Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29 - Choice and over-thinking and Monkey Boy!

There's apparently a theme in my inbox this week. Choice. Choosing what I eat, what I want, and what I do.

I'm something of a quote-a-holic, and have signed up for a few to be delivered daily to my inbox. There were actually two in today's mail that struck a chord.

Habits...the only reason they persist is that they are offering some satisfaction.  We allow them to persist by not seeking any other, better form of satisfying the same needs.

Every habit, good or bad, is acquired and learned in the same way - by finding that it is a means of satisfaction.                       
 - Juliene Berk   

This goes along with the "you have trained yourself to eat in situations like this" message from Living Lean. I picked up the Living Lean again yesterday, created my reminder card and wore it all day today. Then I came home and had a pint of ice cream for dinner. Today was something of a challenge, and I did eat the way I've trained myself to do in stressful situations. I also rationalized it by saying I needed to get the ice cream out of the house. Now the ice cream is gone and I need to start over on learning different coping mechanisms for stressful days.

I actually have mixed feelings about what I learned today. I decided last night I would have to put the card I'd picked up Friday on hold for the today. I'm still not up to speed on my .NET classwork, and am behind on homework for several other classes as well. I have to teach myself the Ruby I didn't get in the 4 hour class that actually only took an hour and a half. I have to refresh my memory on the Database Programming with SQL Server class, which I took while in Support, didn't have time for the homework, then missed the class taught last Monday when I was out for the flood issues. I now have a paper to write about our SaaS department and cloud computing, as well.

After announcing in our morning stand-up meeting that I was putting the card on hold to study the Ruby information, I proceeded to get lost in the .NET stuff again. I'm making progress and have a solid understanding of arrays. I also discovered yet again that I have a tendency to read too much into things. I spend most of the morning trying to print book titles by calling on ISBN numbers. Printing strings (words) by  calling on integers (numbers) is apparently not a beginners task, and certainly not something I currently have the tools to accomplish.

I have to date:

  • Spent too much time trying to basically rewrite the accounting module of our software, when asked to create a simple General Ledger table for the Relational Database class.
  • Spent too much time and gone into far too much detail in writing scenarios for the Gherkin homework. The QA who reviewed my work told me I went above and beyond, and that he wouldn't have gone into such detail.
  • Spent too much time trying to write a program to display book titles by ISBN, when the request was simply to display book titles from an array. 
  • I also had a talking to by one of the engineers, in a laughing manner but still a talking to, because I over-documented the changes I made Friday. My thought process was that I'm going through forms making certain changes were made, so I should document the changes I make. This way QA won't have to go through the entire change document and will only have to review the changes I made. Apparently this was also over-thinking things. 
My manager told me today that one of the senior engineers expressed concern about my ability, because it's obvious I'm struggling. I'm told it's obvious I'm focused (he said I'm tied for the most focused person on the team). It's obvious I'm working hard. It's apparent I'm struggling though. This is disconcerting, because in addition to sharing information and making sure all engineers are on the same page, the training is supposed to weed out those who can't hang. I believe I can hang. I'm tenacious enough to keep picking at what I don't understand, until I do understand. I just need enough time to gain that understanding. 

The engineer who expressed concern is the same engineer who keeps pushing me to get into Bacon Patrol, and I'm not certain what he is seeing to tell him I'm overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed, but I'm not certain where he's seeing it. Maybe because I keep pushing back. When he convinced everyone I should take the card I picked up Friday, I told them all I had homework and classes. They explained this wouldn't count against the sizing of the card (sizing = how long they expect it to take to complete) so I agreed to pick it up. Just the one day working on it, plus the day working with V, has given me confidence with the forms and text box aspects of Powerbuilder. 

My manager helped formulate a plan, where I walk away from the .NET stuff for now. Since we didn't get the full 4 hours of Ruby, they have scheduled an hour to "brush-up" on what we missed. I figure the instructor will walk in and say "what can I help you with?" which means I need to know what she can help with. I need to get the Programming with SQL Server homework out of the way, and the SaaS paper. These are my focus this week, along with the classes I have scheduled. There shouldn't be any homework from this week's classes, until the java class on Friday. It wasn't in his plan, but I figure I'll work on the .NET homework at home. He is right that I've been spending too much time on it, and I need to re-prioritize. 

I don't know how all of this will play out. I'm troubled by how much I'm reading into things, over-thinking things, which is causing me to spend too much time on them. I'm bothered by the fact someone is expressing concern about my abilities. I told my boss I expected to be uncomfortable and overwhelmed for the first several months. I knew I was walking into this position without a coding language, which put me at a deficit. I am putting everything I have into soaking up as much information as possible, but it's still drinking from the fire hose. I just hope they give me enough time to assimilate all the information into a usable whole. 

In other, better news, Monkey Boy is home!

My house feels very small, with two grown men in it. I don't know how the three of us lived here for so many years! Life is going to be quite interesting over the next few months...

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