Summer Peaches

Hi! This is my first blog post on Sprout. I am the first non-developer and female addition to the We Are Mammoth team. The following story might seem unrelated to development – but hang in there.

I have a hobby. For the past 2 years, I have been canning pickles and preserves. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to buy bulk fresh fruit and make homemade preserves. And I love peaches. And finding a fantastic peach is trickier than it sounds. In my opinion a great peach must come from a local farmer, the grocery store doesn’t have anything that compares. And peaches are only in season for a couple weeks out of the year. After a poor peach season in 2007, my dad knew that I was on the hunt for peaches. I got a call from him a week ago, after a few taste tests; he bought a bushel of peaches from a local farmers market. The minute I walked into his house, I could smell the fragrant, ripe fruit. Yum. I waited for a week while the peaches continued to ripen. I searched the internet for the best low sugar peach preserve recipe. The one that caught my attention took 3 days to complete. No problem. I had the dedication. I had to prep the peaches overnight by cutting them and letting them soak in lemon juice and sugar. The next day, I heated the peach mixture for 45 minutes and let them soak overnight. Finally, I was ready for the canning process. Now keep in mind, making low sugar preserves requires a long process of simmering the ingredients until they reach a temperate of 220-degrees and start to jell. After a week of anticipation, I was just a short evening away from peach preserves. Around 9 PM, I started to get impatient. The liquid was only 180-degrees. The liquid was far from jelling and I was tired. In the name of time, I turned up the heat. I figured I would give the process a jump start – I didn’t have all night. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that I started burning the preserves. In the vibrant orange mixture, I could see bits of scalded peaches rising to the surface. What was I thinking? After all of this time and effort, in the final hours I was going to compromise the process by trying to compress time.

On Monday, I was given an assignment by Craig – post a blog entry by the end of the week. What could I possibly contribute to a blog about development? Craig suggested I write about my Project Management class, my hobbies, or learning HTML. This week my mind has been on canning, specifically, my peach preserves. I have been thinking a lot about how I nearly ruined the preserves just because I wanted to save some time. In an attempt to compose a blog post, I started to reflect on patience in relation to the development process. A quote that I read in a project management class kept on coming to my mind – “Time is not considered a cost nor a resource since the project manager cannot control the rate at which it is expended.” I needed a project manager in my kitchen for my peach preserves project. I would have appreciated a reminder about the concept of the project management triangle. Each side of the triangle is represented by a traditional project constraint – scope, time, and cost. They are all dependent and one side cannot be changed without affecting the other. The sides must stay equal or it will affect project quality. Of course! I am an expert in change orders – this makes perfect sense. If your specs and cost stay the same and you attempt to compress time, as a result you will compromise quality. After all of the effort and care that I had put into the initial steps of the project, I would have rethought the arbitrary deadline that I created for my peach preserves. In retrospect, time seems likes a small price to pay for excellent preserves. I wish that I would have taken some time to explicitly consider this concept at 9 PM in my kitchen this week. Can anyone recommend a good project manager?