Work & SWTOR

It is hard to believe February is already nearly gone. It seems like Christmas was just a couple weeks ago! Things have been crazy at work for a while now, so I have been working a lot and the weeks just seem to melt together.

I am working on a project that has required me to learn new things, like running batch jobs on the mainframe. At first I was somewhat intimidated by it, but glad for the challenge and the addition to my resume. The first couple months I was working on this project I only had to dabble with it, but about mid-January I was switched to assignments that meant I really had to learn it.

After a few weeks of feeling like an idiot, I really started to catch on. Now I am at the point where I can actually help other people do things, which is cool. I have also gone beyond simply learning to run things and now know a little about editing the JCLs (scripting language used to run batch jobs on IBM mainframe) and reading the programs themselves (written in COBOL) to see what the program is doing. Reading the programs has also helped me improve my SQL skills, as the programs have some pretty crazy queries.

Everyone on the team having to learn about working with the mainframe and about testing the batch jobs really slowed us down, so our testing fell way behind. Plus testing batch jobs simply takes more time than our usual testing. It quickly became apparent that our deadline was unrealistic. And this company does not like moving dates… so the stress of that combined with feeling like an idiot when first working with mainframe made for a very unpleasant time at work. Just trying to get things done meant I have been working every weekend lately.

Thankfully they have a plan in place to help us now, so I shouldn’t have to work 50 hours a week anymore! Only 44-46. Although I will probably still be working more than that. But at least I can work from home now, which makes it easier. The company doesn’t really want us to work from home, but given the amount of work yet to be done they have acquiesced. Now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel I am starting to enjoy work again. The mainframe stuff is actually fun in a geeky way.

So if I have fallen off the earth for the past couple months, or constantly made excuses of “I have to work” … I really have been busy! I most likely wasn’t avoiding you.

Other than working A LOT the only new thing really going on over here is that I started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Which means I have a PC again. No, I haven’t given up on Macs… I just slid it over and have two systems crowding my desk. If I could have played SWTOR on my Mac, I would! But the new PC means I can work from home too… the work VPN simply refused to play nicely with my Mac.

I am really enjoying the game, although I have only been playing a couple weeks. I guess you could call it my Valentine’s present from Sean. If you are playing on The Cosair (server) look me up. I have a level 21 Imperial Agent named Jaida.