Sunday, June 19, 2005


If something that relates to me fails but it's not under my control, I don't usually feel bad about it. Sometimes this takes effort. If I say that something will take two weeks, and management says that I've got one week to get it done, and it gets cut, I don't feel bad. I feel like I'm the only person on my team like this. Everyone seems to take things so personally. Part of this is their passion for the product, but I think another part is just a failure to take the situation objectively. The product schedule is not my decision. The bugs assigned to me are out of my control. I spent the entire week fixing bugs, and I've still got more now than I had on Monday. I got one null check bug that was my fault; I had no idea that the variable in question could ever be null. That's about five minutes out of five days. The rest were completely not my fault. But, I'm the one most qualified to investigate, so they're mine. I'm not going to get even that close to the bug goal I was required to set. It doesn't bother me. I'm a little bothered that it looks kinda bad, but not bad enough to obsess about it. Just about anyone else on the team would work through the weekend until they hit that arbitrary number, regardless of how ridiculous that is, or how little control they have over their own bug count. I think that's absolutely nuts.

I've heard a certain type of mental disorder described as the inability to cope with things that are not under one's control. That sounds awfully familiar. I mean, from a technical angle, my bug count is sort of under my control... I could theoretically cancel all of my plans, spend an entire weekend fixing bugs, and be miserable. It's hard to really consider that "under my control," though. I do fear that what I consider a realistic outlook and a healthy grasp of the situation will be perceived as either laziness or a lack of passion. We'll see.


Anonymous said...

You seem to obsess about your performance review an awful that really under your control?

Travis said...

I don't really think of it that much... mostly just when posting about work and schedule and so forth. I guess I'll see how much control over it I have in a couple months.