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I’ve been drooling with anticipation since they’ve announced it RTM and finally was able to download the release version of Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals (From here on out Team Data) yesterday…well actually since I’m technically posting this on Saturday, it was the day before.
 
It was put on Subsriber Downloads with little to no fanfare. When I downloaded it, it still hadn’t made the "New in Subscriber Downloads" list.
 
Anyway, I wanted to go to the local launch but (surprise surprise) the black hole, AKA monster project from hell dictated otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. It’s just that I’m going to add crunch time to that list of fish and company. Except I’ll extend the limit for crunch time to 3 weeks instead of 3 days.
 
I can’t really complain. My manager (not in the "I went to business school and am good with people sense but the I can code your sorry ass under the table sense") barely got time to breath between projects so he’s been going much longer than I. Here are some observations (some insightful, others humorous I’ll let you be the judge) and maybe I’ll get back to Team Data.
 
  1. Red Bull combines surprisingly well with several other caffeinated beverages (for that extra kick). Try Red Bull and Mountain Dew (Mountain Bull) or Red Bull and Coca-Cola (Bull on Coke). Mix red bull and coffee at your own risk.
  2. Speaking of red bull (or as our CTO calls it "liquid code"), the average person can only drink 40 cans in a 24 hour period before causing nerve damage from B12 poisoning…or so I’ve heard. Anyway just to be on the safe side know when to say when. I doubt the person who has consumed close to the limit can even finish off the last five cans without spilling it all over the place.
  3. If you’re going to eat the same thing for lunch every day…Jimmy John’s makes a good sub…that is until they bitch at your Admin Assistant for ordering "too late" despite the fact that your company has spent well over $500 a week there for the past month. Then you look for alternatives…Qdoba makes party platters but you really don’t want to be in a room full of developers who just had tex-mex.
  4. One of the tenets of Agile development (small teams in close proximity) is oh so righteous! Ever since our team took over the conference room we’ve been so incredibly productive. The towers of red bull cans are evidence of that.
  5. Forget trips to Dave and Buster’s or corporate retreats. The tightest bonds are formed under intense circumstances. There’s nothing better for team building than sticking five guys in a room for 5 weeks with an insane deadline. Then send them to dave and busters…and a corporate retreat.
  6. Be proud of your code but not to the point that you take it personal when someone critiques it.
  7. Respect is a privilege not a right. Give respect and do something worth respect and you will receive respect.
  8. In the same line, the best motivator is respect. If the only weapon in your cache is the threat of firing an employee, you will never get them to stay in the office for 12+ hours a day 7 days a week. If you earn the respect of your employees, they will move the world for you. (Belching the alphabet, while cool, doesn’t count.)
  9. You never know how much you know until you find out how much you don’t know. You know?
  10. Technology is a sultry temptress. She woos you with gadgets and games when you’re young, but keeps you around with promises of new tricks that she’ll show you the next time you’re together. (That’s not an observation from this project but more of a general observation).
  11. Learn from your mistakes, and adapt your processes to avoid them in the future.

I could go on easily…but you get the picture. I’ve worked brain muscles that I didn’t even realize I had on this project. But it’s been a fun ride. There are other big projects looming on the horizon, we’ve got a list of cool ideas that we’d like to see in an upcoming release. In the meantime, it’s time to catch our breath.

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