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Showing posts from October, 2014

Aaaaaand, My Day is Shot (by Meetings)

I've come to understand my limits: 2 meetings.

Looking back on it, it's hard to comprehend a day where I had 7 1-hour meetings in a single day, because as it stands today, I've had 3 meetings and my mind is tapioca.  Actually, you might say I've had 4, but I'll get to that.

Running down the list:

10:30am Team standup.  Daily coordination face-to-face activities.  Absolutely essential.  Still counts against the quota!2pm.  Steering committee meeting for something rather important.3pm. Emergency coordination meeting because our team discerned we were blocked on all our upcoming work and needed to pull in some other work. Now amid all that, was a sit-down I had around 11:15 with another developer on a point-of-interest.
Note the timing, too: 10:30 --> Right in the middle of the morning.  2-3pm --> Right in the middle of the afternoon. I remember fondly a team I was on where all meetings were before 10 or after 4, and the middle of the day was sacrosanct.

A thought experiment.

Imagine yourself trapped in a cylinder filling with water.  The water comes in at an uneven rate: Sometimes it dribbles, sometimes it gushes.  You can't get out of the cylinder, and once the water reaches your head you'll drown.

"Okay, that's torture."

Yes, it is.

Now, let's imagine the cylinder were bigger, maybe the size of one of those nuclear storage tanks, but still only 7 or so feet tall.  You can have things in there with you to distract you, but the water's still coming in and once it gets to the top, you drown.

"Still torture."

Yep, it is.

Let's imagine the water was coming in at an unbelievably slow rate...maybe it might take years to get all the way to the top, and let's imagine the tank was even bigger, with a transparent top so you could see the sun.  There's always the risk that someone will open the flood valve and fill the tank at any moment.

Still...torture?  Maybe by now you see where this is going.  You're in tha…