Inproductive productivity

For a while I’ve been stuck in slow speed mode again, not really doing great work, just being on average. It feels weird. Don’t really get much done, but I have on the other hand had a great deal of time to test some “new” technologies, well, new as in only 10-15 years old I guess :-). I’ll get back to that later. Also, I’ve begun a new contract at “a big company”.

This is my first time at a really giant hunk of a company, the biggest I’ve seen before was circa 500 people in all, and it moved slower (the beaurocracy) than this in all honesty. This BigCompany is quite interesting to me. Started off with almost 4 weeks of introductions, courses, and so forth. They have a dedicated TEAM of CM’s, that alone is just… wow :-P. I’ve just been put up to speed and started working a little before this weekend so I might be a bit premature, but I like it so far. The weird part is, things happen, but not as I’m used to it. I’m used to 13+hour days and frentic coding/hacking to get things to happen, everyone here eschews away with their 8 hour days — only working overtime at very special occasions — yet slowly things get done, new functionality gets added and so forth.

Another thing that kind of amazes me — and worries me to some extent — is the kind of planning that is done. I’m used to small scale projects with workpackages or task based development, where no workpackage should ever take more than 4-5 days to implement. This place uses a workpackage development structure where each package takes up to 6-7 weeks for 6-10 people to implement. We’ll see how it works out — at least their “stand-up meetings” works :-).

All that being said, I had the time to write quite a bit of python which is a first, then I’ve looked into d-bus architecture which is also a first, and I also looked into Bluetooth and how to use it — some test applications running, fetching services and graphically displaying info about all units it finds etc. The complexity of Bluetooth is rather saddening imho, it’s a horrible protocolstack to work with in some senses, even though I was really impressed by how much python does for you.

I’ve been unused to the whole concept of python before this, and just a tad sceptical. Mainly because of all the problems with version matching that you always wind up having to do, to make anything work properly (try getting scons, trac and wamp, and some more tools working on a win32 machine some day for some fun).

Anyways, I always figured there has to be an upside, and there really is — python is hackfriendly 🙂 . In less than 3-4 hours I went from writing my first simple helloworld to having a scratch written class based graphical (tkinter) interface implementing some very fundamental bluetooth commands. In my world, thats not bad at all ;).

I’ve also had time to learn a lot of new tools at work. I’ll comment on those some other day as I havent seen much other comments on some of them (some is imho very expensive crap with a nice wrappings, while some are completely awesome). Sidenote, I simply adore the systems we are working on 4 xeon with 4cores and 64 gig ram.

I’ll get back later :-).


2 Comments on Inproductive productivity

  1. Mikael on Mon, 16th Nov 2009 08:30
  2. Oskar, this blog of yours are really interesting, which I will follow from now on (didn’t know about this site until you recently gave link to me about setting up Trac, a mission I failed since I insisted on Python 2.6 which currently does not allow mod_python to be used with Apache… bummer).

    Anyway, I have also decided to learn Python — my motto is to learn, or try out, at least one new computer language a year no matter my assignments.

    Python is to be popped from the yearly-language-stack of mine, and it seems very interesting.

    See you around, Oskar!

  3. Oskar Andreasson on Thu, 19th Nov 2009 09:05
  4. Thank you! I started blogging on blogger just for my self… kind of like a public/private diary to see how it is and what can be done with it, but I finally decided to go with wordpress on, instead of doing my own new framework. When I did so, I decided to simply import the old blogposts I had, and here you are ;).

    Python seems like an awesome language tbh. I started a little fiddling with it half a year ago or so. In one evening (3-4 hours perhaps) I went from writing my first “hello world” to writing a complete bluetooth scanner. Admittedly some cut’n’paste, but very much possible to do on your own very quickly :).

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