Let the quarantine begin!

Like a slew of other people, I am now working from home and most likely will be for a few months. It's really not that big of a disruption, since I have almost the same set up at home as I do at work. If anything, I have more machines at home.

Since we do deployments at off hours, sometimes on the weekend, I've been in the habit of synching my work machine so I can pick up where I left off when I get home. This has included putting files on Dropbox, iCloud and GitHub. For example, all my DevonThink notes get pushed to Dropbox once a week so I have the same info in both places. Other items like test plans, templates, and testing data are dropped into iCloud since those will be used on the Mac at home. Github of course keeps all the automation code. If you haven't already done so, get synching set up.

When I switched over to using Mac machines, I took the time to get to set up my home Mac the same way I have my work one. It is also a 12 core machine with 128GB of ram, so there shouldn't be a difference in how they perform and accomplish tasks. And if that's not enough, I have a couple of booster iMacs if needed. Those have actually come in handy for screen sharing and attending meetings. They are a little more stripped down, so they are distraction free and better for that sort of thing.

No surprise they have the same software. Obviously, my home machine has more installed, but it has all the same apps, test tools, code tools and VPN connections. About the only thing I've had to do is update a few apps since I'm not always running Postman and it falls behind a little.

Point is, if you haven't done so already, get everything in place so you can work remotely for an extended period. I'm quite sure that will be the new norm shortly.

So far very little has changed. It's not as convenient to peer over my monitor to talk with the devs, but they are just as responsive through Slack.

The biggest change has been gaining almost two hours to my work day since I'm not stuck in traffic. I am making use of the time by going over training videos on Udemy and YouTube. I'm back in a refresher course on Groovy for automation. I've learned a lot in the last two years, and realize I could learn to do things the right way. So what better time than now to get myself pointed in the right direction before taking on a new project.

This also gives me the fantastic opportunity to ride my bike with consistency. Not outside, oh nay nay. At the end of the day, I simply walk across the room and get started. I can ride the bike and be done before I would normally be home. That is pretty awesome even if the circumstances surrounding it are less than ideal.

That brings up another point. There is A LOT of doom and gloom going on out there. People are panicking, raiding the store shelves for toilet paper, and acting like this is part of the end times.

But, let's keep our heads. This too shall pass. It's easy to steer clear of this mess. Sure, it's a dash inconvenient, but it provides plenty of other opportunities. No excuses for not exercising at home. Plenty of time to study new ideas and technology. Plenty of time to work on hobbies or start one. There is no shortage of new books to read or listen to. No time like the present to write that code you've been putting off. It's even a great time to look for a new game, or break out a board game. It's certainly a good time to set up your home office.

And if you find yourself a bit lacking in the hardware department, fear not. Jump over to Woot to pick up both Mac and Windows based systems. They had some solid deals running, and for the time being, they will still be delivered without issue. That might not be the case much longer, so get yourself set up for the long haul.

Things are a bit goofy to be sure, but nothing last forever. There is still plenty to do, and some new and interesting ways of doing it. We now have more daylight hours, and a few extra hours by not sitting in traffic. I'm sure something useful can come from that.

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