Spacin’ out on the tube last night, I saw a commercial about some ultra-quiet washing machines. The husband, trying his damndest to concentrate amid the ‘quiet’, exclaims “Honey, I can’t work with all that quiet!”. Awesome.
Now. Our new office has noise issues. Lots of ’em. There’s a personal trainer (a gym) above us. They do wind sprints. Every afternoon around 3, the excitement begins. Weights dropping, humans engaging themselves with various silly activities all in the name of shedding a few.
This delight (moving into this new environment unaware of our neighbor’s business model) coincided with us wrapping up the largest application we’ve built. Security, hypersensitive data, math, all things which need extra-high focus. Now, throw in time-based releases everyday at 5 pm and a pinch of Richard Simmons frolicking above, and you got yourself a software sitcom.
Funny thing around our shop, though, was the utter lack of any noise (from any of us, at least), aura of stress, or any other indicator that we were in full production mode, heading for one of the most important dates our small shop’s had. I’ll note, this is in sharp contrast to some of the other projects we’ve been involved with.
So, whats wrong here? Doesn’t sweat+blood=glory? Arbeit macht frei?
Well, for this project, we weren’t tied to an advertising campaign with millions of dollars tied up in ad space targeted for one specific (and unreasonable) date. We had the luxury of an organic progression of events dictating the date of public launch.
What the hell does that mean? Well, it wasn’t until all documents were in, all logic determined, all design elements finalized, etc. that we, as engineers, finalized a date which defined an proper amount of time for implementation, testing, refactoring, and release.
During that ‘deliverable’ phase, we all continually evaluated the ‘truth’ of the project’s status. Expectations and desires aside, where are we really in this project?
Sooner or later, you have to pick a date of course, lest we fall into an eternal spiral of revisions. But, this was a good example of how letting that real world gut check guide a real world timeline which in the end worked out swimmingly. So swimmingly, in fact, that every person here walked in the day after launch and started working merrily on some project take-away or side project.
No psycho-therapy needed, unlike that moron in the washing machine commercial.