I can’t begin to tell you about the last two weeks integrating, testing and releasing my very first project on WebKinz: Pet Vacations. Mind you, this in no way reflects my feelings about working at Ganz, because I have really grown to love working there in the past six months… it just took a while to get used to the transition. And as much as I like them, I think they may have grown to like me too.
But, I will admit that the last two weeks passed like a kidneystone getting the project integrated, QA’d and released live as of yesterday! Yet, if it weren’t for the team that I was so fortunate to lead, it would have been a lot harder. We weathered almost everything that this integration period threw at us, and as much as I felt responsible for my decisions with the team (I made some bad choices along the way), they stuck with me. I wouldn’t let them take a fall either. They were stellar and were everything a team should be for this project.
We endured everything including:
- Various delays beyond our control
- A botched merge paving the way for disaster. I was feeling totally bummed about this one because I certainly felt that this was the best way to integrate our project at the time. Of course, one member stood by me on this not only supporting my decision but also figuring out how to get the merge done properly while I was assembled a crack integration team prepared to act on a moment’s notice should things go awry again. Again, everyone on the team rose to action.
- Various items that got passed over
- Double time smoke testing… again kudos to the team, and to everyone helping to QA. The co-operative effort between teams was amazing, and I would stop at nothing to ensure that everyone knew what I knew.
- Preparation to go live, including an early start. Another team member rose to the occasion and brought in the programmer’s favourite breakfast… cold pizza. Honestly, it was fantastic and has been a 25 year fave for breakfast!
- Me, of course, proving what an ass I can be by not only stepping in it with my big mouth, but sticking the same foot in my mouth… and I openly apologize for that!
- Last minute fixes to situations no one ever dreamed of, but happened as soon as we were going live.
- A programmer’s nightmare: modifications to code that was never working right in the first place only to find out after going live killing already released features.
The last two situations were really scary and I was prepared to stick with the one of the other team members to the very end. The pressure was on as we went live. I pair-programmed with him to not only help find the fixes and how we can get things working, but I also dug back a few major revisions to find the code that originally worked so that we can put in our new features and ensure that this never happens again.
It was a rough two weeks, but I endured. I felt challenged down to the core and I accepted. I felt beaten at times, but I wouldn’t let up. I’m totally exhausted, but I love it!
And, as with all kidneystones that pass, I am relieved!
And to be honest… I look forward to the next one!!