S09E10: Decision time

But first, the news.

Progress continues on the mentor-match tool for the cross-government LGBT+ network. This week has seen some fairly frantic work happening. A lot of fixes, some minor, some major. For example, John noticed that my clever action to delete files was only half as good as I thought it was. I increased the test coverage to 75%, which is not great but is much better than it was and is quite pleasing for an open-source project John and I are putting together in our spare time.

(Alternatively, the open-source project I’ve been iteratively building since 2016. And even wrote an explainer for.)

The ‘upload’ feature is almost finished, which means before long users will be able to plug in their own spreadsheets (according to our very strict rules about what’s acceptable) and get their own list of compatible matches (according to our very strict rules about what’s compatible). However, once that’s done I can start fiddling with the library at the backend to enable a little bit more flexibility in what acceptable and compatible mean. The end goal of this is to support other networks to run their mentoring schemes with a little less staff time spent on the matching process and more time spent on aftercare, follow-ups, and improving the entire system.

A reminder: matching 10 mentors and 10 mentees can be done in 10! ways, which is…

3,628,800

…different ways. I am so, so excited to finally be able to apply modern computing power to this class of problems. So excited I tweeted about it.


My 6-month loan is halfway finished, and it’s unfortunately looking like I won’t be able to stay. It’s nobody’s fault, really, and I’ve done plenty of work I’m really proud of. I’ve also got another three months before I finish, so there’s plenty more space and time to do good work.

I mentioned this last time, so this is more of an update for me:

  • a further two applications that didn’t even get past the sift, one of which scored so low I felt bad for the rest of the day
  • six approaches from recruiters, four of which didn’t interest me even slightly (am I too picky for someone without a job in twelve weeks? No, actually, because I enjoy the security of an organisation where I know I will be employed, somewhere, regardless. That kind of security is very cool)
  • two very exciting coffees with very interesting people, which may come to something and may not, but in any case were very nice and I should do them more often
  • 1 offer, which I am mulling
  • 1 rejection from the role I was excited about. Gutted.

Here’s a thing about stories.

I bought myself a rowing machine. That’s the culmination of a very funny story about how I went on a lovely weekend away with my extremely fit partner, slept in a bed that was too soft, and woke up stiff and sore. It’s a story that goes via jeans getting minutely tighter month on month, and shirts that are more skin-tight than they used to be, and a job that has been full-on sedantary since the pandemic began in 1666.

Then there’s a little detour into some physical comedy where I demonstrate that my day now comprises sitting at my desk, standing up to walk to the table next to my desk, sitting down for lunch, walking the three paces back to my desk, sitting down, and then getting up to exercise.

By sitting down on the rowing machine.

It’s also the beginning of a story that maybe ends in a couple of years I get back, and a heart attack that doesn’t happen, and even an Olympic gold medal. Why not.

I think right now I’m trying to figure out whether I’m at the beginning of a story, or at the end, or still in the middle.

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