Learning’s and growth [pt1/n]

So today was another day in paradise in the office.

I have suddenly gotten, since my contract renewal on January 1st, a ton of new responsibilities, and I am learning a bunch of new stuff about my work, and myself, at an excruciating rate.

Today I learnt;

1: People underestimate infra-structural and back-end implications of their cunning and devious plans

Somehow, when people put data into a system, they expect it to come out the other end.
Oh, how naive!
Most systems only allow a “view” or “portal” to the underlying data that they contain.
So when there was a requirement, of which I had not previously been aware, of retrieving data from a system in a completely new manner… it failed.
The fix was simple.
Enter and retrieve the data in the conventional and expected way.
Sorted.
[But keep an eye out for people having poor understanding and false expectations of infrastructure. Help them manage their expectations of the systems better.]

2: I should read large attachments more carefully

I missed a document containing an iteration of fields that I needed to know to be able to do some investigation.
Of course, finding a single column in a 5 MB spreadsheet at 25% zoom was non-trivial.
But if I had spent the time to actually read it I would have not emailed people unnecessarily. Requesting the data that I already had.

3: Not everyone can understand what I am on about. Make it simple, stupid!

My communication abilities tend towards the tech-savy crowd.
I am now working far more with people who are unable to map the 7 layer OSI model to the 5 layer TCP/IP protocol stack.
So I need to strive to keep things at a far more, ahem, Apple Keynote level of communication most of the time.
I need only geek-out with those that can appreciate it.
[Yes. I had the glassy-stare-of-too-much-techy-info today. Again.]

4: Groundbreaking Projects never die! (But do not fear them too much)

No matter how much I hope they will. They just will not die!
Ok, that is a bit harsh.
When a project that is truly groundbreaking, but very back-end intensive, comes back from a zombie-like limbo, then it means trying to put in place strategies to stop servers melting through the Earths crust on their merry way to China.
We worked out, thanks to doing some prior investigation into various high-load delivery strategies, a way of achieving the damn-near impossible.
So all is good with the world.
So I must stop fearing this. [Tick!]

5: Surrounding myself with the best makes me better!

Really.
It does.
And I appreciate being around such dedicated and talented people.
Having a colleague in my team IM me with a solution, investigated in their own time, and IM’ed just before midnight, of how to serve proprietary “house-fonts” using a cross-browser CSS, you know you are working with some of the best. [And insomniacs…]
Perhaps I should stop browsing the intarwubs and do something equally productive in my spare time. Something to consider.

6: Even Captain Cynicism can be positive and enthusiastic

I manage all my negativity by externalising it.
Not an attractive trait, but an effective coping mechanism.
But today I was caught off-guard being positive about a situation and enthusiastic about the outcome.
I must learn this is not to be feared, but embraced.
[Kool aid-time!]

That is about it for tonight’s instalment of “Graney goes on about work in a non-specific manner”

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