Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Articles tagged with work

Twelve days later | 19 April 2015

It's been twelve days since my shoulder surgery so I thought I'd post a summary of what I've been up to.

In the first 24 hours there was an issue that cropped up at work. The problem was caused by an update to some software released by another group in …

Caller ID blocking options | 25 September 2014

I've been considering asking my company to drop my work cell phone plan and pay for my personal cell phone plan. Some people might cringe to be more accessible to their company but work already calls my personal phone all the time. Therefore, the biggest concern I have about doing …

The Debris Cathedral | 21 September 2014

For a very long time I've been writing code at my job that automates some very tedious tasks. It's not Python code, though! It's a macro language that has saved the company a lot of time and energy but suffers from severe limitations:

  • No scoping -- everything is in a global …
And after four days | 9 April 2013

And after four business days we're back in extended hours. At least I got a two-day weekend out of it. I didn't even make it into the building before I found out. I am absolutely exhausted and uninspired.

April didn't come soon enough | 1 April 2013

Man alive, I've been working 12-hour days, seven days a week, for almost the entirety of March. It has been grueling. During this time I gained 10 pounds due to atrocious eating habits (like eating right before bed at 3:00am), my voice has become damaged thanks to stress- and …

I'll be in the Netherlands | 13 January 2013

Hey everybody, I'm going to be in Zaltbommel and Waardenburg, Netherlands starting February 4th for two weeks. If anyone would like to get together with me while I'm there, please let me know! I'd be delighted to meet with you, have a drink, and talk about feedparser or Python in …

And now I look around | 1 October 2012

Work has been very demanding throughout the month of September. The sheer number of hours I worked, especially for the final week, is staggering. On Monday, for instance, I worked from 9:30am to 5:00am the next day (19.5 hours). I continued working 16 hour days throughout the …

Revisiting Windows | 1 April 2011

I built my computer in 2002, and at the time I chose to dual-boot Red Hat Linux and Windows XP. After maybe two years I noticed that I never booted into Windows, so I uninstalled Windows and never looked back. It's been about seven years since I've had Windows installed …

Capacitor soldering | 27 July 2010

Last week my boss gave me a PC he had received with a bad motherboard. "There are some blown capacitors," he said, "but maybe you can use some of the other parts." I decided immediately to use it as a learning experience: it was time to learn how to replace …

On being held hostage | 1 April 2010

One of the clients I work with had an interesting day recently. You see, they've been using a Linux-based (presumably Unix before that) medical software package for two decades (or so I've been told). Their server now contains almost two decades of patient records, although I'm absolutely certain it's not …

Regarding reboots | 17 September 2009

I've been hired on at a company that provides contract technical support to a number of organizations, and one of the beliefs that I've heard both from users and coworkers is that a reboot is the first solution to try. I want to address what I think about that.

I …

The book I'll write | 19 August 2008

While talking with my parents, I informed them that I'm going to have to write a book. Yeah, it'll be called "Your Children Are Miserable and Sullen, and It's All Your Fault", and I'm going to fill it with stories like the following.

Some time back a woman came into …

Ol' five-dollar Lincoln | 11 July 2008

Today at work a young man -- perhaps 27 years old -- came in while I was at the register. He stared at the doll section for a while, and then asked if there were any more dolls in the store, informing me that his daughter had recently graduated, and he wanted …

People say crazy things | 8 July 2008

I interact with all sorts of people on a daily basis. Many of them say foolish and surprising things.

The racist mother
A woman came in with her mother, and they began looking at doll house products.

Mother : Do you have any regular dolls?
Me : I'm sorry?
Mother : Well I …