Unpause and record

After finishing a year-long stint working for the Government Digital Service to deliver support to people during the worst of the pandemic, I took a month off.

A GDS Mission Patch of my very own

This meant that I didn’t turn on a computer for most of that time, and certainly didn’t feel inclined to blog. A month ago I started working at Kaluza (lured in by Ovo’s Plan Zero approach to the climate crisis), and having just about got my head around what I need to do there, I have brain space to write words again.

With three jobs in three years, I’ve come to realise how much harder it is to reflect on my year-on-year personal development without an explicit checkpoint with a consistent third-party. Not only that, but I don’t do what I tell the people I manage to do and keep a weekly log of successes or problems I’ve overcome. This makes it much harder to keep a good perspective over time on how I think I’m doing, and how I develop in a role at a new company.

Making sure I do keep a record of achievements each week is something I’ll have to do pretty much immediately, probably through setting aside some time each Friday morning to ask myself the scrum standup questions at a slightly more abstract level. This should also help keep me honest when prioritising my daily work as well. I’ll probably use the Inkdrop Note Templates plugin to set up a standard way of doing this. Wish me luck 🙂

Change the world

I work in Higher Education in the UK.

Every day I see enterprisey systems which are awful, terrible, unfriendly, unusable, behemoths.

The market for each niche system is more or less a monopoly.

The market is prime for smaller, more agile, more user-friendly systems to come in and destroy them.

Please, somebody just kill off these dinosaurs.

Working processes

What we’re trying to do at work:

  • test-driven development
  • pair programming
  • implementation docs on the wiki
  • code coverage stats (with cobertura) regularly generated via…
  • continuous integration (at the moment with CruiseControl, soon to move to Bamboo)
  • rapid software iterations (we suck at this right now)
  • totally transparent group activity

I think we’re doing quite well on these things, but I wonder if it looks different from the outside?