Saturday, August 30, 2014

Using email to manage work queue can be deceptive

I loathe on emails that have been replied more than 5-6 times. I am sometimes copied on emails where there are 20 replies. Today I have an email about post commit reviews which has 20 replies, Grrr.  I procrastinated whole day to read it and looks like I am not goint to read it today.

Problem with 20+replies email is that by the time you end up reading all 20 of them you have lost context of what is the final picture.

I saw this infographic from 2012 http://mashable.com/2012/11/27/email-stats-infographic/  that 28% of time is spent on reading emails.  I think for me its may be 50% or more as I work from home and most communication is over emails except very few which happens  over skype or phone calls.


Would love to explore tools to save time.  I found 2 new tools in gmail so far, "Canned Response" and "Mark as Read" button, lets see if it helps.

For e.g. I would be copied on email "23.7.3 CL- 120157 on all Appnodes and EOS nodes in SJC, AVL and AM2", now I don’t want to delete it as I may need it in case there is an issue in prod. But I also want to move it out of my Unread queue as I am using email to manage my work queue. I am hoping now I don’t need to open email and mark it as read, a one click would do it.

Also thinking of adding more filters to just sweep some emails I care less to trash as other members are taking care of dealing with them.



But this got me into thinking should I use email to manage my work queue, I used to use a task list before but problem was that some items would never get done. Then I switched to gmail and all pending work would be in emails  marked as Unread, I would have read it but if any action is required I would mark it as Unread.  I am almost at a tipping point because it takes me almost from 9-4 to talk to my team and deplete the email queue. That leaves sometimes 1 hour or sometimes 2 hours to write any kind of code. Sometimes it feels like I got rid of all emails that came to me in the day but I got nothing productive done. So was I just pretending to work?

Also gmail is deceptive, when I come in morning it shows me I have 76 unread emails but daily there are many emails that have between 3-5 replies and some are suckers with 10+ replies. So really its almost 150+emails to deal with and this is after sending lot of emails to trash directly.

Need to find some other way to manage the work queue, I had  tried using JIRA but that also hasn’t fared well.


How to discover JS errors in production code in 5 min

Today I was pulled into a customer call where some customer complained that browser froze for him and the UI kept showing Processing.... . Now as usual I was asked to hunt if it was a server issue or did this customer had any errors. I checked from new relic and from haproxy logs but didnt found any. Then it occured to me what if its a JS error, there was no way to find it out. Then I remembered that New relic had a Beta product to detect JS errors. I went an enabled it from Browser->AppName->settings  and within 10 min the errors started flowing.

Good news is that there arent that many errors but in entire day there were almost 150 of them. But for a java guy this is good info and now I can hunt the UI team to fix them.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

subeclipse 1.6 and svn 1.8 upgrade

I used to use subeclipse to connect in addition to having subversion command line client to work on same repo.  Subeclipse used to be great when doing move/rename in eclipse and adding new files without moving to command line.

Recently operations upgraded svn to 1.8 version and somehow subeclipse broke

it kept giving org.tigris.subversion.javahl.ClientException: svn: URL 'svn+ssh://svn@svn.xxxx.com/repos/trunk' non-existent in revision '120,109'

At first I thought its eclipse issue because I was able to connect to some other public svn repo fine.

Then I found out that public repo was on 1.7 svn version and our svn server was upgraded to 1.8. I  had subeclipse 1.6 client connector.

I upgraded eclipse and reinstalled subeclipse but no luck.  Finally gave up  on subeclipse and installed subversive with 1.8 connector.

Even subversive worked fine but it wont show up Team->Share project for one repo. Restarting eclipse or other things wont help. Finally I figured out you just remove project from eclipse and add it back and that would solve it, phew.


Even with so many issues and bugs, open source software rocks :).