Monthly Archives: June 2007

Sales force scale applied to project management

28 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

This post is a few days old, but I just caught it today while catching up on my blog reading.  The funny thing about the post is that after my last project I could easily replace “Sales force” with “project management” and it would all still apply.  During my last project, meetings that involved the PM and the client would typically float between a 6 and 7 on the scale.  Level 5 was the norm on the project.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t recall a single Level 1 meeting during the entire project.

Again, this is my modified list.  Check out the original here. :-)

Project Management Level 1
Description: Calm.
Conditions: PM presented all the material prepared by developers without alteration.

Project Management Level 2
Description: Gentle.
Conditions: PM presented some technical inaccuracies that nobody else noticed. For instance, “our database is written entirely in Microsoft’s awesome C# language”.

Project Management Level 3
Description: Moderate.
Conditions: PM made some statements you wouldn’t agree with. For instance: “our application is totally using AJAX for an awesome user experience”, when in fact only four web pages in 100 use AJAX.

Project Management Level 4
Description: Squirming in seat.
Conditions: PM is making some bold claims for scenarios you’ve never tested. For instance: “our software can scale to 10 million users without breaking a sweat”.

Project Management Level 5
Description: It’s getting ugly.
Conditions: The customer just asked for a feature of such magnitude that only quantum computers cooled by liquid nitrogen could do the job. PM replied: “yes, we have that in the plans for next quarter”.

Project Management Level 6
Description: Total WTF.
Conditions: PM described some feature of the software you’ve never heard about. Perhaps this was something they dreamed, but you know they’ll expect you to build it. Quickly.

Project Management Level 7
Description: Apocalypse Now!
Conditions: PM presented screen shots of a “shipping application” where the screen shots were actually UI sketches built in Photoshop by a tattooed designer named Pablo who never came back to work after last year’s Burning Man festival.

My newest toy

27 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

After giving it a lot of thought and doing quite a bit of research, I finally purchased my very first MP3 player. :-)   Yea, yea….I know it’s 2007 and almost everyone on the planet has one, but I haven’t felt the need until now.  After having to break out the big-ass laptop on the train just to listen to music, I decided I should bite the bullet and get one.

I looked at the iPod (both the full size and the Nano) and the Zune, but after reading reviews on, I settled on the SanDisk Sansa e260.  The biggest factor for me was the price.  Since this would be my first MP3 player, I didn’t want to drop almost $300 to have it gather dust on a shelf somewhere.  With shipping, the Sansa cost me around $150.  Beyond the price, I liked the fact that I can simply connect using USB and then drag-and-drop music using Explorer instead of some special interface. 

Sansa e260

The size and weight surprised me.  I guess I knew it was going to be small, I just didn’t realize how small. ;-)   Along with the player itself, I purchased a clear, hard plastic protective case (since I’m sure the kids will want to check it out at some point).

The only downside I’ve seen so far is its inability to play music while it’s plugged into my PC.  It’s not a showstopper, but it does kinda suck.

Job interviews – funny blog post

26 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

This guy needs to write more because I found his post “the interview zoo” pretty damn funny (and accurate). 

On the train again – trip wrap-up

22 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

This post is being written at 4:42 eastern time – the train left Union Station about 45 minutes ago.  I should hit the Battle Creek station around 7pm.

I would have liked to stay longer, but unfortunately there’s a family at home and work to be done. ;-)   I talked to Wil and discussed coming back sometime in July for a few days.  His fiance may be out of town on business, so that’ll give us plenty of time to kill each other playing Ghost Recon 2 or Halo 2. ;-)   Actually, when I come back, I’d like to get out more and see more stuff in and around Chicago.

Overall, I had a fantastic time.  Not only did I get to relax, catch up with Wil and play lots of Xbox, I got to try some new food (sushi on Tuesday night and Greek food on Wednesday).  Both nights we basically ordered a bunch of appetizers / small main courses and shared.  The sushi was…well…different — way out of my comfort zone. :-)   The Greek food was cool, especially when the waiter set stuff on fire at our table (some kind of flaming cheese). ;-)

On Wednesday night after dinner, we headed to a pretty nice bar in the Lincoln Park area named Sheffields — I wish I had been hungry because the stuff on the menu looked pretty damn good.  While our waitress was a bit ditzy, the drinks were mixed well and the the company and conversation was great.

