Release Notes: October 31, 2019

  • Added auto-save feature every five minutes. Auto-saves can be found in C:\Users\[username]\Documents\TheApp\autosaves.
  • Added ability to format text with bold, underline, and italics.
  • Removed confusing About page. Terms and conditions can now be found under Help.

"And ... send." Mark sent the weekly release notes to the distribution list, copying them from where the app itself would display them on boot. "Now everyone should be on the same page, and I can get to work on my next big feature."

Two hours later, Janine, the product manager, stopped by his cube. "Hey, Mark. I was thinking. You know that About page? I keep getting complaints. What would it take to just axe it?"

"Already done in the latest version," he replied, not even looking up from the code.

"So that's, what, three hours of work?"

Mark had to tear his eyes away from the screen to look at Janine, baffled. "Huh? No, it's done. Already. It's gone. Didn't you update this morning?"

"Oh! Already! Okay, thanks. Good work." She vanished, leaving him to reload his train of thought and focus on the refactor he was doing.

Half an hour later, just as he was in the middle of something, one of the users, Roger, dropped in. "Hey, Mark! I know this should go through Janine, but I have a great idea, and I wanted to see if it was feasible."

"Hang on ... okay ... shoot." Mark hit Ctrl-S and focused on Roger. Remember, think customer service.

"Listen," Roger said. "Every once in a while, right, I'm working on something, and someone comes by to interrupt, right?"

"Okay?" began Mark, unclear where this was going.

"And you know how it goes. One thing leads to another, and so on, and eventually, I forget what I was doing, and I close out the program."

"Sure." Mark risked a glance at his IDE, wondering if he had time to start compiling or not.

"So, what if the program saved automatically, like, when I exit or something?" Roger asked.

"Oh, actually, as of this morning it auto-saves every five minutes," Mark said.

"Okay, cool, cool, but like, it should save when I exit."

"Um, I think it asks if you want to save, but I could maybe put that—"

"Or," Roger interrupted, "better yet, it should know when I get distracted, and save then, so I don't lose anything."

"It should ... know? How would it know?"

"Eh, you're right. Maybe it should just save every ten minutes."

Mark pinched the bridge of his nose. "I can do that. What about every five?"

"Perfect! Get right on that," Roger declared, striding away. "Good man."

He'll figure it out eventually, Mark decided, going back to his IDE.

He compiled, ran the software, and was in the middle of testing when Janine came by in a panic, carrying her open laptop. "Mark! We have to roll back the release!"

He didn't wait for auto-save, but exited his debugger, immediately pulling up the release console. "What, what's wrong? What happened?"

"You know how you killed the About page?" she demanded, eyes wide with horror.


"Well the Terms and conditions were in there! Legal says we can't ship without terms and conditions! This is a huge priority-one bug, I don't know how you missed it!"

Mark's shoulders slumped as he stopped logging into the release console. "Oh. I put them under Help."

"But I told you to put them under About!"

"And then you told me to kill the About page but keep the Terms and Conditions, so I moved them under Help. Didn't you read the release notes?"

"Oh, right, right, hang on, let me just pull it up here ... oh, never mind, it's under Help. False alarm! Carry on."

So Mark carried on, one eye on the time. I barely got anything done, as usual for a Monday. I really don't want to stay late tonight ... Still, he managed to get into the flow of things, and was just refactoring a critical class when Sue, Mark's boss, stopped by. Mark of course pulled his attention away from the code to talk to the boss, though already he was beginning to resent the constant interruptions.

"Hey, Marky Mark, how's it going?" asked Sue.


"Good, good. Listen, I know you're busy, so I'll get right to it: we have a request from the CEO, so it'll need to get into next week's release for sure."

Feeling his odds of getting the refactor committed evaporating, Mark nodded. "All right, I'm on it. What is it?"

"So, you know how the product can send email, right?"

My least favorite feature. "Yup. What about it?"

"Well the CEO was thinking, he can do stuff in Gmail that you can't do in our product, and he wants to know why."

He wants me to replicate all of Gmail in the product?! "What things, specifically?" Mark managed to ask calmly.

"He's not super technical, but he's talking about things like bold, italics, and underlines. Those are the big three."

Mark smashed his forehead into the keyboard for a moment before lifting his head to mutter: "Why do I even send release notes?"


"We released that feature this morning!"

"Oh. Good show! Thanks Mark, you're the best."

Just as he was packing up for the day, Janine stopped by again, knocking on the edge of his cubicle, a phone to her ear. "Mark! Listen, I've got the CEO on the phone, he wants to know where we find the autosaves, and I can't figure it out. Do you know?"

Mark looked at the clock: 5:10. "Nope!" he said cheerily. "Check the release notes, I'm sure it's in there somewhere."

"I looked, I didn't see it."

"Shame, but I'm already logged out of everything. Tell him to do a real save and we'll get back to him in the morning."

"Oh, never mind, he found it! Turns out it was in the release notes. Thanks Mark, you're a lifesaver!"

If you say so. Mark walked out the door, not bothering to reply, and headed directly across the street to the pub for his weekly Monday Evening Beer.

Six days until we start from the top, he thought.

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