Week5 - Late Notes

01 May 2019 // 5 min read

I was hoping to post these last Friday but I got side-tracked with all of the other things! Main point to note was that I returned back from a much needed Easter Break feeling massively refreshed.

3 Highlights

1. General Vibes - As hinted at above it was actually just really nice to be back at work having a renewed sense of energy & perspective following my Easter break with family and friends. This energy was used to re-prioritise a bunch of tasks, put some effort into sales activity and also input into a couple of projects. I found that things that had been stressing me out were now barely blipping on my radar. In addition to just having a break I think returning to work without any course assignments or exam deadlines hanging over my head also made finding balance a little easier. Towards the end of the week I was also involved in some productive conversations with colleagues from another company. It's good that opportunities seem to arise more often where we can collaborate with like-minded orgs, and combine our strengths to solve problems in the sector rather than just be competing. Always good to be reminded you are not working for EvilCorp.

2. Event - On Wednesday I attended an event over at the AWS offices in Holborn. Hackney council and Made Tech hosted a panel conversation and networking event giving attendees an idea of how Hackney council are moving on from legacy technology whilst still keeping the lights on. Cate, Rashmi, Matt & Luke all did a great job sharing their successes and challenges.

The thing I found most interesting was when Matt was asked a question about aligning multiple services, stakeholders and projects with new product choices and technical standards etc. In response Matt shared one of the things he has learnt so far is to 'worry less' about some of these things. I may be mis-interpreting his response but I think he was saying that good product choices are key, using modern development practices hugely beneficial, adherence to standards always the ideal BUT equally you have to be pragmatic and tactical at times. Yes - aim to align on the best technical choices, reduce/rationalise your portfolio, put microservices in place to provide better long term products etc etc etc...but crucially realise you won't be able to do all of that in one go...and more importantly achieving this tech utopia at the expense of delivering value to users or improving services in the more immediate or short term is not delivering value or going to buy you much trust.

It was interesting to see some reactions elsewhere in the room where this obviously was more challenging or just difficult to imagine in other contexts where maybe different leadership or cultural factors were at play.

I finished the evening having a really good chat with Rashmi & Selwyn from the HackIT team about many things. They are a great team, doing interesting work over at Hackney right now. It's been a real privilege to work with them all and see them grow over the last couple of years.

3. Feedback Fallacy - A slightly random conversation via twitter DM with Dom one evening about giving and receiving feedback also peaked my interest and makes the highlight list. The conversation had no real conclusions and I'm sure we'll pick it up another day in more depth but Dom shared this post with me which I found super interesting. Well worth a read. I'm interested in pursuing how we can test some of what's unpacked here in more practical ways as we improve practice and support people to develop.


**Parenting project phase 589 - ** Mostly it now seems like our role is to offer advice and guidance during this long transition to live! We're often asked to take a human centered approach to help solve problems such as... How do I work out if I want to go to University? What career options suit me best? How will I cope without my parents? or living with other people? **We have sharpies and post-its and a trello board. What could possibly go wrong? ** 😂

**Monty turned 4 - **Happy Birthday Dog!! 🎉 ( I missed the celebrations as I was busy in London working to put dog treats on the table).

Avengers Endgame (Is great) - Seeing the Avengers films has become a bit of a father and daughter ritual so was actually quite sad to see it end. We'll make do with other Marvel offerings and cross fingers for some less-terrible Disney Star Wars action towards the end of the year.

Maps and data - I continue to play with maps and data.


Tunes: Bastille released Doom Days which although fairly sobering has me itching for the new album
From the gram: My realisation that window cleaning in central London is a very different gig to that in the 'shire.