S09E07: Anyone else keep writing 2021?

Of course you do.

As traditional this first week is when, if you sent “Let’s pick this up in the new year!” emails, you receive “Picking this up in the new year!” emails. It is a tradition as old as the hills, as long as they are very new hills and, if one looks closely, artificial.

This week I closed off some caretaking I was doing on a small service I was made responsible for. It got me thinking about how best to actually organise this stuff in the department, so I’m now on a mission to come up with some standard ways of organising people into teams, controlling access to the stuff they work on, and then managing how that changes over time. Because it will absolutely change over time, and a system perfectly etched in glass is no use to anyone.

This feeds into some strategic thinking I’m doing around the future of my profession in my department. At the moment I’m thinking about recruitment, retention, software, hardware, and standards. Does that sound about right? What else should I be thinking of when considering the next five years of software development? Thoughts on a postcard/email/Twitter message/by pigeon (you may not get your pigeon back).

As ever the strategic work is not just thinking about the thing, but thinking about how to sell the thing to everyone else in the organisation. If I think we should go in a direction, it’s no good me storming off in that direction because for plenty of folks that’s not a direction they much care about. As a naif I expected the brilliance of my idea to stagger people. It’s good for me to come to the realisation – again – I must do it at least once every six months or so – that I am not the main character in anyone’s story but my own.


My partner and I settled on some goals for this year. My current promotion is only temporary, but I’m enjoying it so much I want to keep working at this level for the foreseeable, so by the end of this year I’d like to have secured a permanent role at my current grade.

We’d also really like to move house: either further into Eine, or somewhere else entirely. Either way we need somewhere bigger: we have a wardrobe that groans with cloaks, knitting needles, board games and the other accoutrements of the modern yuppie lifestyle. We need space for at least two wardrobes. Perhaps even three.

Finally, I want to finish off the work I started with the Civil Service LGBT+ network. I’ve built a script to improve the mentor matching process, but I want to do something with it to make it useful to folks who aren’t as technical as me.

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