jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I've been working mainly on elections stuff lately, but also a few other bits. Ira's posts have more details expanding on the minutes. I spend a fair amount of time with the strategic planning workgroup. I've also worked on some diagrams of organisational structure for the board, and we're now talking about writing up a proper job description before the election, setting out rough expected workload.

It's still exhausting, and my day job has also been busy, but there are some good signs of progress. At least we're having these conversations, and also planning to formalise the emerita board and set up an advisory board. Volcom are also making progress on their big projects for the code of conduct and related processes, which is exciting.

Tiredness

Apr. 25th, 2012 10:24 pm
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Renay posts about Volcom work

Sanders posts about Board work

I guess I've had some of the same problems as Sanders and Renay here, in terms of talking about my work in the OTW, except one step worse because I haven't even been keeping up with Dreamwidth.

Talking about work and my mental state is difficult. I've kind of got out of the habit. As I mentioned on my personal journal a few months back, that's partly because it's not actually that bad. I look back to my previous project at work, and yes, the end of that was very tough. At the beginning of my new project, I was exhuasted and facing the standard challenges of settling in to a new area of work. I had a week's holiday in October and it was nowhere near enough, particularly with the OTW election on top of everything else. By mid-December I was seeing my GP about depression - it was the middle of winter, my SAD was hitting me worse than it had in years, I was overloaded with work and struggling to cope. And yet the hardest thing, in a way, was that it wasn't as bad as, say, 4 years ago. I have all my coping mechanisms for when things are really bad, but it wasn't like that. I had no coping mechanisms for mild depression, for balancing the days when things were okay with the days when things weren't.

Thing have improved since then. I got a good break over Christmas, and things have been looking up in terms of work. I'm still tired, but not nearly as badly. Spring helps.

But then I look at OTW stuff. We've made huge progress. I'm so pleased about the drive going well, and emailing the AO3 users. Our strategic planning workgroup have made brilliant progress, and I'm so excited that their post is up so you can all read about it. I am ridiculously excited about the Code of Conduct, because we need it so desperately. I have dreams for my role as Elections Officer next year. Open Doors has really got going and has big plans - Mishie is doing a great job as a new chair, after Heather had to step down for personal reasons. Support goes from strength to strength, and the AO3 Docs workgroup are getting going to improve the FAQs and other documentation. Finance has new people and is looking at improving their documentation, too.

But...there's always a but. I have reached a new level of burnout. I haven't coded anything in over two months. I spent two years reading every word of every transcript in the OTW Coders room on Campfire, and I've probably spent less than an hour in there in the past month. There are some areas where I can't bring myself to care anymore, because it hurts too much. I've said before that the thing that causes burnout isn't too much work, but too little support, and I'm finding the truth of that yet again. I'm seeing more different ways that well-intentioned people can hurt each other.

I still have hope. We're still making progress, and we can make things better. But it's hard work, and we lose good people along the way, and we can't solve it all at once. Please keep wishing us well, and please keep asking questions, holding us accountable, letting us know where we need to be more transparent, and above all, whatever your level of involvement, please remember there is a human being at the other end of the computer screen.
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
It's been well over a week since my last quick update, so here are some notes of what's been going on.

We had our first Board overlap meeting! I'm expecting a post to go up on the official blog soon explaining more about what overlap is, but the people who would have been chasing it up have had RL issues (moving house, health problems flaring), so it's taken a while. But it's basically the period while the new Board can shadow the old Board, getting access to some of the Board-locked areas of Campfire and later Basecamp, and sitting in on meetings, though we can't yet vote on decisions. The meeting lasted a whopping 3 hours, but I think we heard some useful updates and laid some good groundwork - we all discussed our hopes for the next few months, and a bit about the general theory of strategic planning.

We'll be talking more about strategic planning in the next org-wide meeting, so if you're awake at 5am UTC this Saturday and you volunteer for the OTW, come along! Or maybe read transcript afterwards :S At some point I'm also vaguely hoping to do a post on the official OTW blog talking more about the process and theory. In the meantime, a quick Google or Wikipedia of "Strategic planning" gives a pretty good overview for anyone who's curious.

AO3 deploy! We had a deploy two days ago, which included fixing some urgent bugs for due South Secret Santa and other challenges, fixing bugs for the tag wranglers and for a security loophole, among other fixes. We had a great relay team working across the Atlantic in different timezones, handing over the baton to continue working round the clock and get everything sorted as soon as possible. Now it's back to working on the new parser, the remaining skins bugs and missing features that were intended for Skins 2.0, as well as fixing the remaining automated tests that were broken by the tag sets changes.

And our donation page on the AO3 is now live, linking users to the main OTW site - the next version will include some more details and graphics, but it's a great start. That was coded by our intern, Firewolf - at the beginning of October, she'd never programmed before, and now she's fixing bugs and adding new features like this! \o/

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