On Thursday, we stayed in and played Xbox, talked, drank and had some deep-dish pizza.  As the night wore on, the drinks kept coming and talk turned to music.  We tend to like the same kinds of music, but at some point the talk turned to Van Halen.  I made the comment that I think VH was best with Sammy…Wil jokingly told me to pack my bags and get out. ;-)  

Wil and I had a chance to talk about his time in Iraq.  He had some pretty amazing stories, many of which I read about in emails or in a private section on his blog.  I’ve always had a lot of respect for the men and women that put themselves in harms way and hearing his stories certainly didn’t dampen my opinions at all.  It’s one thing to hear about Iraq on the news, quite another to hear them from someone who was on the ground for 7 months.

Tomorrow night, I’m headed to a party at my friend Red’s house.  I’m looking forward to that since that’s where I tend to see a lot of my old co-workers from Sequoia. 

Update: train arrived ON TIME!  Woohoo!

On the train to Chicago

20 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

I’m writing this @ 10:58a on 6/19 (we just arrived at the Niles, MI station).

Once again, I’m sitting on the train headed to Chicago to visit Wil for a few days.  The train sure beats sitting in traffic, and for a whopping $38 round-trip, you can’t beat the price. :-)

The only problem I have with riding the train is never knowing exactly when the train will arrive at its destination.  The last time I took the train to Chicago (for the Vista launch event), it was winter and both trips took around 5 – 5.5 hours.  Ugh.  That really sucked.

Today hasn’t been too bad.  My trip started about 30 minutes later than scheduled, but I don’t foresee any more delays.

Wil and I don’t really have any plans while I’m visiting…hang out, play video games, maybe see some sites, but no major plans as far as I know.  I’m just looking forward to talking to him in a one-on-one setting.  It’ll also be nice to get to know his fiance a bit better.

On Thursday I need to call my sister and wish her a happy 38th birthday.  I can’t believe she’ll be 38 this year.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago that she taught me how to drive a manual transmission.  Of course her turning 38 means I’ll be 35 in a few months. :-|


Quick update: I arrived at Union Station around noon I think and damn, is it a nice day today.

More milestones

16 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

Last week marked two very important events:

1. My daughter finished kindergarten this past Wednesday.  I can’t believe she’s gonna be in 1st grade….wow.  where the hell did the time go.  Seems like just yesterday I wrote this post. :-)

2. Friday the 15th was the final day of the project I’ve been on since late January.  It was quite an experience (some of which I hope to blog about), but I’m glad I’m done.  No requirements, long hours, tough deadline….yea, I’m glad it’s over.

Next week I’m off to visit Wil for a few days and then hopefully I’ll be on to the next project.

The world would be a vastly different place…

06 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

On June 6, 1944, the allies embarked on the largest seaborne invasion in history.  If the allies hasn’t been successful, one can only imagine what the world would be like right now.

“The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, and an early morning amphibious phase began on June 6. The “D-Day” forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to establish, expand, and eventually break out of the Allied beachheads, and concluded with the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket in late August 1944.” (more)

The National D-Day Memorial Foundation

My Programmer Personality Type

06 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

Originally seen here.  I’m a bit surprised by the “S”, but maybe that’s a side-affect of working alone for so many years. ;-)

Your programmer personality type is:

You’re a Doer.
You are very quick at getting tasks done. You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.
You like coding at a High level.
The world is made up of objects and components, you should create your programs in the same way.
You work best in a Solo situation.
The best way to program is by yourself. There’s no communication problems, you know every part of the code allowing you to write the best programs possible.
You are a Conservative programmer.
The less code you write, the less chance there is of it containing a bug. You write short and to the point code that gets the job done efficiently.

And another original product name from Microsoft

05 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

Orcas has a name.


Yay. :-|

A quiet Sunday? not.

03 Jun 2007
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  2 Comments

So, I’m sitting in my living room, doing a bit of surfing and blog reading while the rest of the family is upstairs doing other stuff.  My son (Jacob, age 3 – almost 4), came down a few minutes ago and asked for the Cars soundtrack CD because he wanted to “play along with it”.  I knew what he meant, but gave it to him anyway. ;-)


So, now what do I hear (even with my headphones on and my music cranked)?  He’s in his room banging on his drums (a Christmas gift from grandpa) , playing along with the soundtrack.  So much for a quiet Sunday morning. :-)   I really should go outside and see if the neighbors can hear him.  ;-)