Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It doesn't get any better than this

OK, we've been running this ENGInE malarky now for over a year. I'd like to say it's been plain sailing, a bed of roses, a piece of cake, but if I did I would be lying.

We've launched all markets.....woohoo! We converted some South Americans, Romania is on the horizon and Turkey is expressing an interest.

Actually on that last point I'm a bit miffed. The lovely people from Turkey are flying over to talk turkey with us about ENGInE. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with them on the Monday/Tuesday that they're in the UK. They are coming over on a Tuesday, arriving at 1:00pm. I leave on Tuesdays at 2:30pm. I have one and a half hours to "sell" ENGInE. I mean I know I'm good (all modesty aside) but 90 minutes is simply inadequate.

We're launching a few new sites within Europe before the end of the year too.

The problem I have is that I'm not satisfied with the site. I want to change this, that and the other but I have no budget. This is beyond frustrating. And the problem with work-related frustration is that it's the prime cause of work-related stress.

Maybe I need a dose of flu.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some classic authoring by the Greek team (Michael)

I hate to do this to Michael because he is the loveliest of people with whom to work, and I know this will be fixed but....a classic authoring issue:

Monday, December 22, 2008

F*** it, I'll get a tray

The catch phrase for the project, together with "Do you have a flag?"

The nominations

Me for removing her network cable earlier in the day to work while my PC was renewed. Later Outlook and IE are not working. Tim asks if I have plugged in the network cable, which of course I hadn't. And previously for for stopping Firefly's deletion of the Irish database after the ENGInE launch with the reason that we still need it for the Dealer Websites (i.e. NONAV).

Tristan "Hightower" Knapp, who enjoyed the most comprehensive training of all when joining the club and who always managed to be in the office just-in-time for lunch, for making all FatWire "dementors" disappear by pretending that he understands 3 of the 4 levels of caching, for logging dependencies, where there are none and for his undoubtedly expert knowledge of Bundesliga soccer (although he still keeps putting the ball under the arm and starts running).

Lebas Ludovic and the rest of the FatWire team for mystifying the intuitive, confusing the obvious, concealing the apparent and for four wonderful levels of caching, which we still don’t understand, but impresses us immensely! And no, we still don’t understand the difference between a bug and a limitation.

Christian “who loves you babe, where is my lollipop Kojak” Hausen and Alex “Obelix” M. for proving that "remote access" actually can make employees such as Reiner more productive, especially when exploiting that Window-L hack.

Gerda-Marie "Trinity" for her incredible talent in creating worms, viruses and other very nasty softlets (new buzz word) on development which crash servers intermittently, unexpectedly and mercilessly, confusing other developers, while looking innocuously throughout the room saying “Siggi we have a session issue on Prod Management”. And also for deleting the wrong site and actually deleting the mothersite.

Alex “Boom-Boom” Seyder for secretly setting his layouts and wrappers to cached and un-cached on various environments, rewriting urls and redirecting us to places we no man has gone before. A true trekkie.

Guillaume, "I think we will have wine with the fish", for introducing table manners and dining culture to the FORD canteen, for savoring every experiment of the canteen like it was fois gras, for looking like you understood us when we were babbling german and for winning the "I almost understand FatWire" award.

Maren for improving our job security, by training others for our jobs on an unspecified location on an unspecified continent, which will not be named, but should only be referred to under the code name “India”. Maren – jokes aside – no hard feelings from any of us I am sure – one should never shoot the messenger.

Tim Bailey “the Mechanic”, for screwing up QA and PROD. And for just screwing up. Don’t you know that art is only to look at and that you shouldn’t touch it? And also for setting his alarm wrong and missing his flight, then almost doing it again the following week.

Heike “shortstop” for her capability of streaming information at such an incredible rate that most of us ended with a buffer overflow before even beginning to understand what she was asking us, and still being able to interject “I don’t understand it”, “It doesn’t work” and “I can’t do it” 22 times into a single sentence.

Anke Hoffmann, for promoting, demoting, accessitating (no, that isn’t a word), processing, TD-ing, hmmm… really no reason for nominating you – screw up more often and you’ll have a chance Anke!

Stephan Barfknecht “the Roaster” for asking “läuft das Band”, even though he is reading Wikipedia’s newest entry for “coffee roasting”while simultaneously writing XSS exploits for Heise’s forums. And for mobbing and for his incredible soft-skills. Where is Stephan? Did he mention why he isn’t here today?

Winni, for spending countless hours transferring byte value 0 from DEV to QA, and subsequently to PROD, after tireless testing on QA to ensure that 0 really is 0. Of course, first waiting for Anke to promote the issue, after Anke also was secure in the fact that 0 is 0 and also tested the issue. For suffering through all Ford processes, following them to the letter and number, displaying incredible dedication to the obtuse, frustrating, and but still necessary processes, and being the best Clark Griswald there has ever been…

Ingo, for giving us Achmed (chhh chhh you said Akmed) and “do you have a flag?”, his undying support for the 1 FC Hennes, for his love for multiple individuals for whom he is inspired to say “Schätzelein!” and for his own line in the Ardennes, which he calls “Categories”. Actually, he is the inspirer for the Jeff Vader award and should be respected as such. And yes, the hair color is natural if you were asking yourself.

Reiner Harth, for his incredible talent for showing up (fashionably) late for almost every Tuesday meeting, with a full cup of coffee and a note from his mother, why he was late; for challenging multiple people with his innovative F+S data model and for that very impressive wide-screen display on his desk. And then of course for his extraordinary efforts operating two keyboards at the same time and his outstanding contributions in identifying the "Windows-L" hack.

Mikheil. For being the most optimistic user of a broken data model, that I have ever seen, defending Java and Eclipse to the point of no return, and to being one of the most capable and chaotic developers I have ever met… With emphasis on capable – ok you are officially disqualified for the Jeff Vader award. Klugscheißer ;)

Paul getting stopped at customs and spending half the day with men with rubber gloves.

Christian falling off his bike

Rainer not telling anyone about getting married

Jeff Vader Award

We had a bit of a competition to see who made the dumbest mistake or made themselves look the most foolish whilst working on ENGInE. I made it into the nominations but didn't win.

Here's our winner:

Sir Lord Siggi Baron Von Vader Ham of Cheem Beisenherz

Nominated by Tristan: Siggi, our fearless lead developer, for never doing anything, cancelling our developer’s meetings, always having a constant stream of assets publishing on some environment to which we have no access where we must acknowledge “oh he is important, very, very important”, not locking his workstation and thereby always being one step away from his sacking, always looking serious even when we are asking the most stupid question, but still understanding everything, accommodating everyone and being the quintessential leader. Oh, and there was that double-click on dev. But we won’t mention that. That was a clear grope for the Jeff Vader award

May the Force be with you!

I name this ship....

We've launched.

Find us at www.ford.ie, www.ford.de and www.ford.co.uk.

It's been a long and winding road, and actually the road is never ending but we are there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I've had enough. I just want the project to be over now.

Launch dates slip through my fingers more easily than sand.

The Irish team are demonstrating an admirable level of patience that I will never achieve.

I feel as though every hour that passes brings with it a new problem or issue.

I'm mentally exhausted. My days are filled with too much emotion. There are highs and lows but it's the frustration that is so terribly draining. I'd love to leave work at work but I can't.

I felt I needed an escape, so I went to yoga tonight. As the group was relaxing I was thinking about problems and potential solutions, bugs, screw ups, issues, deadlines and priorities.

My colleagues are sick of me. My family are living with a monster. I struggle to see who the winners are.

I want it to end. I want the vision that we had all that time ago to be a reality. Almost there isn't good enough.