Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 45

Today I was left to fend for myself. Once again, Micah was gone, and I was in Chicago representing 8th Light. Unlike yesterday, however, where I was mostly left to do my work, today I was really sucked into business. This is a fast moving company, constantly adding new features and new code, and thus any issue that arrises needs to be taken care of very quickly. Since Micah was gone, it naturally fell that all questions, in relation to what Micah and I had done recently, came to me. It started with a quick question, from the CTO, about our design on one of the features. But that rapidly turned into several more questions on if it worked how it should, what the requirements were, and so forth. Eventually this resulted in a new feature that needed to be added on top of our old one.

This started it all. See once the precedence had been set, and people saw that I was standing in for Micah, suddenly I was Micah! Within just a few minutes, I had become the new 8th Light guy, and all the questions and information that had been going through Micah started coming through me. Honestly about half the time, when they were telling me all the changes they were making and asking me to get something done, I didn't know what I was supposed to do. But I took down notes of what they were saying, like I had seen Micah do, and then when I had the time I went and learned what it was they were talking about and what I had to do. I called Micah several times to try and keep him in the loop, and fortunately not a whole lot had to get done immediately, but there was a lot more going on compared to Monday.

By around noon, I had gotten a hang of it. I felt comfortable answering questions on what we had done, discussing the things that had to be done, and taking responsibility for the work 8th Light was doing. It was actually pretty awesome. From yesterday to today my role changed from someone who was just working in the office to someone who was working with the office.

Unfortunately I was still having some trouble working out the details of how to test my feature. So around two, I decided to take a break from that feature (to wait to work on it with Micah), and start the new one that was created today. This feature came along quite smoothly and I have nearly finished it, hopefully tomorrow on the train I can claim it as complete.

It was fun because even though I didn't know exactly how to do it, I knew how to find out, so I ended up learning a lot along with getting to experiment a bit with one of the other guys there on how to do it. Mostly we just played with the placement of error messages, how they should be formed and where they belong. Stuff like, whether is should be a full message, or use Rails built in concatenation stuff. Whether we should stick the messages in the controller or the model, and if inside the model, should it be attached to the model or pushed up higher. For the most part, it was a lot of quibble matters, but still helpful for me to get a better feel for their program.

Micah will be back tomorrow, but now I am ready to get a lot more involved on the business end of things.

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