This is what I learned in October and November 2016:
- As you may have noticed, this is a lessons learned from two months instead of one. Due to a pretty stressful time in my main project, I didn’t come around to reflect my work and note what I learned. This is actually a pretty bad thing. Just working and working without the time to reflect what I’m doing is not what I want to do for a long period of time. I noticed that and changed a few things. So, hopefully, this will be the last lessons learned article that covers more than one month.
- As I mentioned earlier, my teammates are working in Romania while I’m here in Germany. Interestingly, this caused me to work from home a lot during the last weeks. Here I have a much faster internet connection which is especially important for screen sharing. Also, I can talk to my team via Skype or telephone without disturbing other colleagues or being disturbed by them. So there is a connection between (partly) distributed teams and working from home. The more distributed a team is, the more sense makes working from home.
- Although I knew these earlier, I began using some IntelliJ IDEA shortcuts: Alt + Insert gives you a “generate” popup which creates test methods and constructors very fast. Also, Ctrl + Tab can be used in the presentation view to switch between tabs. Usually, I close the presentation view, navigate to the new tab and enable it again. That is really slow.
- I upgraded my home office with two new screens. At first, I thought that one of them is broken because I couldn’t get it working with one of my laptops. Just before wrapping it in the box again to send it back, I tried using the original power cable. Before, I used the old power cable from the previous screen because I thought that they were all the same. Turns out there are differences: The new power cable worked just fine. Didn’t know that. :)
- I had several meetings with a colleague from another team. He helped me setting up our application server. Again, I noticed how much there is to know to set up a server and configure, upload and connect all there is to configure, upload and connect. Hence, the role of an application architect who does this work for multiple projects is necessary. The tech lead in one team cannot know all these details. Furthermore, if one guy sets up all the servers, they are pretty similar which makes maintenance easier.
- I noticed another great advantage of working from home in comparison to commuting to work: I don’t have to search for a parking lot. That seems like a small detail. In big cities however this is an unnerving start into the work day. And costly, too!