Category: Weeknotes

Week 17/03/2019 – Week 28

A project that has taken way longer than it should finally went out last week. Mobile payments on our app has taken about over six months to get done for a variety of technical, organisational and historical reasons. Retrospective on Monday but we will not release anything in this way ever again. Big milestone, even bigger millstone.

Gave a presentation to our exec team on a plan for goals around three issues. Fought the urge to come up with a load of short term tactics to try instead mapping out where we were heading interface wise and organisation wise with how we deliver work. Think it went down well.

The organisation changes are a move to more outcome focused teams rather than project Tetris ones we have now. Next week will hopefully see a big shift in that plan and get us started.

No running this week due to being tired after the 20k run last Saturday and the shit weather of Storm Gareth. Feel guilty about the lack of running and being held back by/blaming someone called Gareth.

Struggling to find any decent films to watch at the moment. Watched the Ballad of Buster Scruggs and it did not grab me at all. First and last stories were ok but really not great. Weird week that seemed to fly by but not sure much of it stuck in my head so maybe the film was apt.

Week 10/03/2019 – Week 27

A big release at work this week that went very well. We finally completed our shift from Rackspace to AWS with just a few minor issues encountered. Excellent work by the hardy overnight trio that came in to get it done. Even better work by all the folk who have worked on this big shift for a long time. Not so good news for another release to our mobile app which slipped by another week due to an annoying bug we are struggling to squash. Hopefully be done next week and then we will only have one more big old project left to be slain.

On Thursday I had my first experience of caving. My Son’s Beaver group went to Carlswark caves in Stony Middleton. I went along as we were not sure how my son would react. Turns out he was absolutely fine but Daddy had massively underestimated just how cavey it would be. It was far smaller than I had expected, I was assuming it was caves you could walk through rather than stoop, crawl and wriggle on your belly through mud and water. One of the hardest things I have done and I was so tired after it but it was a great experience.

A good week of running. Managed a two PB’s on my different commute routes into work. On Thursday my hilly run to work was on the morning of the caving trip. Those two things contributed to me feeling very tired and stiff Saturday morning but I had been keen to get a ‘Big Run’ under my belt something in the 18-19k range. I really was not feeling like I would get that far when I was at the bottom of Knowle Lane (main hill on the Sheffield Half Marathon route) and my thighs were and arms were in agony but I just kept going. Got back home after 2 hours and 9 mins to a total of 19.9k. I was very happy and very, very tired.

The Big Run was (not) ideal preparation for the Indie Beer Feast on Saturday evening. I had been looking forward to it for a long while having bought tickets last year. It was a brilliant event once again. The organsiers, Jules and Will of Hop Hideout have brought lots of great beer to Sheffield and I wish them well in their new location at the old Co-Op building in Sheffield city centre. Opening on the 22nd I look forward to trying more great beers. Back to the Indie Beer Feast on Saturday and I managed to try a good few breweries offerings. These were all the beers I got to try (mainly halves I hasten to add, with the exception of a couple of thirds).

Blackjack – Smithfield pale
Turning Point – Headhunter
Wild card – Lime Berliner Weisse
Loka Polly – Chinook
Black Iris – Circle of snakes
Saint Mars of the Desert – Jack d’Or Saison
Neptune – Mosaic Pale
Cloudwater – Owt wi the owls
Torrside – Small IPA
Mbh – Unchained
Lost Industry – Found Grape Sour
Water Break!
Magic Rock – Luminance
Blackjack – Ekouanot Sour
Blackjack – Damn Fine Gooseberry

Good week.

Week 03/03/2019 – Week 26

I have managed to keep the weeknotes habit going for six months. Pleased with that. I have been writing these for myself. I was hoping these weeknotes would make me write other things as well but not done so yet. Maybe one day but I think I need another habit trigger. I have a reminder at 8pm on a Sunday for this and have stuck to it well. Maybe I should try another reminder on another day of the week. I have also not been sharing them in anyway. I did tell some people at work about it this week (Hello Charlotte and Faye) so maybe they will pester me to write more, or tell me to not bother 😉

On Friday I went to the second Product People North event. Great to listen to people who have made the effort to make a talk on a subject I am still learning. It is quite a government focused product group but plenty to learn. I enjoyed Ellie & Fiona who talked about Product Pairing. A more focused form of mentorship that was done on a day to day basis on a major project. Would like to give that a try sometime.

