April 12, 2001


No rowing this morning; lifted weights instead. Legs, which means I was a bit shaky on the clutch pedal at long stop lights and am not particularly enjoying stairs this morning.

Since Iím not fulminating over what happened in or out of the boat this morning, this would probably be a good time to talk about work. Somwhat to my surprise, itís going quite well.

This may not be my Proper Job, but itís a good thing to be doing for the mooment. I do QA in a software house, which means testing, instilling processes, and other means to make sure that what we produce really is what we should be producing. Sometimes, telling people their code doesnít work right is like telling a mother her baby is ugly; QA is not always the most popular group. Based on what I had and hadnít heard during the three months I was away from the home office, I expected to be sending out resumes as soon as I got back. It sounded like there was no real place for me in the organization, and anyway, the whole company was headed straight into oblivion.

Perhaps it was akin to the Evening News Phenomenon, wherein bad news is always what gets reported because itís more spectacular. Really, though, things here are not going all that badly. Times are difficult, as they are now for anyone in the software industry. Our stock prices are lower than weíd like, but so are those of our competitors. But we are taking what I think are the right steps, and a reorganization begun in December, about which I had a lot of doubts, seems to be working out well.

So the question now is whether we can continue to move in the proper directions, changing our culture where it needs it and keeping whatís good. It does look like thereís a place for me in that, helping to define more structured processes where we need them while managing not to get lost in process-for-its-own-sake, which can lead to drowning in red tape. Iíve worked in aerospace and on government programs; I know what thatís like, and I donít want to do it again. Anyway, this is a loose environment, fast-moving because thatís what the Internet demands, and somewhat self-consciously cool, and my co-workers wouldnít take kindly to any processes that donít make sense to them.

And good for them, I say.

Posted by dichroic at April 12, 2001 10:31 AM
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