Friday Notes

Well, it looks like I should really call these Saturday notes as they all end up getting written and published the day after Friday! But hey, I am just glad to keep a weekly thing going.

Paleo Update

4 weeks ago on my 33rd birthday, I had decided enough was enough and I wanted to do something about my growing tub of lard. It had really gotten out of hand. Happy to report that as of today I am now 29 pounds (12%) lighter, feeling like I am 10 years younger, and never once counted a single calorie.

I have to admit I do miss the ice cream and pasta. But steaks, eggs, and bacon make for pretty good "diet food".

Tools for Distributed Kanban

I have posted before about the process that I employ for managing engineering at Eldarion (Kanban) but haven't mentioned some of the tooling. We have been using AgileZen quite successfully for some time now despite some annoyances like lack of live updating, and an interface that is a bit clunky. However, with the recent launch of Trello we have moved a lot of our internal boards over from AgileZen to Trello because it's a much better UX and is more streamlined. Plus it has live updating so no refreshing required.

The only blocker for me to move larger projects over is a really small and simple feature—individual cards having their own integer based ID. Currently the ID for the card is in the URL only and is a 24-character hash (alphanumeric) which makes it really hard to communicate on the phone or IRC or wherever a card reference. In addition, it's been quite efficient for us to use a branching scheme whereby developers create and publish branches with the card number in the branch name. This makes it incredibly easy to track dozens of branches to the requirement on the board for review and integration.

We would gladly pay for a subscription for Trello (if one was offered). It's pretty incredible tool, but breaks down severely on this one small item. So, it was disappointing to hear from Trello that they don't plan to implement this feature (https://twitter.com/#!/bobbygrace/status/114746506174676993). Unfortunately, this means for our larger and more active projects that we can't take advantage of all that is awesome in Trello.

Good to be Home

Last Saturday, I arrived home from DjangoCon. While I had an awesome time in Portland, with the Eldarion crew as well as meeting others in the community, I was missing Amy and the kids pretty hard in the latter half of the week.

Being back around the house this week has been a real treat. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. With our youngest in pre-school twice a week, Amy and I have been able to have lunch dates, which while sounding small and insignificant, has been incredible.