Taking IT All In...
thartric 120000G744 Comments (5) Visits (3620)
In the late 80s and early '90s, I remember lots of talk about the "Information Super Highway". While you could probably argue the details of what this actually means and whether Al Gore really "invented" it, I'd say there is little disagreement that the internet has more than fulfilled that promise. This blog entry is focused on the crucial part of my day -- the early morning -- where I try to balance work and life -- using all lanes of the "Information Super Highway".
While internet-related activities in both work and life occupy a primary part of my day, for the past few weeks I have started to pay closer attention to the various digital and print media, activities, and venues that are routinely now part of my normal day. Althoughtalking with people face-to-face is still greatly desired, it has unfortunately become less and less due to the growing nature of remote working relationships, two of my three children off at college, and the various electronic means of communicating.
My day usually starts with beeps from my alarm clock. The clock is one from Brookstone that my family gave me for Christmas, which receives weather feeds so in my groggy state I get to stare at the time along with the weather conditions and forecast for the next 5 days. If that doesn't already scream "GEEK", after rubbing the sleep away, using my cell phone I'll do a quick scan of top news stories, aol mail,
facebook status, sports scores, and text messages that came in while I was asleep. Following cleaning myself up a bit, while doing a few light chores, I'll flip on the TV... first to catch local news and weather, followed by cable news such as CNN or HLN. Sometimes I'll change that up for ESPN SportsCenter, or maybe even one of the "MusicNow" channels.
I'm still a traditional newspaper and magazine guy -- probably one of the last few left clinging to a dying art -- so while eating breakfast I'll rummage through the paper to harvest bits and pieces of news, sports scores, and comics among all the full page ads. Sometimes I'll dive into a magazone article. Usually by this point I've had my fill of news, so I'll switch the TV to watch to something I've recorded the day before. For some strange reason -- perhaps because it's mindless -- I'll find myself watching the previous day's "Live with Regis and Kelly" Hostchat segment. I'm not sure why I really care about Regis picking this years' Super Bowl winner, or Kelly talking about raising her kids, but it seems to work for my early morning.
After making sure my daughter gets off to school, and chatting with my wife as she also gets ready for work, I'm out the door. In the 25 minute drive to work, I find myself switching between FM or Sirius radio, and whatever music is on my iPod. I've also tried audiobooks, but that hasn't really worked for me. Usually for music, I'm a sucker for '80's classic rock or something from one of the up-and-coming bands
that are favorites of my daughter -- many of the bands we've gone to see together.
Once at work, the morning triage is always fun. Sorting thru morning e-mails, site support items, and meeting requests to decide which need immediate attention or can wait is what sets the day. It is here that I find myself treating a web site like developerWorks as a patient, to determine its health -- what's running slowly or is broken -- and how to nurse it back into tip-top shape. This is also true for our internal development and content editing lab infrastructure used by our global team. I'm taken across instant messenger sessions with remote employees, analyzing various dashboards and trouble tickets, and possibly some phone calls or 1:1 and group chats with team members to set support activities in motion if auto-detection and correction has not already kicked in.
Following the support triage is usually one or more morning development engineering calls with members from across the globe... 6am for some, 4pm for others, and in-between for many. It is on these calls -- years ago called the "hallway mtg" -- where the top items blocking our progress on development projects are quickly discussed and addressed.
All of this usually brings me to 10am Eastern US time.
Somewhere during the course of these activities I try to see what's new on developerWorks using My developerWorks. Not only is it rewarding to work on developing and supporting the site itself, but there is a lot to be learned thru browsing its content and what others are engaged with on the site.
With our time becoming more limited, and a growing number of information and entertainment sources at our disposal, we need to make sure finding what's desired is as efficient as possible -- and works when it's needed.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and am curious if you find it challenging to "take it all in"...