We’re back, and better than ever
Welcome back, sports fans. It’s been a while. Things have happened.
University: I’ve got three modules this term. Principles of Programming I, Fundamentals of Computing, and Information Systems — or PoP, FoC, and IS. PoP is for beginners and teaches Python; I’ve been using it for a little while in my side projects and so I’m reasonably confident. IS deals mostly with Agile, particularly Scrum — another framework I’m confident using. As a consequence I’m focusing most of my time on FoC, which is just as well because it’s blowing my tiny mind.
There’s focus on concepts like infinite sets and 32-bit integers and hungry philosophers, and my brain is getting soggier all the time. Computers, it turns out, are extremely complicated.
This season is going to see a steady increase in workload and complexity, so balancing it is going to be one of the key character arcs that unfold. I take one day a week to study, but my lectures are only in the afternoon. So instead of studying in the mornings I nose around Whitehall and ask friends and former colleagues for coffee and to pick their brains about things. It has been an effective tactic so far.
Work: I’m pulled a million different ways at the moment, and I’m quite enjoying it. I’m taking care of a product and sponsoring a move to IaaS; I’m writing up job descriptions; and I’m planning the long-term technology strategy for the whole organisation. Doing this mostly means taking a punt on where culture is moving and then skating in that direction. Some initial steps are easy and have a great benefit: putting our application into a container has improved how quickly we can get new features and fixes into production.
I’m also trying to learn as much as I can about making remote work work from as many people as I can, including people who think it’s a terrible idea. Finding out what they feel makes it terrible gives me a strong indication of things to avoid.
Oh, and I got business cards!
This is naturally going to form the complementary arc to the university story. Working only four days a week and keeping everything rolling demands I keep a strict handle on what I agree to do. This is hard for two reasons:
- Doing cool but ultimately frivolous stuff has to be deprioritised (boo)
- Boring but necessary tasks have to take precedence (boo)
- Sometimes you think of something at the last minute that has to be included, and you end up going over your self-imposed limits
Our Fast Streamer’s suggestion that we run stand-ups in our little team has massively helped with this, because it’s surfaced a lot of 2s before they become 3s.
There are going to be enormous challenges ahead. I’ve drawn a lot of useful advice from the rest of the #weeknotes community, and their continued stories have encouraged me to jump back in.
Here’s to a new season.