. With any luck the Kernel Triage Summit currently planned for September 11th will be most beneficial. (Why Sept 11th you ask? Unfortunately it is the only weekend I have somewhat free before the end of this cycle. I've squeezed it down to 4 hours on the day so that the most people can benefit. Plus it will be recorded and posted for others to review after. But more on that later)

I hope that Amber and I are able to get some fun topics for the new podcast together. We will be talking about lots of things, not just Ubuntu (and we may not even talk about that :)). The main goal of this podcast is for us to take time out and laugh... at each other if necessary. :-)

So, in review, tons of cool stuff happening. Lots and lots of work to do. Oh, and for those of you not aware, UDS will be in Orlando, Florida in October. Those of you who've always wanted to attend, now is your chance!! :-D

More to come...