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Beating the Clock

Anybody in the design, engineering, IT, PM, or development world is experienced with deadlines. If you work on an agile team, you know the feeling of wondering how much less stressed you would feel with two days left in a sprint if you hadn't "wasted so much time" refilling your coffee as often as you did. Those of your in the game industry are creepily familiar with the space under your desk, strictly reserved for crying and sleeping during the crunch before release.

As the description says, today our team shipped a project with a measly 23 minutes remaining in the "by end-of-day, 9/26/18" deadline. Basically, our client had originally hacked together a web-based ordering system for their delivery service on WordPress and had two options, find a master WordPress developer who had experience in optimizing the bloated mess their system had become, or have their entire system rebuilt by hand on another platform. Guess which one they went with? I'll give you a hint, I've never worked with WordPress in my life 😋.

The size of the team to do the job: 2; one designer: my wife, and one developer: me. The time to do the job? 6 weeks

Granted, my wife and I are both veterans of our respective fields and have been freelancing together solving these kinds of problems for about two years now, but even so the task was daunting. But after 5 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours, and 37 minutes, their system was designed, fully rebuilt in Flask ("microframework" my ass!), containerized with Docker, tested and deployed to a Hosting Winds SSD VPS. What used to be a loaded down, single thread, copy pasta mess that prominently displays the "this plugin should do the trick right?" mentality of most of the "WordPress Developers" in my area (Portland, ME), is now set up to concurrently receive and handle multiple order requests across 4 cores and their threads.

My question to you all is: what is the closest you have ever cut it while still meeting a deadline, what skills did you use to manage your time, energy and stress in the process, and how did the project turn out?

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