A Short Description Of The Past Several Days

Working around the clock on a critical project at work (launching tomorrow 6-30 AM). Around the clock – literally. At the same time – trying not to miss a next chapter deadline with our book (had to ask for three days extension). The past nine days were the planning miracles because I managed to get it all done and have this Art Institute outing.

Today was all work, with no lunch break and no coffee breaks (all in front of the computer). Then, I went to my neighbor who lost her daughter, and when I came back, I saw more messages on the work slack. Which I am going to ignore for now because I need to do a couple of personal things, and I also need to prepare some teaching materials for tomorrow. OK, I didn’t ignore them :). But I told them, that I can’t allow this thing to go to production:).

And now I am going to spend the next forty minutes doing stuff fo myself, and another forty minutes to prepare teaching materials.

We Did It!

On Sunday, we finally submitted Chapter 5, and I feel so good about it, I can’t even describe it! In the past ten days, I was so focused on that chapter that I could hardly think about something else.
I mean, I did many other things; I saw two movies, and I was at the Art Institute, and I went to the shelter, and yes, I worked. You can say that I did a variety of things, but to be honest, I felt guilty doing “anything else.”

I could not understand why this chapter takes so much time and effort until Saturday when I looked at the page count and realized that this chapter was almost as long as the previous four! No wonder!
I felt better right away :).

I have to admit that I didn’t challenge our delivery schedule because we do not have that much wiggling room until the end of the year anyway. I thought that a day here and a day there does not make a difference. And I hardly looked at the estimated chapters sizes.

The most time-consuming part was that I had to rework all of the examples, and several times through this process, I would find problems with our generated data. Then, I had to stop building examples and ask Boris to generate new data, and then I had to reload several tables and start over. And Anna had to do all her edits after we are done, and we were not done until the last moment. I am so thankful to Boris and Anna for their heroic efforts in the past several days!

We did it! And we did it well!

And we have eleven more chapters to go :).

It Does Not Feel Like a Weekend

I made a usual mistake of the long weekend – it felt like I can do everything when I have an additional day off. The most pressing thing was the next chapter of the book. The chapter which is due next is huge and very technical. You might think that “technical” is good because it is fewer words to write and more code to explain. But the problem is that with this book, I can’t use any of my previous examples! Everything has to be rewritten in our new training database. 

That means that each paragraph requires stopping, creating a new index, running an example, saving the code of the index, code of the example, execution plan, formatting everything nicely, and writing a new explanation because the tables are different. Each and the single paragraph.

I sort of forbade myself to write anything except of this chapter for the past three days. I was thinking about taking Friday off (it was the last summer Friday, so I could take just one vacation day and have the whole Friday off). But I thought that then chances are, I will have to do work over the weekend, and then what’s the point of taking a day off? 

Indeed, this half-Friday was very intense, I didn’t have a moment to waste, but now I can’t imagine how I will finish everything tomorrow. 

I have a couple of things I have to do tomorrow except of writing, so it won’t be like writing for 16 hours, and I think I will be able to finish. But I was hoping that there will be at least something else during this long weekend.

Well, nobody asked me to get involved. Or maybe somebody asked, but nobody forced me to agree!

Every Evening…

The only thing I can write today is, “I have no time to write anything, except for what’s related to the book.” I was expecting things to be like this, but it is still quite an uncomfortable feeling of “all the time I have should be spent on writing.” The first two chapters are especially hard because there is almost no code, just words. Also, it took us a ginormous time to build the test data, and we are not done. In the past two days, I’ve changed my mind about how the tables should look at least six times. And each time it means changing the DDL, recreating the schema on m local, regenerating the ERD in Navicat, exporting to PNG, and re-inserting the picture. Only to realize that I forgot to change one more thing :).

Yes, I wanted it, 🙂 But I can’t imagine it will be like that for five more months! I hope I will have some life!

The Clock Is Ticking

On Monday, the clock started ticking – we are official “in” for our book. I feel very nervous. We drafted quite a bit before the official start, but now it seems like we won’t have that extra time for the subsequent chapters. Also, since we started to draft something more than a month earlier, I expect that we would have more written. 

The huge part is a training database which is still not finished. First, I assumed that Boris would do it since we are using a public database that he helped create several years ago as our starting point. It turned out that he is not as familiar with the generation scripts as I thought he would. I started to dig into the generation myself. Then at some point, when I found several chunks of raw data missing, Boris told me that I could hand it out to him; he will finish. And now it is stalled. 

Now I have this weird feeling that I  can’t do, I am not allowed to do anything entertaining, while I do not have at least one chapter drafted, preferably two. And I might end up living with that feeling about each next chapter until we will be done at the end of the year.

Nope, I do not need anybody feeling sorry for me; after all, I wanted it, and I got it all started. Just bear in mind that I might be in that anxious mood more often than usual. 

Guess What…

You would expect me to write that post in my professional blog. I didn’t want to do this, because I am at the very beginning of that new journey, and it is not even officially started yet. And what if I fail?!
But here, I am going to share with a small group of friends.

Last week, I signed a contract for a book, and it does not feel real. When somebody approached me and asked whether I thought about writing a book about Postgres performance, I felt that this might be a scam. You know, how they would tell you: pay us 10,000 dollars, and then…

So I was not even sure whether it is real and asked to reach out in April (the conversation happened in February). But it ended up being very real! I asked Boris whether he wants to collaborate because our work on performance is inseparable. He asked whether Anna would join us so that our work would sound more English than otherwise. To my surprise, she agreed.

Then, there was a lot of backs and forths; we worked on the proposal and the tentative book outline and schedule, and then, all of a sudden, everything started to look good, and we received the final proposal text, and everybody signed it, and … now we have to write that book!

I am excited and scared, and I won’t be talking about that until we make some progress, but I am going to be very busy in the next seven months!