One of the interesting parts of working on products is that you have to build the features before you can talk about them. So, I’m off building some new features about which I am very excited. I can’t talk about them, of course, other than to say that I can’t wait for them to get out to customers!
When I haven’t been working, I’ve been painting my daughter’s toy room (http://savannahjane.blogspot.com/2008/09/potd-painting.html).
I will tell you a bit about working from home. In some ways, it is very, very, very nice. I don’t get interrupted – pretty much ever. So, I can think very deeply about a problem for many hours at a time. IMO, this has already led to better software designs from me. It does take a degree of focus to work this way, however. When I turn on the thinking cap, I forget about pretty much everything else. You don’t get downtime, and your brain can be extra-tired by the end of the day. I don’t think that it is for everyone. However, after initially thinking that it was craziness for me to consider such a role, I’m far more accepting of the idea now that I have tried it.
Other things I have learned lately that might interest you:
1. airline pricing schemes are fascinating. The business/sales guys have been playing with all of these neat toys on seat selection, learning how to maximize miles/$, and even doing “mileage runs” to get elite status… Go live search that and see what those people are doing.
2. hotel pricing schemes are not as fascinating, but hotel rewards programs *are* fascinating. They have special floors for frequent travelers, and I now plot to enter their secret club…
3. www.flyertalk.com is a great resource for those who travel frequently for work. Pay no attention to the guys who complain about every little thing – they live on the road, whereas I am merely having fun figuring out a new domain. You can learn about how to exchange miles/points in different programs and how to use mile-generating credit cards to buy traveler’s checks for no fee. It boggles the mind…
4. I have been buying new bags for traveling – in the US, checking bags takes a lot of time, so you quickly realize to not do this. I bought a new Patagonia bag (http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/product_focus.jsp?OPTION=PRODUCT_FOCUS_DISPLAY_HANDLER&catcode=MAIN_FA_US.CLOTHING_GEAR.PACKS/TRAVEL_GEAR.WHEELED/DUFFEL_BAGS&style_color=49111-681&ws=) and I am very happy with it. I also ordered a new laptop backpack, as my satchel was not cutting it. I haven’t received it yet, so I’ll review it before I post.
5. Figuring out how to plan travel to minimize price, maximize sanity, maximize frequent flyer/rewards points, and get work done on the plane is a fascinating multi-target optimization problem.