5:00 AM Breakfast at Work: Emmis Interactive Deployment Team

Over a period of about 6 weeks or so (what we dub a “sprint”), our developers see the culmination of their work as a “Push” to our Production servers. We take all the code and development work that’s been done, and move it from our Staging environment over to our Production (live) environment.

To minimize the impact this process has on clients, we do it in the middle of the week. And we do it late, late at night.

The challenge is that, with many of our clients being radio-specific, many of them have ongoing contests or promotions. And almost all have some kind of “Morning Drive” show, which is a big, big thing for radio stations. Most morning shows tend to start around 5AM, if not earlier… as they’re trying to catch nearly everyone who’s on their way in to work.

For our “Push” to Production, a portion of the developers come in at around 11PM to work in a maintenance window of between 2AM – 5AM. And while they get time off the day before/after, it’s still a pretty brutal schedule to keep.

Last time around, Ben and Allison came in early and helped prepare a great breakfast for the Dev crew. Today, I volunteered for breakfast duty, and got to prepare the morning’s meal.

Here’s a quick snapshot of my kitchen counter, circa 3:30 AM. Liz was AWESOME and made not one but two delicious treats: two loaves of banana bread and a batch of her famous oatmeal cookies. BEST_FIANCE_EVER.

Prior to heading in, I needed to cook up some eggs. Since we don’t have any real way to cook up eggs (besides using the microwave), I figured it would be best to make some at home… and just transport them in. I’ve never really cooked two dozen eggs before, so that was an interesting process.

Setting up in the kitchen at work, circa 4:45 AM. I got out one of our food warmer trays, and set the eggs up. I also brought in Liz’s toaster (of course, it’s teal) and some waffles. I heated up some sausage links in the microwave and… breakfast time!

A few of the folks, getting some food in near the end of the Production Push. L to R it’s Walt, Jeff, Darren and Ajith (not pictured: Kashif, Matt and Alex).

Having worked my fair share of late nights, I know what the tail end of that shift is like… and how nice it can be to have something to cap off the evening’s work (in the past, I got used to having what we called victory beers).

I’m glad to have helped a bit today, even if my contribution wasn’t code-related and was more food-related. Coffee is tasting pretty darn good, right about now.


Good morning, Chicago!

// Edit: Overheard just a few minutes ago –
Tracey: Darren, you were right.
Darren: Those cookies are trouble, aren’t they?

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Haven’t had any banana bread yet, but Liz, those cookies of yours RULE!!!!!!

    Allison Reply

  2. Awww. Thanks. I haven’t even tried one yet.I have two in my purse, who are patiently waiting for hunger to strike.

    liz Reply

  3. i should cull a list of potential victory beers. this probably comes as no surprise but i have a habit of drinking beer after any major triumph. when i pulled insurance at emmis last march, i had a westvleteren 8; when i cleared my credit card debt i drank a rochefort 10, one of my favorite-ever beers; when i got hired at emmis it was the day before the big beer tasting that i throw every year, so that covered that; the night that erin finally moved to chicago, i gave her a westvleteren 12.this should also help to explain the three bottle caps that are sitting on the top shelf of my cubicle.lastly, i may or may not have spent the past month sourcing the bottle that i plan to bring to this year’s holiday party.

    nickd Reply

  4. LOVED the banana bread, Liz!

    jen Reply

  5. The man likes his beer!”Victory beers” really can be used for almost every milestone. Pulled an all-nighter? Victory beer. Finished a project or sent off a big email? Victory beer. Purchased a six-pack of victory beer? Victory beer.

    avoision Reply

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