Saturday, January 31, 2009


At least once during each release cycle the platform team convenes for a week for a "sprint". This is a time to meet and work face to face on things. It allows for high bandwidth collaboration, a chance to get you hands on different hardware, and also a chance to have a beer or two with teammates and reconnection on a social level.

The Jaunty sprint is in Berlin, and I am at the airport relaxing for a few hours before my flight (Seattle to Paris, and then Paris to Berlin). I left very early so that I could relax at the airport and not feel rushed and such. However, my trip started out with a bit of a jolt. After taking the bus to the airport, I was in front of the Delta ticket machine at 9:40am. But the machine couldn't find my flight info. In the past I have found that this is not a good sign. So I headed for the counter.

The Delta counter people are always super helpful, and this was no exception. I handed her my printout of my flight info. She punched the computer a few times, and then read out my itinerary (Seattle to Paris, Paris to Berlin, Berlin to London, London to Atlanta, Atlanta to Seattle). Yup that's me.

"That itinerary has been canceled."

So at this point, I believe I had a true cardiac event. I think my blood did literally run cold. As images of $10,000 flights and seriously pissed off bosses began to form, as well as blurry mental youtube videos of dope slapping the travel agent began to crystal and transform,

"It was then immediately rebooked under this other confirmation number, that's why the machine couldn't find it."

Ok, this was good to hear, but the damage was already done. I think about a year's worth of adrenal was already coursing through my veins, and of course I couldn't be 100% confident that all was ok until I actually had a boarding pass. I didn't feel like I was handling the stress very well, and told the Delta agent this. To reassure me, she printing out my full itinerary, and told me that I could check in with Air France when they opened, IN TWO HOURS.

This was not good, as I didn't feel that I could relax much with the stress of not having a boarding pass. Fortunately, it turned out that Air France opened at 10am, not noon, so I only had a short wait. Suffice to say, I'm chilling out (with a boarding pass) and I'm catching up on some blogging.

The team generated a list of goals for the sprint, but I have a few goals relative to ramping up as a Ubuntu contributor that I think I will make a lot more progress on with my team there to help. Before I leave, I would like to:
  1. Check out code from a launchpad project, make a change, and submit the change as a patch to the project owner.
  2. Create a project and package it in a PPA.
  3. Log some (quality) bugs to an upstream project.
These are basic workflow issues for my team that I haven't mastered yet. Some other things:
  1. Figure out how to get an overview of all the UI changes that will happen in Ubuntu, so I can ensure they are all good changes from the users' point of view.
  2. Set up a system so that it is easier for me to monitor my teams progress towards fixing milestoned bugs. I already have some liblaunchpad code to get a start on this.
I'm also looking forward to raising a glass with all these folks with whom I have spent so much time interaction virtually over the last 8 weeks.

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