Sunday, September 23, 2012

Conflicts and setbacks

So, ran into a few challenges recently.

I have mentioned that I work at Microsoft, but here it becomes relevant that I specifically work on the Windows Phone marketplace: the experience you have when you install an app as a user. As part of my job, I was involved in investigating and diagnosing <a href="">the recent problem installing app updates</a>, and I also know the team involved in managing app certification, so I was well aware of the subsequent <a href="">delays in app publishing</a>.

This was pretty inconvenient for me personally, as I submitted the PAX Digital Assistant update for Prime to the marketplace only the day before certification was temporarily halted. I waited for my app to make its way through certification once everything resumed, and kept waiting. I checked at work and knew there were major delays catching up with the queue of apps that had built up, and so it wasn't unbelievable that mine hadn't made it through yet. I knew that I could contact the guys who ran the process and have my app fast tracked, but I couldn't decide if that was reasonable or not. In hindsight, I think it would have been: I had a good justification with the event actually happening, and other developers do contact a developer evangelist for similar deadlines. However I decided that it felt a little unfair to use my internal position like that, so I didn't do anything, and my app didn't make it through publishing until September 6, well after the useful moment had passed. Now I feel like I inconvenienced a bunch of people and made myself look flaky and unreliable, all for no good reason. Damn.

On the worse side, four days before PAX my apartment was flooded by a burst pipe, and my laptop was destroyed. As detailed in my last post, I did have a remote backup for the PAX app - but I hadn't done incremental uploads to the server of the last couple days of work I'd done before finishing it for Prime, so that work is now gone forever. The Flashcard app I'd created is also completely gone, as I hadn't bothered backing it up to the server at all (not a huge loss, but a foolish mistake). Could have been worse, of course: a month earlier the entire PAX app was stored only on my local machine and would have been gone. But could have been better as well. I need to make the incremental backup to the server as easy as the local incremental backup.

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