Friday, March 23, 2007

Journey of an Afropreneur: Running the show

Rails!Rails!why do you punish me so?!

That was my status message on google for most of this week as I worked on a project that was long overdue (try 6 months overdue). Don’t get me wrong Ruby and Ruby on Rails is great to work with but there are times when you just hit a dead end and you start asking yourself “why me lord?” then later on you realize by posting your problem on a forum or two (thanks railsforum.com) that the problem isn’t the language or the framework it’s actually you (Sounds almost like one of those cliché lines in a movie when a lady is breaking up with a guy “The problem isn’t you it’s me…”).

To give you a brief history of what I was working on, it’s a project that I started last year when I was contracted by my current company. The project didn’t go smooth and so now that am part of the company we’ve been trying to attack the project from a different angle and as such the improve the product, am tired the client is tired. So one of the suggestions I came up with was to redo the application using Ruby on Rails, needless to say it has proved to be a challenge but also a good learning experience. Unfortunately as I engage in the “Rails Mambo” I have about 25 other things that need to be done which makes my days even more stressful and hectic. Look at it like this, one hand am coding on the other I have to develop frameworks, build teams, organize sit downs with potential developers, at some point the mind and body gives in and you find yourself sitting in a dark corner cursing at your own existence.

12 hour marathon

I found myself this week sitting on my rather uncomfortable sit for close to 12 hours trying to develop an application. I keep reading about Kristopher Tate of Zooomr.com who spends close to 19 hours developing zooomr.com into the application it is now and am impressed, but then again I wonder if he does it on a sit like mine?

I tell you 6 hours on this sit and even the thought of sitting on a cactus plant is welcome. By the way as I took this pic a few pieces of timber fell of the "Death Sit" :-)

CEO of the week

A few weeks back after Al had expressed his frustration at how things were moving in the company (attitude) I made a rather funny suggestion which I labeled “CEO of the week”. Basically to ensure that we all felt the challenges of running a company, we had to assume the CEO role for 7 days on a rotational process, to solidify this Al gave us his heirloom (a silver ring that belonged to his grandmother), he said it had significance and I bought into it, Charo (iron yet warm lady) on the other hand didn’t but since she was to be CEO she took the ring.

This week it was turn to run the show and I started by setting up my objectives and communicating it to the team.6 days later as I look at my list, I notice that may be about 3 items have been addressed. It's not easy running a company, even when it only has 3 full time employees, I guess that's why people hire another person to deal with all that.

Return of the peeps

Despite what you think this story has nothing to do with being a peeping tom. Peeps is my/our cat which of late has taken quite a liking to roaming the bad lands like a wild animal. On Sunday evening as I was recovering from a rather nasty attack of gastritis (phone diagnosis by the way) peeps walked out and did not return for almost 3 days. On Wednesday she returned and was rather badly beaten up, my suspicion is that it was a human inflicted injury bearing in mind that there are no scratches on her. I think it’s really sad when people decide to hurt animals.

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