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Switching Gears

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May. 28th, 2010 | 03:33 pm

Once again we've done a Fedora release. This happens twice a year, and every time it happens I have a sudden gear shift to work through. The three months or so after a release are relatively quiet for release engineering. There are few fires, and fewer milestones to worry about. It's during this time that we work on our longer term projects, fix up our scripts, and generally pay attention to things we were ignoring during the release sprint.

While the build up to the frantic state we're usually in at release time is gradual, the drop off is much more severe. Each time we release, it's like we drop off a cliff. There are no more fires, there are no more immediate or late deadlines. There is just a nice open few months of runway in front. It is kinda hard to switch from being almost entirely interrupt driven to working from a to do list. It's hard to keep concentration going when you're used to being interrupted frequently. My ADD tendencies start to come out.

The other hard gear shift is going from working on release related tasks to working on programming and system administration tasks. I get pretty rusty in my python programming, requiring more time to look up libraries and remember tricks, and remembering where I left various projects off and what work needs to be done.

Things that have helped include flagging emails for later follow up, and judicious use of to do lists. To help with the latter, I've started using "Getting things Gnome" ( http://gtg.fritalk.com/ ). This is an upgrade from using gnotes alone and has helped me organize and sort my tasks, as well as put notes in about each task so that now that I have time to do things I can find things to do easily and work on them. There is also a nice feeling of completion as I clear each item off the list.

So if I look a bit bewildered over the next week or so, maybe confused or waiting for that interrupt you'll know why. Please forgive me and I'll catch back up soon!

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