Long weekends sometimes stink

As noted in previous posts, I am in the middle of a bathroom renovation.  It has become the prime example of what happens when good projects go bad.  Well, it didn’t go bad, per say, it is (note present tense) a lot more difficult than I thought. 

When we begin a project at DDA, we don’t always have the tools to accomplish the task, but we build on the strong foundation we have, and grow and learn.  We spend a lot of time doing research, getting the correct programs to work with and building the plan.  Each undertaking (at least as far as I’ve been working) has been different from the last, so we are constantly fine tuning our knowledge and our procedures.  Still, we must estimate the time it takes to get the project completed, the number of hours that the actual programming will take as well as the overall time frame given the interruptions.

This weekend I learned to sweat pipes (solder) due to an unfortunate incident with a reciprocating saw (I didn’t do it).  My dad walked me through it after having to run to the store to get the proper supplies.  This later came in handy as we were trying to replace the faucet in the tub, where the plumbing was completely different and all had to come out.  I also learned how not to tile, and how important it is to work clean.  I learned that tubs are supposed to be anchored to the wall studs, not packed in with random material that soaks up water and makes steel tubs rust.  I also learned that I am not able to be as quick as a professional and will have to continue to bathe in the sink for a few days until we can at least have a functional tub/shower.

So coming out of this, we see the importance of scoping out projects properly.  Being on a week long time frame wasn’t enough for this project, but how were we to know everything that would crop up, and just how many trips to the home improvement store we’d need.  This is why when we are budgeting for programming projects at DDA we have to give ranges of times.  Although we are a professional programming staff, there are things outside of our control that will affect times, whether it’s the general timeframe (number of weeks given the number of hours we have to work on it per day) or the specific hours.  We have to eat, and other parts of life sometimes take precedence.  With all DDA programming projects, there are ongoing support issues that need to be addressed as soon as the issue arises, which will cut into time normally spent on  projects.  There are meetings and general work stoppages when we must give assistance elsewhere.  All of this has to factor in.