Showing posts from August, 2016

I Miss My Son

Joey fired us.

Tomorrow marks two weeks since that was official.

I love my son.
I miss my son.

Maybe this was all a mistake. I have no idea.
Perhaps that's the beginning of Faith. If so, faith is painful as Hell. And lonely.
So fine, and sunny, and smiling, and empty.
It's said that God breaks us, so he might rebuild us.
I'm a thousand pieces flying in close formation.

What does He make of that?
We'll see.

(North) Austin Traffic

"Hey, this traffic isn't so bad!" I thought a month ago.  It was July and I was averaging 15-20 minutes to work down a 6 lane surface street with an effective 70mph speed limit (Yay, Texas?)

...then school started back.

That same street became one backup after another this morning, and it took me 30 minutes door-to-door, even though I live 9 miles away.   Between schools being back in session and UT classes restarting, something like 40,000 more Austinites are on the road each morning and afternoon.


It's not so bad, of course.  Between the EV mode on my Fusion Hybrid and the regenerative braking, I'm up past 32mpg even in that gridlock.  Not bad for for a now 7 year old paid-for car.

When Do You Leave?

I've been reflecting lately.  Huge life changes will do that to you.  You know, things like: Quitting your job of 17 years without another one handy, moving to a state you've only driven through once, working at one of the big 4 tech firms, and being fired as a Dad by my own son.

So, when do you decide to make a change?

Looking back on it, there were several discrete moments where I was 'out'.

Philosophic Disagreement: I was still an intern when I learned the company decided to shut-down all manufacturing at our site.  This fundamentally changed the company, from being a team-oriented place where we did everythig soup-to-nuts (R&D -> Manufacturing -> Sales) to being wholly white-collar.  I was so upset I called my Dad and said I wanted to quit, to never go back to that place.  I went back the next Monday.Burnout: When I was promoted waaay too fast and burnt out, at 25.  I was leading a team in America and one in India, and every single person on both teams was…

[Code Review] 1. The Case for Code Review

Just wanted to pause and write about that super-exciting topic: Code reviews.

Let's begin with defining what code review is, and establishing the case for making it part of your development process.  We'll also take a trip down memory lane and acknowledge doing code reviews was really hard for years, and now it's laughably easy.
What is Code Review? Simply, code review is when someone else looks at your code to critique for defects.  
Metaphorically, it's like when you hand your rough draft of a piece of writing to someone else and ask: "Does this make sense to you?"   The writing process and programming process are close kin, but that's another post unto itself.
So what is the reviewer looking for? Does the (changed) code do what you set out to do?Have you considered various types of good and bad input?  Do you handle errors appropriately?Does the work communicate intent clearly and concisely to the reader? There are more, but #4 interests me, because it…

How are you today? I'm wonderful

Thus far the quote of the month has been:
We should've moved here 5 years ago.
So far Austin is amazing.  In true Freudian fashion, my fingers wrote that last sentence as 'Austin is amazon."  :)  Amazon is amazing, too, but I can't quite talk about that.

So, it's August.   It's 100 degrees every day, 81 degrees at 7 am, and it's great.  Pollen counts are laughably low here, so everyone's improving in their allergies.

Traffic is bad, but manageable.  I have 3 good ways to work, two of them toll-free.  I can generally make it to work in 20 minutes on a 9.8 mile commute, getting 30+ mpg with the a/c on full blast.  One real blessing: Our building has a free parking structure next door, and that lets me park my dark-colored Fusion out of the sun.  I've so far washed the car once since I got here and the exterior still looks great--no rain and shade/garage will do that for you.  Getting home is a bit more 'fun', usually taking 20-45 minutes.  The…