Category: Weeknotes

Week 72 – 19/01/2020

This week at work I had three days of internal auditor training. Specifically how to audit management systems ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 27001 (Information Security). Good course content that helped to bring to life the standards and kicked off lots of ideas on how we could tie them more closely to our software. Also good to spend time with a group of colleagues I do not work so closely with. Lots of input into the software and what they would like to see change also some good stories and gossip that I did not know about. All help to make for a better product.

On my drive to work Tuesday I saw a Kesterl grab a Wood Pigeon and then land on the road in front of me. Stopped the car and reved the engine and the Kestrel had to let go and the Pigeon flew away to live to flight another day.

Moved my PS4 to somewhere more accessible in the house i.e. somewhere I will be more likely to play it after 2.5 years of not doing so. Got a load of games from three years ago still to play. Arkham Knight and No Man’s Sky the first things I have picked up. Arkham Knight very enjoyable mix of stealth, puzzle solving and ridiculous plot lines with major baddies seemingly trapping Batman very easily after he expertly (guided by me) stealthed/fought his way into the bosses lair.

Watched Ricky Gervais’ After Life. The TV show not literally a glimpse into the other place. Soome good funny bits some annoying Gervais stand up bits.

Went to the physio after getting a frozen shoulder a few months ago. I was not sure what they were going to say as my shoulder was largely healed but some pain still. A few simple yet painful exercises later and he had diagnosed my weak spot. Recommended a few daily exercises with just a 3kg weight that are absolute killers. The magic of knowing the right place to hit for healing.

Fitness going well. Lost some weight. Did a PB on the run to work. Ran (at almost walking pace) up some horrible Sheffield hills. 10 weeks to the half marathon. Also got a place in the Round Sheffield Run.

Product tank Sheffield organisation kicked off again with a dry january lunch in the pub. Got three speakers lined up. A couple of dates to choose from towards the end of February and we just need to nail down a venue now.

Week 71 – 12/01/2020

Blog domain still down following a transfer and me moving the blog to AWS. Wonder which one is really to blame. Fiver says me.

Good week getting into the design of another piece of software. I need to spend more time in the detail to get the penny to drop on things these days it seems or I am just being harsh on myself. Trying to tread a fine line between migrating old software designs to a new tech stack / interface (ensuring a migration path for existing customers exists) and saying we could do this so much better/simpler/slicker. Need to beware my opinion and biases but also try and stick to my guns a little. Hoping to start some proper user research in a few weeks to help us build on former foundations. I feel like I may have said this before.

Fitness plan going well and have exercised ten times this week including three runs. Eaten well. Lost six pounds. Would like to lose a lot more before the half marathon.

Went to Kommune Saturday lunch with friends. Drank water. Very challenging knowing Hop Hideout had lovely beers on just metres away. Stayed strong.

Polished off the second series of Nighty Night with my wife who has never seen it. She loved it and is now onto Joan and Jericha which is equally as bleak and filthy.

I will try and make these things more interesting soon. They reflect my dull life/dour outlook though so maybe they should stay as they are for now.

Week 70 – 05/01/2020

Getting a bit slack with the week notes. Another one two days late. Getting back to work next week might give me a little boost. My blog has been transferred to Amazon Lightsail and I also had to transfer my domain which has got screwed up. So this post is not public anyway yet…

Had a good week. Went swimming with the boys then watched Infinity War. Then a few days later Endgame. They loved it. Mummy was not so enamoured with the amount of swearing in it.

Got a half season ticket at Hillsborough. Went to see Wednesday lose to Hull. Also took my youngest to a Man City game against Port Vale. Good for him to experience as much about football as possible.

Threw lots of things away. Mainly old childrens toys. Knock on effect is empty space and new options for reorganisition. I now want to change the function of a couple of rooms in the house. Surely some soert of wanky product parallel there but I am not at work yet.

Booked a wedding anniversary trip to Amsterdam at the beginning of March. Something excellent to look forward too.

12 weeks to the Sheffield half marathon. Set up a fitness plan. On a diet. Got some goals. Hopefully I acheive these ones. Having actual races to do does focus the mind a little more. Got two more races in my sights for May and June to keep things going through the summer.

This post by Simon Wilson on running is a decent bit of inspiration (as is the Andrew Travers post he links to).

Week 69 29/12/2019

I finally missed a week. Week 68 I made some notes but could not be bothered to post. End of year laziness. I have now gone back and posted it anyway but a week late as if to somehow keeping the streak going.

Back to this week. Monday and Tuesday working. Final days of the year and not back in until the 6th of January. Tidy up of the backlog. Make sure people in over Xams have things to do. Plan some things for when I get back.

Nice half day on Tuesday and then all those working went for a swift pint or two which was a nice way to end the year.

Xmas week has featured lots of friends. Drinks with our neightbours Monday. A meal with friends Xmas Eve. Friends round on Boxing Day too. Been a good week so far. Xmas day was just for us and we had a quick walk to the park, a swift pint and then back for dinner. Cooked an amazing bit of Turkey and had some nice wine.

Family visits started on the 27th and then again on the 30th. Then we will be done. We have another meal with friends on New Years Day then I think dry and healthy January will be calling. Looking forward to it. Need my jeans to fit more comfortably again.

