Merkle quarantine diary - week 3

Now already three weeks fully remote. What happened and how is it going? Our recap of the week

Merkle@Home: This week Marc reports what he experienced in Home Office Quarantine

Day 11 - Monday, 30th March 2020

Fall out of bed, stagger into the bathroom, put on the feel-good jogger and poof, you're ready for a new working week. You slowly get used to the fact that you are sitting in front of your work computer in the morning faster than normal. Unfortunately 5 meters on foot don't wake you up as much as 5km on a bike. And so my metabolism has already decreased, I only need a new shirt every two days.

Anyway, it is Monday. Formerly feared as Meeting Monday, today it is only a shadow of its former self. We now work preferentially for the customers, which means that various internal meetings are no longer necessary. I feel almost as productive again as when I started out as a simple software developer. But so that I don't get too sentimental, the great calendar god has at least given me a few more customer appointments. In my current mixed world of Software Architect, spiced up with some Product Owner Consulting, the variety of topics in the telcos ranges from the current state of a Hybris* migration to planning future topics, there is a lot to discuss.

And since, as I said before, I finally have time to develop normal components, I finally have that simple feeling of happiness to be able to end the day with something ready to go.


* Yes, hubris is now called SAP Commerce Cloud, but it's just so hard to get out of the speech.


Day 12 - Tuesday, 31st March 2020

What better way to start the day than by chatting with a Belgrade colleague and seeing how the data from a new form runs through the entire SAP product range? From the Commerce Cloud via SCPI further towards C4C and/or the Marketing Cloud. And it still works! It's amazing what we can do. Gives you a bit of a mental boost after you had to accept a realistic reclassification in social relevance in the last few weeks. But others still get it a little harder, our Belgrade friends are only allowed to leave the house from 5:00 to 17:00, on weekends even only until 15:00.

The unpleasant thing about this day: lots of votes and requests for help. In the past, our distributed team has often used video calls to handle these, but now it's all about that, and at least I'm exhausted and my head is spinning even faster than usual. And it's not even possible to simply turn left or right to ask the other people on my six-island things. Everything has to be worked out with chat tools. I'm more and more broken when I close my laptop in the evening.

The only thing that helps is to go for a run along the Nidda, to watch the cute little Nutrias eating their food and watching the embankment crumble.


Day 13 - Wednesday, 1st April 2020

I miss the osmotic communication of the open-plan office. All the information that you usually get when your colleagues are on the phone or talking to each other is now completely missing. I noticed this in my first meeting of the day, of which there are several again today. There are two refinements, the usual daily standups and several unplanned internal and external phone calls. So I have "feet of work", to quote my proverbial colleague. By the way, I also miss getting my feet under the table with Tobi, my project manager.

In the afternoon I can finally devote myself to development again. A nice round of remote pair programming with my Belgrade colleague Sava, during which we both realize that our development should actually work after all. Developer's everyday life. In the end it really works. Everyday life of a developer.

At the back you can see that today is perhaps a good day for home office. At the beginning of the month all the accounts have to be made and the responsible tool goes on strike. The poor project managers, you can feel their heavy hearts up to here.

Auszug aus Hangout Chat Konversation

Remote Workout Session per Hangout Chat

Nevertheless, for all non-PLs, it is closing time. But stop, there are these three wonderful Munich colleagues who offer a remote workout twice a week in the evening. It can't hurt to have the sweat dripping off your nose.

Day 14 - Thursday, 2nd April 2020

Bohnen und Speck
Culinary delight in the lunch break: bacon with beans.

Since, as we all know, today's name comes from the god of thunder, Thor, we're going to let it all hang out today! But enough about my morning toilette, back to work. A friendly colleague has made a list on the intranet today, with all the cakes that we have missed so far. So that they can be baked again soon. I am sure that "The Big Eat" by Marco Ferreri will look like a kindergarten when our office opens again.

I spend the rest of the morning with some meetings and a few requests for help. In contrast to normal working life, today I can watch the neighbor hanging up laundry.

What I miss at lunchtime is the culinary variety in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen. Paolo with the friendly Italian, who always makes me an extra large portion of pasta. The friendly lady at the Exenberger, who so unwillingly accepts 50s. Wu Han from the favourite Asian with his delicious peanut sauce. What am I looking forward to, if I can see them again. But first of all you have to make your own lunch. Fortunately I can cut up bockwurst sausages and fry them with ketchup.

So well-fed, the high-performance charismatic in me has to convince the customer of the urgency of a topic after lunch. Worked too. And then I finally get back to developing. That's why I started studying media informatics back then. What still strikes me today just before I leave work: I have slowly sat the cushion on my improvised office chair so flat that I can feel the grooves of the wicker chair. I'll have to wash it with some volume shampoo and get it into shape.

And I'm looking forward to using my real office chair again.

Day 15 - Friday, 3rd April 2020

I'm beginning to realize how nearsighted I am. Everything that used to take place away from the monitor (meetings, simple babbling with colleagues, foosball, running through the halls to the coffee machine, ...) now takes place on the monitor and within your own little four walls. So my transformation to a mole is well on its way, today I even confused an orange with my orange plasticine ball. What a mess.

Otherwise, business as usual for this Friday. Two standups, a little support at the customer, a little help from colleagues, a little help from colleagues, a little development. It's running. Nothing exciting, just that everything is a bit more strenuous and time-consuming than normal.

I don't know if you've noticed it the last few days, but I'm not a big fan of home office. Normally not, and even less so in its epic form than at the moment. But let's put it this way: I'm now physically in my mid-20s, mentally just before puberty and according to my birth certificate about the sum of both (contact requests under code 0311). I have already experienced one thing or another and I am sure that we will survive this and have a lot of fun again afterwards. So: here's to another week of home office and a few roaring parties when the mischief is over!