June 22, 2008

Weekly review: Week ending June 22, 2008

June 22, 2008 - Categories: weekly

More Drupal work! This week, I wrapped up the first phase of my project at work. I’m starting to feel comfortable with Drupal–particularly the thorny combination of CCK, Views, Domain Access, and PHP code. I’ve deployed the code to the quality assurance server, documented my installation procedure in a script, and even set up a convenient administration interface to help the testers put the system through its paces. I’m starting to feel like a proper software developer. Oh my!

I gave a presentation on social networking for new hires on Thursday, and I learned a lot while preparing and presenting that presentation. I don’t have any presentations scheduled until mid-July, when I have three presentations scheduled in one week (two replays and one new presentation on technology evangelism). Time to start preparing for them…

In self-defense and krav maga class, we practiced groundwork, side kicks, back kicks, and getting out of side head-locks. I’ve got a long way to go before I can kick as well as the others do, but the guys make it fun. We often warm up with a shoulder-tapping game, which I like. I sometimes forget to breathe, though, and that makes me tire faster! <laugh> Gotta work on that.

It’s been quite an indulgent week on the personal front. On Friday, W- and I made up for long workweek days by taking off early and wandering around downtown. He introduced me to Burrito Boyz, this hole-in-the-wall burrito place that seemed to be quite a favorite among students and clubbers. Yummy! And then on Saturday, W- and I went on a classic dinner-and-a-movie date: an absolutely scrumptious elk steak dinner at the Corner House restaurant (the soft-shell crab starter is also not to be missed) and a movie (Iron Man, which got great reviews on RottenTomatoes). We even squeezed in a concert. Video Games Live happened to be playing near the movie theatre, so we listened to a number of segments before watching the movie.

I plan to spend the next week helping the quality assurance team test the system we’ve been working on, transferring some of my work to the new hires coming on board (I already know one of them! =) ), and preparing for the next few weeks. From mid-July to late August, my schedule’s going to be quite a whirl. Presentations, working remotely in Ottawa, then off to the Philippines for Diane’s wedding… Lots of stuff going on!

Web 2.0 @ Work: Creating a professional profile

June 22, 2008 - Categories: connecting, web2.0

Do you have a professional website, or do you just leave your professional profile up to random Internet search results or sparse corporate directory listings?

Although we have a terrific centralized corporate directory at IBM, I’ve found it very useful to also have a simple professional profile with a short biography, my contact information, and links to the other services I use on the intranet and on the Internet. Having one site that brings all of these things together makes it easier for me to help people get to know who I am, what I’m passionate about, and where they can find out more about me. I include this URL in my e-mail signature and in my presentations so that people can find me easily.

I use WordPress as a content management system so that I can quickly add links and pages without editing HTML. On my internal site, I use the Blueprint theme for WordPress. It’s clean and easy to read, and it fits with Big Blue’s color scheme. The front page explains who I am, what I do, and what my team does. It also links to places where people can check out my bookmarks, download my latest presentations, and so on.

To set up something like it:

  1. Download and install WordPress.
  2. Download and unpack the Blueprint theme to your wp-content/themes/ directory.
  3. Choose the Blueprint theme from the WordPress administration interface.
  4. Create a page called “About”. Fill it in with details about yourself.
  5. Set the About page as your site’s front page in the Settings – Reading menu.
  6. Create links to your profiles on other services and other related websites.

Trudge, trudge, trudge

June 22, 2008 - Categories: connecting, emacs, writing

Oh no, I’ve hit the slump.

I spent some time working on the Wicked Cool Emacs today. Spam filtering – not something I’d set up before. I’m writing it because I promised to write it, but I can’t shake off the feeling that this part would be better done by someone who’s passionate about Emacs and spam filtering. I have Google handle my spam filtering for me, so I haven’t needed to do anything more sophisticated. Still, not everyone’s going to have the same set-up, so it would be good to document that too.

I’m tempted to jump to a different chapter and start working on that, just to make working on the book fun again.