Late nights, early mornings, too many projects, and Hyperion IR Web Client

I'm no stranger to work. I'm what some might call a workaholic. However, recently I've been working too much. Between my day job, writing, and AST I'm a bit frazzled. One of the nice things I've found about our community is that when the going gets tough, people are there to help.

In AST, Scott Barber and Cem Kaner have picked up some of my slack, and I'm very appreciative. In my writing, my now long-time co-author has been patient and encouraging as we work through (yet another) dry spell. And at work I've recently had the pleasure of interacting with Alex Podelko as I've tried to struggle through too many projects (often at odd hours).

I've been doing a lot of multi-project multi-tasking (read more about that here). It's kinda like putting your brain in a blender. A couple weeks ago I remember interacting with one of my team members and them stopping the conversation because I couldn't focus long enough to process the information they were giving me. Not good...

Recently, these behaviors became manifest as I was working with one of our performance testers to create some performance scenarios for Hyperion IR Web Client. We couldn't see traffic in the recording for the scenarios once the Web Client was loaded. Thinking we had an incorrect setting, like all performance testers we turned to Google for the answer. You can't throw a rock and not hit Alex's name if you Google performance testing and Hyperion. I've read plenty of Alex's writings, so I figured this was as good a time as any to introduce myself.

Alex was incredibly helpful in helping me work through my problem. He asked questions, sent me code, and looked at my screenshots. At one point Alex very gracefully took at step back and asked me what exactly was I trying to record. I think he figured out that I clearly wasn't thinking, and he very nicely pointed that out. Web Clients run on the client side (hence the nifty naming convention); after you load a document nothing is communicated to the server until you request data. Data conversion, building graphs, filtering, etc… all happen on the client side.

I was trying to record client-side activity with a performance test tool. I would like to think that on a good day, I would know better. As I continue in my transition from technical leader to manager, I wonder if this is one of the common ways in which managers lose their ability to contribute productively to technical solutions. It's not that I don't still possess the technical skills; I'm sure I do. It's that I can't focus on anything long enough to get the clarity of thought one needs when solving difficult technical problems. I'm sure Rothman's written about this phenomenon extensively (and I'm sure I've read it – I just can't remember right now).