Launching Products, MyBlogLog style

Sampsons at Sansome

(from left, Manny Miller, John Sampson, Todd Sampson, and Saurabh Sahni)

Yesterday was one of the more exciting days of my time here at Yahoo, and I wasn’t even in the office.  MyBlogLog shipped a significant new feature which required the whole team to knuckle down and work as one. We hate to ship new code on Fridays so yesterday was the deadline to get something done before Todd & I head out to a week and a half of conferences.

While activity levels were high all week, they really broke into a sprint at 9pm when we all logged on after dinner to quash out our final bugs.  I think at one point I had four or five different browser engines running (Firefox, IE, Safari, and even Flock) and next to my Windows PC I was also testing things on my wife’s MacBook.

There was a group chat with all of us on it and, as we ran across things, I would throw them into the chat window to get resolved. A couple of us had other testers out there and they were in other tabs on our IM client so we would throw things between the tabs, channeling the excitement of others too as we sensed we were getting closer to launch.I wish I had saved a log from the running chat session because if you could read it, you would plainly see how closely tuned everyone on the team is to each others style.

It was like a written version of the dance you see that goes on in the kitchen of a very busy restaurant. Everyone is running around but knows exactly where everyone else is, what they are doing and when it needs to come together.  Later in the evening, folks from the Bangalore team logged on and joined the fray. Distance didn’t matter – they were right there with us.

I’m privileged to work with such a great team of talented people and am constantly bowled over by what they can do when they put their mind to it. We’re on a roll folks. There’s even more cool stuff on its way!

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5 thoughts on “Launching Products, MyBlogLog style”

  1. Some of my best work experiences ever have been in those last few bug-squishing hours. Isn’t it an incredible feeling? Like being part of an orchestra with no conductor where everything just happens, or part of a complex basketball play where you can’t even see the guys you’re passing to.

    I started capturing IM transcripts of moments like these a few years ago and have a bit of an archive going. Have always wondered if there was value I could mine from them, like a book, a lecture or a blog post.

    But so far, when I let others read them, if the reader wasn’t there at the time, it doesn’t seem to matter how much pre-story explanation I give, the magic isn’t apparent.

    However, the people who were involved in the transcript are taken right back to that moment and enjoy it immensely.

    So lately I’ve been wondering if there’s something in the idea of a web service that ‘plays’ IM transcripts, using the time/date stamps for timing with some play/skip/replay controls. Let people who were original participants annotate it with their reflections on it with hindsight. Maybe add soundtrack and editing controls.

    Anyway, probably only a tiny, niche audience of fellow web development people who’d be interested in it, but I’d love to be able to do it.

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