The week ahead: 26 Jan 2015

I should have started the week by writing this, but I’ll do it quickly now anyway. My current todo list. List status: Pretty good. Mostly organized near the top. Less so further down. Fine for now. Objectives to call out for this week. Bugzilla and Github clean-out / triage Move my home office out to the shed (depending on a few things) + some things that carry over from last week Write a daily working process Work out a plan for aligning metrics work with dev team heartbeats Don’t let the immediate todo list get in the way of planning long term processes Invest time in working open Wrestle with multiple todo list systems until they (or I) work together nicely

The week ahead: 19 Jan 2015

If all goes to plan, I will: Write a daily working process Use a public todo list, and make it work Catch up on more email from time off Ship V1 of Webmaker Metrics retention dashboard Work out a plan for aligning metrics work with dev team heartbeats Don’t let the immediate todo list get in the way of planning long term processes Invest time in working open Wrestle with multiple todo list systems until they (or I) work together nicely Survive a 5 day week (it’s been a while) Write up final testing blog posts from EOY before those tests are forgotten Book data practices kick-off meetings with all teams To try and solve some of the process challenges, I’ve gone back to a tool I built a couple of years ago (Done by When) and I’m breaking it … Continue reading »

From 2014 to 2015

I’ve had a couple of weeks off work and it’s been a good time to reflect on the year past, and the one ahead. And before I dive back into things on Friday morning, I wanted to get this post published. It’s a long one, and writing it was more for my benefit than yours On 2014 Cassie’s post on 2014 has claimed the perfect title already, but I’ll ditto that it was a hell of a year: New job, second baby, two house moves, one house purchase, one trip to Toronto, two to San Francisco, Mozfest in London, Mozlandia in Portland, finally finishing my degree and graduating, and continually adjusting our home-life around the amazing speed at which a two year old and a newborn can change in any 24 hour period. Some reflections: My job title might focus … Continue reading »

Contributor Dashboard Status Update (‘busy work’?)

While I’m always itching to get on with doing the work that needs doing, I’ve spent this morning writing about it instead. Part of me hates this, but another realizes this is valuable. Especially when you’re working remotely and the project status in your head is of no use to your colleagues scattered around the globe. So here’s the updated status page on our Mozilla Foundation Contributor Dashboard, and some progress on my ‘working open‘. Filing bugs, linking them to each other, and editing wiki pages can be tedious work (especially wiki tables that link to bugs!) but the end result is very helpful, for me as well as those following and contributing to the project. And a hat-tip to Pierros, whose hard-work on the project Baloo wiki page directly inspired the formatting here. Now, back to doing!

Weeknotes 5 – Webmaker Workweek

As I’m halfway into the following week I’m writing these notes quickly rather than losing them completely. I apologize in advance Week 5 was spent in Toronto with the Webmaker team and it will be hard for a quick write-up to do this week justice. I got to hack and hang-out with about half of the total Mozilla Foundation staff, which is hugely valuable four weeks into a job where you mostly work remotely. IRC handles turned into real people, and the people turned out to be very special. So first, thanks to this amazing team for welcoming me so kindly. I think we crammed a year’s worth of social activity into a week’s worth of evenings and across the whole week, I almost got a whole night’s worth of sleep. There’s a test that goes something along the lines … Continue reading »

Week 4 at Mozilla

I gathered up the output from my many discussions with our teams so far, and I’m proposing a plan for shipping a Mozilla Foundation Contributors Dashboard as quickly as we realistically can. I’ll be presenting this next week, and once I’ve had feedback on it, this can be turned into a proper plan of action and shared more widely. Next week I’m in Toronto with the Webmaker team for a work-week (a pretty focused gathering on getting things done), which I’ve been busily preparing for. You can see what we’ll be up to here (I’m space-wrangling the Metrics track): P.S. ‘Space-wrangling’ is official Mozilla terminology, and animated GIFs are our primary means of communication. Because we work in the open, you can follow live updates on how well we’re shipping our planned output during the work-week: Getting ready … Continue reading »

Available hours in a year for personal projects

While planning ahead to finish my Open University studies, I’ve been testing how well I can study in my available free time; and my recent study with Coursera has provided a pretty good simulation. It’s important to be realistic with yourself about how much time you actually have to do these things, on a sustainable basis, for a significant period of time. Especially with the tuition fees being as expensive as they are and if you’re making a commitment for a whole year of your free time. My thinking has gone like this… First I account for my time being a husband and dad, then my working hours, then sleep, then a few hours for getting/keeping fit and I’m left with around two hours per day, or 14 hours a week of ‘free’ time. For a couple of weeks at … Continue reading »

Done by When (beta) is live

So, I just about scraped in inside my (second) deadline. Done by When is live. Though very much in beta. Never go live on a Friday: Fail Ship early: Succeed Ship often: To be seen In building this to-do list app I’ve learnt a few new things: Google App Engine Python LESS Jinja2 Twitter Bootstrap All of which I can highly recommend. There’s loads more to do. It’s still un-branded for a start and the responsive stylesheets need tidying up, but the basic service offered if fully functional and I think it brings something new to the to-do list marketplace. Please let me know what you think.

Announcing ‘Done by When’

I promised to ship a new piece of software today but I haven’t quite made it. Ironically it’s a tool for managing expectations, and visualizing likely delivery times for a given piece of work. It would have been useful! I hate making excuses, but it’s been a crazy month with lots of good interruptions (lovely clients with interesting projects) and bad interruptions (family emergencies and so on). So while it’s not ready for you to use today, I’ll have to settle with announcing the project title today, ‘Done by When‘. A version of the tool, whether it’s ‘finished’ or not will ship by this time next week. Thought I didn’t make the deadline this time, it’s been very helpful for focussing the mind.

I’ve set myself a challenge

I’ve had an idea for a piece of software I think would be really useful. And rather than spend months thinking about and scoping it, I’ve set myself a deadline (deadlines are magic). The first version will ship by the end of this month. If I’ve not announced this new project on this blog by 31 Aug 2012, feel free to send me abuse. I’m also going to use this as a chance to learn some new skills. I think I may learn Python.