Arguing with friends is not fun! 😡

A little background

Today we released an update to the Vivaldi (web) browser. I work at Vivaldi as a QA but being a small company I am also responsible for many parts of the release process for the desktop version of the browser.

Vivaldi 5.0 Release Announcement

When we do a big release, a bunch of people join a Whereby video channel at set time and everyone works on their different aspects. By being in a channel together we can coordinate the release process and ask each other for help, if we need it. This final part of the release process is the end of 8 weeks since our last major update.

Whereby video conferencing

It was all my fault (or was it!?)

The last part of the preparation for the release was done yesterday. Without going into details I had the responsibility to do something and I screwed it up (not that I realised that at the time). Then this morning I was late to the Whereby meeting. The meeting is early in the morning and I had family issues. Anyway…

The others were stressed by my late arrival, and then there were some complications with the blog on the website. The blog post (above) announcing the new version had serious issues. This was directly related to my mistake from the day before. With the blog and other parts of the website not working as they should, those in the marketing team where further stressed. This is primarily because the announcements are co-ordinated with third parties, e.g. reviewers who had been given a heads up on the release. It took almost an hour before it all settled. Likely few users ever noticed but after weeks of work I could read the room. So I apologised.

…The thing is. I do not really think it was my fault. The job I did the day before should never have been my job to do, nor should it have been possible that mistake in this area would cause the problems for the blog that it did. As for being late… life happens everyone should be able to adapt. But I apologised because I did make a mistake and I was late. Also I did not feel that now was the time to deflect blame onto others.

The blame game

At this point I felt like I was jumped on (perhaps I wasn't but that was my impression/recollection), with several people pointing out the need to be 'on time' and not make mistakes. It also felt kind of circular, i.e. those points were raised multiple times and my attempts to say "OK, I get it" or defend myself somewhat, only seemed to lead to further comments along the same lines.

After the meeting, and after our blog issues had been sorted, a follow up chat with a colleague (one of my very favourite people in the company) lead to a little 'heated discussion'. It was stupid. I was almost certainly over sensitive and they had a lot on their plate, having follow up commitments related to the release throughout the day.

So yeah… arguing with friends sucks. In any case, tomorrow I guess I will be apologising again.

P.S. I have really great colleagues, it was just one of those days.

Ok, it WAS my fault 😳 [✍ 2021-12-02]

I spoke with my friend this morning and we are 'cool' again. For which I am immensely glad. I now see that the biggest issue was my lack of communication when I was late. I never sent a message about being late, rather one of the the extended team contacted me and I just said, "I'll be there soon".

This is what left my colleagues most stressed and raised the tensions. When I arrived in the meeting I am told that I seemed too casual. What I only realised today is that they were waiting for a verbal signal from me to confirm that we were going ahead. I didn't really understand this was an unanswered question (or that if it was, that they wanted to know it the second I arrived). I just started working on my own things and assumed they were doing theirs. In reality, they were only waiting for my go ahead to push buttons. They had already done everything else and had just been sitting, waiting for me to join the meeting.

When things then eventually went wrong (because of my mistake the day before) it was I guess, 'the final nail in my coffin'.

I do still think that the process should be different. I should not have to do the step I messed up the day before (I fail to understand how it could fall under my job description) but I accept, that right or wrong, I had already taken responsibility to do it for this release. In addition I need to be a better communicator. Oh well, as I said above,

I have really great colleagues

They will probably forgive me and I will try and learn something from it. 🤔 Firstly, that yes, while improvements could be made in the process, yesterday's issues were my fault.

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