Wednesday, June 27, 2007

News from our nation's capital

News from the frontline - the training component of a Defence IT Upgrade Project in your nation's capital. Taxpayers money hard at work.

Day 50 something for me and the team – but who’s counting?

A major project milestone is behind us, and our next hurdle is our courseware. I don’t need to go into the nitty gritty of system downtime, seating arrangements, not enough PCs to go around etc. as you’ve heard it all before, and if you haven't, all the better for you. Lets just say that so far, a lot of work has been done, and a great deal of red wine has been consumed. Also, a male colleague from Sydney has discovered a love of strawberry flavoured beer.

The team gets in to the office before 8am most mornings, beating all but a few people from the various other teams on the project. We’re lucky enough to have most of our functional team members and SMEs in the office, so travelling to other sites and going outside is kept to a bare minimum.

"Why is staying inside so good?" you ask. Because, my friends, Canberra is the coldest place I have ever been to! Thats why!

The team is holding up quite well against the harsh weather conditions and some are even considering going somewhere even colder for a ski trip one weekend. The older more sedate members of the team are more likely to knit socks by the fire.

Our work keeps us busy most of the time, but we make sure that we get out to the Belgian Beer Café or somewhere equally as warm and welcoming once or twice a week for food, beer and wine.

At other times, my apartment is a quiet refuge, comfortable and warm and suited to quiet reflection (nobody ever visits unless they lock themselves out of their apartments).

Another colleague’s apartment is self sufficient with herbs and other fresh produce available upon request.

Strangely, the strawberry beer drinker’s place with its giant flat screen TV hasn’t had as much of a workout as we would have thought, but two other team mates’ dining room table and music machines (iPods hooked up to tinny speakers) make their's the perfect party place.

It’s not all fun and games of course. We’ve had our tears and tragedies, but we’ve hit our deadlines so far and we’re on track to pilot training in August.

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