June and July

Posted on August 8, 2008

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The past 2 months I was Freelancing at Lost Boys (Dutch web company, from the early days). Past weekend I broke up with my girlfriend and currently I am mentally preparing for a new gig at Lukkien in Ede.

After Lost Boys fused with Satama Holland, many of the Flash-developers left due to unclarity about the future of the unit called “Flashfabriek”. Apparently some moved to the company led by the original founder of the Flashfabriek: Hans Wiegers, and his TechTribe, leaving Lost Boys with some unfinished business.

I was originally hired to fix an application for MSD with a budget of 40 hours, but after helping out a junior Flasher regarding an animation in an app for EPN (a publisher) I was asked do fix an app for KLM as well: the “Destination Guide”, a interactive map of the world showing all kinds of destinations KLM flies to.

All of the work focused on fixing – both AS2 and AS3 – and so I happily cleared out error by error, one by one.

KLM

To fix the relationship between Lost Boys and KLM I spent almost every day of July at one of KLM’s offices in Schiphol Rijk, using train and bus to get there and using the commuting time to read up on some comics by the maker of “Blame!”, “Battle Angel Alita- last Order #10” and “Ythaq” by two french artists: being kind of a deception after being drenched in Japanese Manga storylines.

The main reason for me to be at the KLM office was to avert the client/supplier relationship disaster that the project around the Destination Guide had become due to the departure of the Satama flashers. After spending about two weeks code trashing, most errors were cleaned up and testing begun to show very positive results. In the 3rd and 4th week I started to document the code (as was part of the requirements form KLM) and to make life easier I downloaded and later bought Enterprise Architect to reverse-engineer the code and produce the UML diagrams KLM required.

To cut things short in the acceptance procedure I arranged two meetings with one of the guys who would be reviewing the code and documentation. (A process that officially would start in August when I was long gone). I arranged another session with two people in “my” department to find out if the fruit of the past 3 days writing was clear enough by asking them: “If you read this, what does it mean to you,” using the interpretations they gave to pinpoint where the document was shortcoming in clarity and to find out what I could do to solve that.

In the last week, I slowly gained confidence that the results I was producing were sufficient for acceptence. User tests came out good. Documentation was accepted by one of the people who would give his veto in the real process. Deadline made. Client showed happy faces. Lost Boys got positive feedback. And so on. Yay!

MSD and EPN

The MSD (farmiceutical) gig focused on a onlne quiz revolving around on of their products and where “I” as a doctor could win nifty stuff like a battery charger, a keyboard and a mouse for each quiz I finished. As the primary bugs where fixed, secondary stuff (new features) began to fill the list. So in the last 3 weeks I spent implementing these in an prolonged project that hopefully will end soon.

The EPN gig revolved around a e-learning environment provided by EPN and uses video footage to promote the suite. I started with fixing a animation that just did not flow and ended fixing a lot more.

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