In February my running took a slightly annoying break as I managed to pull my hamstring. Had to take a 9 day break which meant I did not hit the distance target I was aiming for by the end of the month. That break has probably done me a bit of good though as managed a few personal bests this week and I feel like I am getting slightly fitter. I want to try and run 120km in March in the run up to the half marathon. Aiming to do a 19k run next Saturday which will be a big test of where I am. Let’s see if I managed that come 8pm Sunday night when I next return to typing words, unless I get bold and do something different in the week.

Weeknotes 24/02/2019 – Week 25

Normally when I see someone is doing weeknotes about their actual jobs I think “oh here we go, this’ll be extremely boring”

Alice Bartlett

I am enjoying the habit of weeknotes but I am stuck in a rut with it. This pattern of writing about work, a bit about TV, running other stuff and that is it. Not sure what I expected to happen as if I would somehow turn into someone more interesting or wind a way to write natural funny things like Alice. I should also learn to be less tough on myself. Here goes an attempt to write about something different.

We have been trying a new thing with our kids. Going to restaurants is a fucking nightmare. My eldest has an ASD and is a very, very fussy eater. We have decided enough is enough and we want to be able to go to restaurants. We have only been doing it for a few weeks but last Saturday we went to Kia’s. My son choose a cheesy sauce with penne dish and tried some very different looking garlic bread without blinking (an iPad in his hand might have helped). He normally only eats brown Aldi fusili with homemade cheese sauce and occasionally spaghetti bolognese. The feeling when he ordered and attempted to say formaggio and then just ate it without much hassle was a real joy for me and my wife that my poor writing ability does not allow me to do justice. Hopefully this experiment will continue and the results will be good.

In more tough parenting news my youngest is currently having a negative aversion to swimming lessons. We are not sure what it is really but it is getting harder and harder to get him in the pool even though he has been having lessons for years. He loves swimming and if we were going without the lessons he would be first in. The lessons are pretty tough but he is doing well and we cannot understand the anxiety of it. Think it might just be a bit hard for him and actually tiring. Parenting is a constant mystery and thankfully my wife is a far more patient detective than I.

To celebrate our wedding anniversary we organised the perfect gift to ourselves. Getting rid of said children for two nights (thanks in-laws!). Finally paid a visit to Public for a couple of nice cocktails. A brilliant transformation of a tiny disused space in Sheffield. Need more bars like that in our little city. Take a small thing and make it better.

Weeknotes 17/02/2019 – Week 24

I managed to mess something up this week. A developer did me a favour. This favour might not have followed the agreed process for said favour. Cue some annoyed managers when I wanted to do something with this favour. I was accused of circumventing a process, which was not really my intention but it is a process I have struggled to navigate/really hate but some of it is for good reason. All this blew up in my face. Caused some heated exchanges. Possibly burnt some bridges or at the very least heated them to dangerous levels. Hopefully I will learn more why that process is needed. Hopefully it will help smooth out that frustrating process and help improve the need to do things more collaboratively, quickly while maintaining safety.

In a slightly related area I have been thinking about the team being the unit of delivery. I loved the feeling of this phrase as I slavishly followed GDS’s progress but I don’t think I really understood it. As a football fan too we soak up the platitudes of it being a team sport. The required make up of the team and organisation to make a really great product has eluded me. Then again maybe I am just the coach and I have a director of football above me. This analogy has gone way offside, VAR will not save me. Bottom line is that after almost a year in this role I now understand a bit more of what you need to make good things. Process and people wise. I still don’t know how to get all the way there. Or if I am the right team member to have in that squad. (I wrote most of this paragraph after a bottle of red wine earlier in the week, clearly I was in a maudlin mood but as I tidy this up sober on a Sunday evening it is staying in because it still resonates).

Running was very difficult this week. Last Monday, just two days after I did a 17k run, I really struggled (unsurprisingly) and did my slowest run in to work since I started in November. Then on Thursday I managed to do a PB on the newer hillier route to work. Then today (Sunday) I struggled again as I wanted to do 18k but bailed on it after mistakenly drinking too much red wine on Saturday (more wine woes) and only managed around 13k. I did however manage a few segment PBs on that run so maybe the inability to go the distance is all in my head, both running and product wise. Tough week.