Week 68 – 22/12/2019

Went to see a company that makes, plants and detonates explosives for construction and mining purposes. Doing some exploratory research on a piece of old software and what the user needs really are. Killer line from one of our users. It needs to be more focused on the schedule than the individual user records. A seemingly innocuous line but one that explains a lot of the design decisions taken in the past for mutliple modules of the software and perhaps due to its origin history of being software for dealing with controlled documents i.e. quite singular records. I wish we had recorded the interviews.

Went to the pub with a bunch of old colleagues from U Account. A good bunch. Made me tweet this after which I stand by now sober.

Good week at work that showed great signs of the culture. Nice gift of wine and cheese for everyone. Everyone went to the pub before some headed off for the break on Friday. Quite a lot of team lunches over the week too. All signs of a great culture/I do enjoy a good social event.

That being said I am feeling a bit boozed out and fat. Got a lot more drinking and eating to do yet though. All in the name of Jesus obviously.

Week 67 – 15/12/2019

Grim week. Election shit show.

Working on how to structure a product and design team from our current position with a view to scale other the next couple of years.

Good to hear another ex-colleague from U has found a great new role. We went for lunch and he asked how I started my job to get up and running. I had a rough plan of things I wanted to do and things I wish I had done at U it also forced me to think about if I was still thinking like this and what had I forgotten about.

It was my lovely Wife’s birthday weekend. Illness of my eldest child put a slight dampener on things but we managed to have a few drinks, eat some nice food and see some friends and family.

Finally finished Succession Season 2 and it is one of the best things I have ever seen.

Week 66 – 09/12/2019

Works Xmas do week. A trip to market Rasen races. Did not win a thing. Had a lot to drink. Did not embarrass myself too badly. There may have been some dancing though.

Penultimate sprint of the year complete. Starting to shift focus onto different areas of the product now.

Went to another leaving do at my old employers. Was about 50/50 split between people still employed there and people who are not. A good sign of how special the group of people that worked there were if only for a shortish period of time. Glad to have been involved.

Managed a single run after the Percy Pud. One is better than none. Started to make a plan for my half marathon training that will start on the 6th of January. All about not doing to much health damage over this festive period!

Week 65 – 01/12/2019

Things I enjoyed last week.

Enjoyed doing my first demo to the whole company even though it went wrong at the start. Enjoyed my first Friday lunch pub visit with colleagues.

Enjoyed flexing my grumpiness against HSBC in this Linked In post.

Enjoyed being invited to a slightly clandestine meeting about hosting inclusive events and learning what it feels like at events that are less than inclusive from a point of view that I do not have.

Enjoyed listening to podcasts on my Tuesday and Wednesday driving commute. I enjoyed Rule of Three with Katy Brand talking about the Red Dwarf books and Dirty Dancing. I enjoyed the comedians comedian with Ellie Taylor because I could relate to a lot of what she was saying about imposter syndrome and not fitting in but less about being an ex-model.

Enjoyed buying some presents for some people. Enjoyed organising Amazon wishlists.

Enjoyed the Percy Pud 10k. Enjoyed running only about a minute slower than last year while weighing about 10lbs more. Enjoyed two pints and a mince pie afterwards with Faye and Jack.

Enjoyed watching football cuddled on the sofa with my six year old. Leicester vs Everton randomly. Enjoyed watching One world, Seven Planets after the football cuddled up on the sofa with my nine year old.

Enjoyed skipping the posting of my week note on my regular Sunday night slot to go to the pub with my wife as we had babysitters i.e. my parents are visiting.

Enjoyed a visit to a new localish pub called the Two Thirds Beer Co. Enjoyed the pint of Lervig Tasty Juice I had there too.

Enjoyed this different format weeknote.

Week 64 – 24/11/19

Short note. I am tired.

Very productive work at week. Delivery team got through a ridiculous amount of stories.

This week we held our second ProductTank Sheffield event. It went really well. Speakers were fantastic. Good venue with generous hosts. A few drinks after to network and relax.

Went to a 50th birthday party in Wallasey. It was great. Lots of drinking and dancing and laughing.

Watching Succession season 2. It really is a fantastic piece of work. So many amazingly horrible characters.

My son finished the first book of the Dark Materials trilogy. I have watched the TV show to see if it is suitable for him, and becuase I wanted too, and it is so we watched the first episode of that today. He enjoyed it a lot and I enjoyed that a lot. Love it when he gets in to new things.

Week 63 – 17/11/2019

Good week. Met with our designer for the first time. He is an occasional contractor with us as we don’t yet have an in house team. Was great to discuss a few UX queries I have had around some patterns and behaviours. We seem to have drifted from the original wireframes over time as we build lots at high speed. We are all keen that the system we launch is as good as possible and a few tweaks and changes now I think will be very beneficial. We have started with the beginnings of a design system to bring some rules to key elements, buttons, links, sections, fields etc. To give us a stronger framework to build on and also to have us learn more about design as a whole.

Product tank Sheffield S02E02 approaches. Walked through a talk with one of the speakers and it is great.

Managed three runs this week for the first time in ages. Pleasing but painful as I am struggling to lose weight. Two weeks until the Percy Pud 10k and I will certainly be pudding like trundling round but at least I might get round.

Talking of which, three impromptu pub visits brightened the week further.

I have been reading Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials ahead of the TV show being on. I also wanted to see if both were suitable for my nine year old. He started reading the books today and has got straight into them which is always a joy. Still not sure if the TV version might be a bit.much for him. Will keep watching to make sure.