Thursday, October 25, 2007

Idle Hands, the Devil and Heffeweisen

Just cleaning the kitchen after a busy days worth of work on the infovark project. Sometimes you have those days where you feel you're working your very hardest, and yet, things seem to go backwards just to spite you. After a solid 6 hours worth of code, less then 2% of the 300+ unit tests that we've written were passing. Oh well. I guess you get that on the big jobs.

I was just pondering, as I was scrubbing those pesky pans (does it ever seem to you that all pans seem perpetually dirty? It's just like you're cleaning them, but you can't really scrub off anything more than one layer of dirt. Pan dirt is special. I think it contributes to much tastier food.)

Anyway - oh yeah - pondering. I was thinking how sad it is that no matter how well humans adhere to whatever their particular religious code may be, that there will always be someone somewhere else who would view them as condemned to some kind of hell. If you're the world's most pious Christian, then the Orthodox Jewish faith would see you as going to hell. And the Muslim folk. And a bunch of other, not quite exactly the same but similar divisions of the Christian faith.

If you're the best Buddhist ever, and you never even step on an ant or swat a mosquito for your whole life, then, there will be a bunch of Christians who will be honestly very sad that you never "saw the light" and "accepted Jesus into your heart". Your religious peers may well revere you, but to everyone else, you're just plain old damned.

It makes me feel a bit sad for all those people striving to be faithful, knowing that somewhere, someone will condemn them.

Personally - I'm an atheist, so as far as anyone else is concerned , I'm going to their own individual religion's version of hell, and I'm okay with that, because frankly, the whole think seems completely nuts.

But scrubbing pans is universal. We all have to do it at some point. In the pan scrubbers religion, nobody is damned. We all get to go to pan heaven, where the stainless steel shines so bright, we all gotta wear shades.

Or something. It's late :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Changing the 'We'

(This is cross-posted with my new company blog,
I'm pretty excited about the new job, new challenges, and so you can expect to see more project management, Enterprise 2.0 technology and software posts happening over at the infovark site. I'll try and keep Over The Falls up to date with personal stuff, but no promises! )

For most people, the use of the nominative plural pronoun (’we’) tends to refer to themselves and to the other significant people who happen to be sharing their lives.

If you work for a company, or any kind of collaborative venture where there are multiple people working towards a similar goal, you’ll find that you use the word ‘we’ an awful lot. For example ‘We need to refactor that code, and we should probably add some comments’ or ‘We need to get our TPS reports done by Monday’.

I think that the use of the word ‘We’ is one of the nicest things about being at work. That one little word indicates collaboration is occurring. It shows that you accept some joint responsibility for your success (or failure), and it reminds you that you’re all in this together. Whenever you start a new job, or a new project, the first few times you say it, you notice that you just said it. It’s a thing, at first. Then it quickly becomes part of the corporate vernacular, and you aren’t as aware of it anymore.

Personally, in the last five years, most of the time I said ‘We’, I was referring to TOWER Software. TOWER make a well regarded ECM suite called TRIM Context, which is designed for the government and highly regulated markets. After 5 years, I decided that I was brave/crazy enough to try something on my own, and was fortunate to find a kindred spirit in my TOWER Colleague, Dean.

And so for both of us, Infovark is a new kind of ‘We’. We‘re a small startup based in Northern Virginia, who have a vision for changing the way people work together.

Anytime somebody says ‘We’, we want Infovark to be there supporting them. To make it easier to share information. To help them make decisions. To help them get to know each other. And to take away the burden of complex, enterprise software that is hard to use and understand.

It’s an ambitious goal, but it’s one that we’re utterly committed to.

And so, it starts! We hope you’ll stick with us, and share the journey.