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): https://wiki.mozilla.org/Webmaker/Workweek 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: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Webmaker/Scrumboard 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.

Working from home and getting things done

I’m not sure if my recent productivity while working from home is due to the quietness making it easier to concentrate, or the fact that I still make a full cafetière even though I’m the only one here to drink it. Buzz.