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Weekly Review 10 May 2015

Yikes, it's been too long since I've done this. I've volunteered for the Noisebridge Iron Blogger so I will hopefully be blogging more often, even if it's just these pesky update posts.

Time Spent by the Numbers

I clocked 31:05 this week, out of 168 hours. That's 18 percent of my time clocked, which says a lot about how chaotic these last few weeks have been. I've more or less stopped doing a good job clocking my time, mostly due to stress causing me to buckle down and focus on the bare minimum it takes to survive.

1:12 Reading Internets 0.71
3:10 Default Organization State 1.88
2:00 Personal Emails 1.19
0:29 Working on my Workflow 0.29
1:17 Eating 0.76
1:07 General Time Spent 0.66
9.25 All Time Tracked 0.00
2:10 Planned meetings 1.29
3:38 Email 2.16
3:38 Debian Packaging Work 2.16
1:56 On-Call Triage 1.15
0:12 On-Call Improvement Work 0.12
4:50 Datacenter Provisioning 2.88
0:12 Task Queue Triage 0.12
2:24 Datacenter Failover Work 1:31
0:53 Brownbag Organization 0.53
3:18 Interrupts and General Time 1.96
23.18 All Time Tracked 0.00

Things that I know I haven't accounted for:

  • I went to San Diego to visit with my mom and step dad, none of which is clocked
  • Any time spent AFK working on things is pretty poorly clocked
  • Sleep is still poorly clocked

All in all, I've kind of fallen off the horse with my time clocking and I need to resolve to improve upon that, including finally writing a Memacs filter to push Sleep as Android exports in to org-mode.

Interesting Things I learnt or read

  • Why you should move your startup to a small fishing town — The Blue House: I've always been a bit shocked that a place as expensive as San Francisco can be a tech hub; In a perfect world, tech is a job that could, and should, be done anywhere in the world. I've been pontificating on a list of rules that an eventual startup of mine would adhere to and I think that remote-workers as a first class citizen will be one of them.
  • Time for sysadmins to learn data science – Donnie Berkholzs Story of Data: One of the best things that my co-worker and mentor Joshua made sure I knew going in to things with Uber was that data is the only way we can safely do our jobs any more. My team monitors and maintains more than 20 services spread across maybe 500 servers and the ability to properly care for each individual snowflake has long since vanished. Our data is the only reason we know how to scale, the only way we can detect when things break in a timely fashion, and the only way to survive as an organization.
  • Literate DevOps: I keep coming back to this post, it's really well done and a great look at what repeatable, documented, infrastructure could and should look like. I still want to see something like this, but for Ansible. I think I may need to take another crack at ob-ansible or something similar now that I have a bit more Elisp experience under my belt.
  • SCPaste is an awesome tool that everyone who has a public_html directory should use. Paired with a standard .htaccess file, you could have a nice private pastebin with little to no effort. I do wish that this used TRAMP instead of shelling out to scp, but that is a minor inconvenience when gpg-agent doesn't properly send its environment variables across to the subprocess

Looking Ahead

The last few weeks have really been hard on me, and I've struggled to minimize and resolve my stress points, as well as practice empathy. I've been more harsh towards my coworkers, and I need to fix that. At the same time, my personal life has folded in on itself and I've felt myself becoming more of a shut-in recently with the stress so bad at times that my only easy way to resolve it is to have a glass of rum and try to sleep. Of course, my sleep has really suffered as a result, leaving me grumpy and with a further lack of empathy that I have let affect myself.

I feel as though I may be close to the point of a minor burnout, and I hope these four days I've taken off prove to be a good "reset", because with the work I have going on right now, I may not have the chance to take off much time in the future.