Thursday, October 05, 2006

The life of a (well, this) software developer

It's 1 Am and I sit at my laptop, typing away. Happily. I haven't been blogging much lately. I am rather insanely busy getting Quest Code Tester for Oracle ready for its preview release at Oracle Open World in a little over two weeks.

I would like to say that everything is pretty much done and I am coasting to the finish line, but that is not the case. Instead, we are working extremely hard to pack in as much functionality (and the fewest possible bugs) into what I believe will be a truly revolutionary killer app for PL/SQL developers.

Here is what my day looks like in this race to the finish line (which is not really any sort of finish. Software is never really finished. It is "just" a release. As soon as it goes out, we get back to work improving the tool):
  • Try to get up at 6 AM. Usually that is possible.
  • Work work work all day long (my office is in my home), with regular breaks, stretching, situps, lots of water, too much coffee. Communicate with my developers in Russia, Ohio and across my office space. Respond to bugs entered by beta testers and our full time QA resource in Alisa Viejo, CA.
  • At around 7 PM, my co-worker Leonid (who comes to work with me here in my home office) heads home (where he apparently takes a short break and gets back to work!).
  • At 7:30 or 8, I have dinner with my wife, Veva, and our house-mate, Ying - both of whom are amazing cooks. So I eat well, and mostly vegetables.
  • Between 8:30 and 10:00, I head to the basement for 45-60 minutes of exercylcing (finally broke down and got a decent Diamondback model, cause I realized that I wouldn't give myself the time to head to the fitness center during the week), and then some weight lifting, more situps (best way to avoid lower back pain, I have found).
  • At 10 PM, I join Veva for a half hour of the best comedy, satire and news on television: the Comedy Central's Daily Show.
  • At 10:30 PM, I yank myself away (I don't find the Colbert Report quite as enjoyable, but still it exerts its pull) and back to work.
  • Try to work till 1 AM.
  • Reward myself with bed and sleep.
So, yes, I sure am working really long hours, but I intersperse the work with lots of breaks and I just absolutely love what I am doing. For example, I just spent about 2 hours implementing fairly complex validation of outcomes (individual tests of a program), ensuring that if you are going to compare a table to a query or a cursor variable to a table, that the select lists of each is compatible. Cool-o, neat-o.

I am also extremely happy that Quest Software is investing in this tool to bring it to maturity so much faster than would otherwise have been possible.

Time for bed.

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