Category: Weeknotes

Week 41 – 16/06/19

The fall out from the big release the week before was still being felt. We had a code freeze in place at the start of the week still. Thankfully it did not last long and we got plenty of fixes out. Problems largely resolved now and we have made improvements in lots of places. Engineers have been amazing.

Some team changes got closer to being finalised. We are moving to three teams with responsibility for different areas (Customer, Commercial and Technical success to start with). Workshops with all the teams next week to get charter and backlogs and other bits sorted before getting started. Can’t wait.

Friday I went to Product People North in Leeds. Very good indeed. The topic for the day was death and there was some great service and product work on display. Burial at Sea, Inheritance Tax and just registering a death were a complex set of processes that had to be navigated at stressful times. The highlight of the day was the Co-op funeral team talking about how they built an internal system for their funeral homes. A great example of proper research, real empathy and respect bringing digital into a very traditional business.

Finished watching Chernobyl. Very good. Very bleak.

Managed a couple of runs to work. Slow and unsteady.

Week 40 – 09/06/2019

Big project release finally happened on Tuesday evening. 20 million transactions to migrate and a real time feed to stitch into the site and app behind a whitelist while keeping everything else running. It went really well until about 6.30am on Wednesday when the database began using up loads of resources, locking and basically being very unhappy. Our initial joy evaporated and after very long days for some people (I was awake for about 30 hours Tuesday over into Wednesday and others did far more than I) putting things live and even longer months building the thing it was a real gut punch.

We carried on having passed the point of rollback return a few hours earlier but the problems persisted for most of the week and we are still not fully back to normal as I type this although the customer problems we experienced Wednesday and Thursday have thankfully been resolved.

A shitty week that had a few silver linings. The way people came together in engineering to rally round this issue was great to see. We have made changes in several areas that will benefit a number of future projects as well as just making stuff run better. A big chunk of technical debt has been paid off but it has caused some other debts to need paying too after a lack of focus on them for too long.

Away from mega releases we finally agreed teams for our new Business Outcome Orientated Teams (BOOTs). 3 teams focused on different parts of the business and a singular outcome instead of project Tetris.

Watched Killing Eve season 2 in very short order. Brilliant TV. Ludicrous in parts but still head shoulders above most things on TV. I also watched Detective Pikachu with the kids this morning. Surprisingly enjoyable. Ludicrous consistently but still…

Let’s hope next week will be less ludicrous all round.

Week 39 – 02/06/19

Back home on my sofa after a week in Turkey. Had a lovely time. First time going all inclusive with the kids. Mildly successful for one very fussy child.

Kids made friends on day two which made things much easier. Had a few outings with both families which was great including two boat trips and also a few inflatable sofas.

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Lads, lads, lads

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My son fell off the back of one at speed which was a bit of a heart in mouth moment but he thought it was awesome.

Managed to watch the three big football matches. Villa v Derby by the Pool bar with a Scottish Villa fan and two Celtic fans.

The Europa League final in a bar in Hisaranou with a huge screen and no people in the bar even though they served ridiculously cheap beer. The Champions League Final in a conference room in the hotel on a dodgy projector, Turkish commentary and a high ration of Spurs to Liverpool fans and I was supporting the reds due to my son being a bit of a fan and his mum being from quite near Liverpool (paper thin excuse).

Finally read a book (and got sunburnt doing it). First one since January. The Outsider by Stephen King. Enjoyable thriller that took a turn from a gruesome child murder whodunnit to something a little more supernatural.

Back to work tomorrow. Big project release date on Tuesday. An interesting week ahead. Hoping my sun tan helps me through it.

Week 38 – 26/05/19

Writing this from Olu Deniz in Turkey after sneaking away for a week. It has been a long day of travel but it is lovely.

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Turkey.

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Big project had a go / no go meeting to decide if we could pick a release date and thankfully it was a go after some fine testing work. Thing scheduled for 4th of June. Can’t wait.

No running at all which was bad. Also lots of unhealthy (but pleasant) drinking and eating. Got back on the skateboard with the youngest. Trying to get him into pushing off and riding but he is a little reticent. Going to get a lesson soon with him. I need lessons too.

Finished Game of Thrones. Fairly enjoyable last series but I can see why lots are complaining. Felt a bit simplistic but still much better than a lot of dross on TV.

Next weeks note will be all about my experience with eating, drinking and swimming and smug Instagram photos…I hope.

Week 37 – 19/05/19

As expected I forgot to record how much work I did on non-customer related things. But looking back from a Sunday night it was not very much. Maybe next week.

Something that will help is getting teams set up to build to outcomes rather than Project Tetris. Our change to this way of working rumbles on and this week should see us get the new teams together. I think small empowered teams are the only way to make useful things. This tweet from Tom Loosemore resonated

As did this follow up post from Giles Turnbull on permission in organisations

We had our annual game of FA Cup day football to celebrate a few friends birthdays. A 4-2 loss for the SWFC team. Frustrating and tiring. Too old and unfit for football. The eating and drinking after was good though.