my new workflow

Years and years ago, I got a fortune cookie that told me:

Simplify your life with recurring patterns.

I like this advice, and try to listen to it. Lately, I’ve greatly reduced the number of balls I have in the air, and I’ve designated days of the week to work on specific projects. Wednesday and Thursday, I work on open source projects.

For the most part, this has gone well, although I missed a few days due to other things intruding recently. Now that I’m back to it – and up to these two days instead of my original one – I wanted to spend more time coding and less looking at lists of bugs and patch requests. To help with that, I’ve tweaked how I’m using, with help from Kevin Falcone, famous RT expert.

First, I went to my “home” page once logged into RT and edited the contents (with the “Edit” link at the very top right) to add “Bookmarked Tickets” at the top right. Now when viewing tickets, I can click the star icon to bookmark them and they’ll show up at the top of my RT dashboard. This is my hit list. It’s the tickets I want to work on next. When I empty it, I will go through all my tickets and repopulate it – but now I can ignore my backlog and focus on a smaller workload of already-evaluated tickets.

How do I evaluate them? Well, also on my dashboard is “Queues I’m an AdminCc for”. I go to that list, scan down the list of new and open ticket counts, and command-click any non-zero number so that I end up with one tab for each RT queue with bugs in it. I flip through those tabs, opening in a new tab any ticket that I think needs attention. This might mean tickets that I haven’t seen, or tickets that seem easy to deal with, or just tickets that I don’t think will ruin my day. Now my browser is just a bunch of tabs, each with a ticket in it. I read each ticket and either close it, mark it stalled and send it back to the rqeuester, or star it for future work. On some rare tickets, I see that I can solve it in under five minutes and just go do so.

When I’m done with this, my browser is empty and I can reload my dashboard: now I have a list of tickets to work on.

bookmarked tickets

I want to see how I do each day, so I put another box under that: tickets I’ve closed today.

tickets closed today

This was easy to set up, too. In the Query Builder, I made a query with the following lines:

Resolved > '12 hours ago'
AND = '__CurrentUser__'

I saved the query, and added the saved query to my dashboard.

Now, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, I can go to my list of marked tickets and power through as many as I can, without thinking about what to work on. That decision will have already been made.

Next, I’m going to have to deal with adding GitHub pull requests to my workflow, but I think I’ll figure something out!

Written on June 3, 2011
cpan   perl   programming