S10E04: I am finding it harder to write these

I think this is in part because I’m writing these for work too and there’s only so much wry, witty banter I can come up with per week. Let’s give it a third try.

Work stuff: I am learning so much from my senior at the moment. They are really incredibly competent, and I’d love to get up to their level. I also disagree with some of the things they do and the approaches they take, which by itself is really nice. First it means I have the psychological safety to disagree and discuss, and second it means I now have enough actual knowledge under my belt to be able to disagree and discuss in useful ways. This week I learned about singledispatch generic functions, which have totally blown my mind. I’ve also been working with our PM/DM team to start chunking up our epic stories into more achievable objectives and figuring what the key results might be. It’s really nice to get to thinking about the bigger picture, and what our users might need, and how we could test that. At the moment it’s easy, because we have two users and they sit next to us, but I suspect it’ll start getting harder as we scale.

There is still a lot of technical debt. Technical isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in our case it shows us what was tried and therefore what doesn’t work – but it does slow us down. Every change I make, I’m trying to tidy up one or two files and add a couple of tests: basically leaving things better than I found them. It’s hard, because the urge to burn it down and start again is strong, but I’m going to persevere. We can’t keep reinventing things every five years.

All of this also is a reminder that a while back I was looking for promotion and haven’t secured yet secured one. I am confident I’m ready – and that my organisation is getting a corker of a deal in terms of my productivity versus my salary. At this point though, moving up would mean moving on, and honestly I’m enjoying the work and the learning too much to want to swap that. At least not right now – in theory I’m moving house before long, and I start an MSc in October (for which I plan to use Terence’s essay-writing algorithm). Any promotion that’s not in the same team doing fundamentally the same work is, for now, not a thing I think I can actually do.

Learning! To! Be! Sensible! With! My! Energy!

I am going through the process of selling my flat at the moment and I am not enjoying it. This is because:

  1. I do not like Change
  2. Change makes me Unhappy
  3. did you know that “dozen” is both a noun, an adjective, neither, and possibly a new thing called a determiner?
  4. I refer you to point one, because what do you mean there are new things in grammar, this is Change, I just told you I don’t like Change –

Selling a flat is a process that begins by pretending that you do not live in your flat. Nobody has ever lived in your flat. If people realise that you, a person with a personality and your own likes and interests, has lived in a place, then literally nobody will buy it.

So the first thing we did was remove everything that indicated people lived in the flat and then invited a photographer to take pictures of our empty flat.

We achieved the empty, haunted look that is all the rage by throwing everything we own into the nearest drawer or cupboard. This has made it incredibly difficult to find things when you need them and incredibly easy to discover things. One cries out with joy, upon opening the towel drawer, to discover that it is now the condiments-and-towel-drawer, or the dead-flowers-and-towel-drawer, or one memorable occasion the sleeping-cat-and-towels-drawer.

Then we list it, and I have to come to terms with unknown people being in my space and opening my cupboards and mentally sizing up the space that has sheltered me and that I have grown quite comfortable in. I Do Not Like It.

Add to that the stress of needing to sell the damn thing and not getting as much attention as I’d like, and really the whole process is becoming less like fun every day.

To my chagrin I’ve just been informed that it was never supposed to be fun. On that note of bitter disappointment, I suppose I’d better wrap up.

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