Team Lunch

We had a team lunch today since G. (a product manager who mostly works off-site with customers) was in town, to celebrate the re-release of the product I’ve been working on. We went to this Brazilian restaurant in downtown. It was kind of fun, nice to get out of the office too. I really need to get a recipe for those Brazilian cheese bread balls; they are so good. I remember thinking the same thing when I went to my Brazilian au-pair friend D.’s Brazilian theme party too. Yum Yum.

Work is moving along, getting into documenting things to pass off to the porting team, which means going back and writing a lot of additional documentation. It’s nice to get the chance to do that, and quite satisfying in moderation, but after a while can get kind of tedious to do for long hours straight…maybe its a good thing its Friday!

Busy Time

Things have been really crazy and busy at work this week…we’re trying to get a release out the door by the end of this week, so a lot of extra stuff that needs to get done in between…I’ve been at work late every day this week, but then again, maybe that’ll works out even since I’ll need to leave early next Friday to go camping.


At work we’ve had pizza twice this week. Its actually been perfect timing both times too, because it was on the exact days I had no idea what I was going to do for lunch and hadn’t brought anything and figured I’d have to go pick something up. One of the pizza lunches was a thank you for a bunch of us assisting another project team, and the other was celebrating the end of an office weight loss challenge.

Porting to Touch Phones

So work’s going pretty good…I’m really enjoying what I’m working on, I haven’t been doing as much work with actual (cell-phone) handsets lately, but none-the-less having fun. I’m working with two very different phones right now, an LG touch handset and a very basic Samsung feature phone.

Right now I’m working on adding/testing the features for touch-enabled handsets to the J2ME edition of the app. This entails things such as making sure we have all the right images and requesting any missing ones from the art department, setting up a configuration file that specifies all the fonts, fixing lots of little bugs like re-positioning the buttons so that the larger buttons (that a fat-finger can press) fit on the screen, ripping out unnecessary code so I don’t have to fix other issues in twelve places, etc.

Basically I’m just doing all that little fun stuff that makes the app just…work…knocking out one bug or problem after another until it is ready to submit to QA. There are lots of little things that go into making the big thing work.

Work’s going good

Monday they rearranged the office. My new desk is, now that all the dust has settled, probably in a nicer location than my old one. Plus, I got just enough more space for an extra bookshelf for all those heavy programming books to go on.

I finished the assignment I was working on earlier this week (a bug where songs were being cut off by 5-10 seconds one out of every 3-5 times roughly)…and now I’m on to writing new code to re-skin the app…kind of fun.

Sometimes its the Little Decisions…

Its funny sometimes to think back how some of the seemingly trivial decisions make a big difference in the path your life takes.

Like, one that stands out, for example, senior year of college, when I was at the spring career fair applying for summer jobs, and I have two versions of my resume, one tailored for defense contractors and one generic resume for other industries. There was that moment when I reached into my folder of resumes and decided to hand the recruiter my defense resume… That particular company actually had two divisions, one doing defense contracts and the other in the transportation industry. In fact, I was slightly intrigued by their transportation group from my prior experience doing an internship for another company in the transportation industry. But I was running low on generic resumes, and had a good number of booths left to visit. So I pulled out a copy of the defense resume. Spur of the moment decision. That innocuous choice ended up shaping the first four years of my career after I got the interview for that company’s defense division, and henceforth accepted the position I interviewed for. In the end, I was happy with where I’d ended up, but it’s funny to think how such a small decision could have caused me to end up somewhere completely different.

Geek Humor

email from my boss this morning 🙂

if (user.access == false) {
    user.clueless = true; 

Makes perfect sense to me… (because you would have obviously known “null input” or “500 internal server error” means you need to fill out a form to request access to that website, right?)

The Business-scape

Yesterday I woke up to a flurry of emails flooding my (work) inbox about the big (not so good) news at Sun about some major upcoming layoffs…like 5000-6000 people over the next year….(that’s approximately a 15-18% reduction in staff, quite a bit bigger than their 1000 person layoff in July)…first it was the internal/confidential announcement to employees (though nothing I’m saying here that isn’t pretty much all over the mainstream media now already anyway), followed by links to a video announcement from the CEO, and then a flurry more emails about their simultaneous restructuring and how your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss now reports to someone different, and everyone in between the six layers of management sending out “Today’s announcements and you” emails.

In the immediate sense my boss reassures our team again that our team that Netbeans is a key component of Sun’s strategy going forward. And within Netbeans, the web-tier is the particular part where I work…the internet ain’t going away anytime soon…tools for authoring websites and web-applications? Definitely on par with the wave of where the internet’s going…maybe that’s why we’re now under the “cloud computing” group. Not to say everywhere under the web-tier is a good place to be, but where I am is supposed to be a good place…

How Do You Occupy Your Commute?

During my commute, I’ve been listening to the audio book of On the Shores of Silver Lake one of the middle/later books in the Little House on the Prairie series…because I saw it at the library and I have a weakness for that series…I have the *entire* series (in mismatched paperback)…most of them are kind of old, were my mom’s before I was born, but all the missing additional books got filled in somewhere along the line (maybe in junior high?) and I used to love to read the series…though I haven’t read them in a long time now… kind of fun to re-read… very good descriptive writing of another time and place…and “how life was”, something I find fascinating 🙂 well, that and I just love biographies about everyday life. Anyway, I finished it today five minutes before I got home…so time to move on to my other audio book perhaps. Just thought it was worth nothing that it was fun to “read”…course now I want to jump back in and re-read the whole rest of the series…too bad the library didn’t have all of those in stock on audiobook…ahh well….hopefully I won’t need audiobooks and cds to entertain me for long drives to work for much longer…if only I had an adapter in my car that I could play ipod or mp3 cds or cassette tapes rather than just plain vanilla cds

Taking the train

So for all the hassles involved in taking the train and the shuttle to work on friday…when Monday rolled around being tired of driving automatically trumps the added hassle factor. Decided to go with the 20 one-way trip pass partly because you save money (if you use it up) but partly moreso because then you have more slack time in the morning to catch your train on time without worrying about having to stand in line to buy a ticket and then running to get it punched for the ride before you get on…

On the plus side of the train, aside from not having to drive, there’s also a community aspect…its pretty much mostly the same people who ride the shuttle regularly…so already Monday, a couple of the people who ride the shuttle to work were recognizing me and saying “oh, hey you came back, cool” and I ran into one of them at lunch yesterday. Gives you a chance to get to know coworkers outside your department…who actually *come* to work (Sun’s kind of big on the coming into the office part as being optional as far as working goes…).

I probably would have taken the train again today if it weren’t a pseudo-holiday that a lot of people who work for the state get off work meaning light traffic…well, that and it turned out to be good because we had a staff meeting at 2:30 that lasted until 4:15…which meant I would have missed the shuttle home that I would have wanted to catch…and the later one wouldn’t get me home with enough time to eat dinner or anything before junior high ministry.

I’ll probably take the shuttle again one of the next two days. But I probably need to drive one more time this week because I was talking over email with a really nice sounding girl who has a room for rent in her two bedroom condo in palo alto, so I want to go take a look at the place and meet her so we can see whether that one is a keeper or not. Looking forward to having *something* decided as far as where and when I’ll be moving… 🙂