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Gerry Kirk asked for volunteers to take over as the maintainer of Planet Plone’s blog list. I raised my hand, and Gerry quickly said, “Huzzah! We have a winner!”

I’m the new zookeeper. It seems like an easy job. And, a way to start contributing (in a teensy-weensy capacity) to the Plone community.

Tonight, I have, alas, a small problem with my ssh keys. Tomorrow, I should launch the “DeRosa era of zookeeping” by processing existing requests for additions to the blog list.


I’m doing some theming work on my team’s first Plone-based site. It’s the first real (i.e., useful, concrete, for-my-job) Plone work I’ve done.

For the first time, just now, I knew how to find a viewlet’s linkages and guts. Without thinking, I went looking for the configure.zcml and common.py files… I’m starting to know what I’m doing!


Most of the technical people in my division (Fisher Interactive) use Apple Macs. They’re all MacBook Pros, except for a Mac Pro used by Andrew.

I sometimes listen to music via iTunes when I work. I’ve rediscovered classical music, so my library has some of that (e.g., a London Symphony performance of Holst’s The Planets, a Boston Symphony performance of Carmina Burana), and more contemporary favorites (e.g., Yes, Traffic, B-52s, Poco, Nektar, and Dave Mason). I shared out my iTunes library — I’m hoping that others bring in their favorite music, and we build a shared library network at work…

Anyway. On a whim, I bought the only two albums (For Beginner Piano and Plock) made by the group Plone, from which the Plone CMS got its name. I plugged in my Bose headphones, cranked up the volume, started the Plone playlist, and began on a CSS task.

I found Plone’s music to be… Different. It was like nothing I expected. It’s… Unusual.

Andrew says it’s good music to code to. Um… Maybe. I don’t think it’ll ever replace Yes, Traffic, or Lou Reed.

———

Updated 1/10: I replaced the last sentence with one a little less impudent.


My team has an opening for a QA Lead & Release Manager, for our Plone project. Here’s an excerpt from the full job description:

Location: Seattle, WA
Reports to: Director, Web Development

Fisher Interactive Network is a new division within Fisher Communications, and we need your help in changing the face of web news and information delivery!

This position is a founding member of FIN’s web development team. We’re using open-source technology to improve our sites’ sophistication and relevancy, and create new kinds of news and content delivery. We’ll need you to institute enlightened QA and code release practices. And help build this team’s culture.

The responsibilities will be to lead the QA effort, and own the release procedures used for build propagation. We’re seeking someone with experience in QA, but not necessarily in release management, because the latter can easily learned. We’re looking for experience in open source testing frameworks for web applications, and in Python, because it anchors our technology stack.

SPECIFIC DUTIES:
(Included but not limited to)

  • Responsibility for all Quality Assurance, and our test strategy’s overall integrity. This includes developing and overseeing our software test plans and validation procedures
  • Drive automated testing within the team. This includes selecting and managing automated test framework(s)
  • Be the primary liaison to the Operations Manager, and jointly manage the QA-Production boundary
  • Create and maintain functional tests; mostly automated, but also some manual testing. Review the test results for code coverage and regressions, and recommend corrective action

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • At least five years experience in software QA, and a strong appreciation and understanding of effective QA processes
  • xperience with open-source environments and tools, especially automated testing frameworks and technologies
  • At least three years experience with Linux and OS X. At least three years Python experience, or four years with another scripting language coupled with a strong willingness to learn Python
  • A healthy engagement with the industry and your trade. E.g., staying current with evolving and emerging technologies
  • A healthy respect for agile development processes, continuous integration, QA, and release procedures

Contact me if you’re interested. My e-mail address is john @ this site’s domain.


In 2009, I want to…

Become more familiar with Plone and Zope. Heretofore, I’ve read, experimented, attended a Bootcamp, and attended a conference. I now want to become nuts-and-bolts familiar with them, so that I intuitively understand their internals. (Well, OK, so that I start to intuitively understand their internals.) This will come from touching many areas, rather than diving into just one or two.

Blog about my company’s Plone work. This won’t be easy. Some activities are confidential, some are not confidential but are sensitive, and some are OK to write about. A too-vague problem description is worthless, so, when should I publish something watered-down vs. just not write?

Contribute to Emacs (imminently), and Plone’s Documentation and Evangelism teams (it’ll be mid-year before I can do that).

Maintain a good balance between working on my team’s most important project (which is in Plone), and being a strategic resource for my division. I’ve hewed to being more hands-on here than in my most recent jobs, and I think I’ve been happier as a result. I could easily redefine my job as being more strategic thinking and advanced development, but I don’t want to. What I’m doing now is just as good for my company, and it’s good for my career. I must devote some energy to internal corporate technical advocacy and communications, but accomplishing concrete technical objectives is much more enjoyable. The pithy summation is, I’m happiest when I spend my day in Emacs and a terminal window, but I’m being paid to do “more” than that, so I’ve got to maintain a good balance. (If I sound like I haven’t figured this out yet, it’s because I haven’t.)

Build a great development team at work. Can I do that without being 100% management? I hope so. In the past, team building has been a source of tremendous personal achievement for me — I enjoyed being a forward deflector shield, and seeing them accomplish fantastic things.  But I’ve done that while operating entirely in “management mode.” Does this sound a bit contradictory with my previous goal? Yes. (IISLIHFTOY, IBIH.)

Normalize my family’s money situation. The TrenchMice years inflicted some, shall we say, disturbances to our finances. Regaining a steady income has, of course, helped, but some high-order TrenchMice harmonics are still rippling through our financial ether. I want to tamp them down within the next two months.

Lose 15 lbs.