How to work for weeks and do nothing.

Basically I’ve been here five (5!) weeks and haven’t committed a single fix, new feature, or even PR review (okay I reviewed ONE PR that was a couple lines long)

Some reasons why this has happened.

1) I didn’t always know exactly what was expected of me. On one project I worked like mad to get Hubot to grab metrics from Amazon Cloudwatch, without realizing there was a Cloudwatch integration already in place, and that, basically, there was no need to write an integration for this at all

2) I over-promised a few times. I tried building a number of ‘text-scanning’ tools for the site that I thought would solve a problem, and then delivered versions of them without actually testing them on the exact challenge. This led to over a week of delays. Frustrating. And it’s possible that the webcrawler module I’m using can’t actually be made to go scan a localhost/ site, for some reason

3) I often worked on things where I had no ‘mentor’ really. I took kind of terse responses when asking questions about 1) as ‘don’t bother that guy all the time’ which definitely wasn’t his intent. Other stuff I worked on use code and frameworks that no one else uses, so when I was stuck there was no one else to turn to.

4) distraction as a cure for frustration. So instead of tackling often serious roadblocks head on, I have a tendency to end up nibbling around the edges. Entire DB contains bad structure information? Why not write a script to update individual tables and limp along? or better yet, go polish that Hubot that’s already working just fine. The best solution to this one is probably to keep up with things like this dev blog or a .plan file, because it forces me to clearly state what is actually blocking me rather than just falling in to the trap of staying busy.