There are lots of reasons I love my job. I get to be at home, have flexible hours, zero commute, and stimulating projects to work on. Rather than getting distracted with office politics and water cooler gossip, I get interrupted with pleas for help with long division problems and requests to see the latest LEGO creation (okay, I also have to break up the occasional sibling quarrel). Best of all, my wife never complains when I flirt with the pretty girl at the office (since she is the pretty girl at the office!). All in all, it's nice work if you can get it. :-)
Yet in addition to all these fringe benefits, one of the high points of my job is that I get to be among the first to see the new goodies our programmer Roy is in the process of developing. Heck, I even get to put my own two cents in!
The other day I was at Roy and Helen's house for a developers' meeting, and after the meeting was over, we all gathered around Roy's computer to see his progress on a major new feature for version 7. This particular feature is one of my favorite kinds: it will be of benefit to everyone from novice users to scholars and power users, it represents a slick new addition to the interface, and it will answer a variety of needs. Add all those things up, and it becomes very important that we get this particular feature right.
As we watched Roy demonstrate the interface of this new feature, we asked questions ("What happens if you do this?"), made suggestions ("I think the items should appear in this order . ."), hammered out a few minor details, and of course, ooohed and aahed over how cool it is. This interface design meeting was completely impromptu, yet very productive. (It was also much more fun than the preceding developer's meeting, in which I had been reminded how much work I have to do and when it all has to be finished!)
Personally, I can't wait until Roy is done with this feature so I can start playing with it. It's great fun to be the first to see and try out some new feature, and to anticipate how it will be received by you, our users. It's a little like the feeling I get when wrapping presents for my kids on Christmas Eve. Just as I hope their eyes will light up when they get that really great gift, I hope you, our users, will get as excited about these new features as I am. I'm sorry I can't go into detail about them just yet, but soon and very soon. . .
By the way, I'm surprised no one seems to have noticed the slip I made on Friday. If you look carefully at the screenshots of the Details window, you'll notice that one of them came from an alpha of version 7. Could this mean we have some new kinds of Graphs in store? Maaayyybbbeeeee. . . . ;-)