GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkBack From California
05:11:48 PM

I took the United red-eye back from SFO last night, which was delayed for a bit while waiting for cabin crew to arrive from another gate. We made up a little of the time in the air, arriving at Logan at 7:30 AM. It was a full flight and I got assigned a window seat rather than my usual preference for aisle, but I was the only broad-shouldered one in my row so at least it wasn't as bad as the first leg of my trip to California, in which I shared a row with two members of the Northeastern University football team.

I read a bit from the current New Yorker magazine, and then I managed about 2.5 hours of sleep before the pressure change on descent woke me up. Came home, had some breakfast, took a two hour nap and have been taking it easy through the afternoon. Hopefully I'll adjust to the time change as quickly as I did on the way out.

I had mentioned that I was heading out to Pleasanton but I didn't say why. It was one week of intensive knowledge transfer, from me to people who provide various levels of support for our product, letting them draw on my 13.5 years of experience in Lotus Notes and Domino. It was also the case that these folks knew an awful lot more, in many cases, about our appliance than I do, so there was definitely some transfer back in my direction, too. Our tech writer was there all week, too, following along with everything that went on and identifiying gaps and ambiguities in our documentation, which should be very helpful. Our QA department sent out lead tester for part of the week, too.

On Monday, IBM participated as well. Our alliance manager with the Lotus and Websphere brands, and his counterpart on the IBM side jointly did an overview of the relationship between our companies and of the market opportunity in Lotus technologies. Then we got an overview of the Notes client present and future from Mark Barrett, an IBM Technology Advocate based in the Bay Area. There were three other guest presentations from HP employees and partners during the week, but the rest of the roughly 30 hours presentations and leading labs was all me.

Although I had known about this trip and training for some time, there was just no way to set aside adequate time to prepare ahead of time, so there was a lot of "winging it". I only had a full set of presentations done in advance for Monday, with partial slide sets put together for the remainder of the week. I traveled last Friday to give myself the weekend to set up hardware and software for the planned lab exercises, and also to sequester myself in my hotel room to do slides... but the lab work took far longer than expected because I couldn't get the servers to read the USB drive containing a library of preconfigured VMWare images that I had brought along, so I had to transfer them over the network and that took too long. The result was that I had work to do to prepare slides every night of the week, and that of course couldn't start until after wrapping up the training for the day, participating in a few after-hours meeting (some necessary to address issues that are "hot" at the moment, and some that were planned to take advantage of the fact that this is the first time I've been able to spend in person with the engineers responsible for our back-end), time spent answering emails that came in during the day, and of course dinners -- with a friend, with the boss and a key strategist for our product, and with a partner.

(That pretty much explains the almost complete lack of blogging over the past week, and you might also infer from this context how extraordinary level of anger that rose up and caused me to take even a few minutes to do this post.

All in all it was 7 long days and late nights, and I was pretty frazzled -- but I survived and I think it went pretty well and was quite productive.

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I always find it easier to travel west and adjust by staying up late than to travel east and have to get up early.

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