Weeknotes 007

Mar 1 2021

Missed several weeknotes in a row. I was on holiday for a week and then last week back at work. It went by in a blur.


GOV.UK’s new Head of Tech Himal has started.

My week felt like I was playing catch-up. Probably because I’d been on holiday the week before. Emails were out of control and the first half of the week left me with little time to look through them because of meetings.

In tech fortnightly, we took a detour from the usual tech presentations and Himal introduced himself and we had a general chat. I thought it went well. A few people from the developer community talked about the things we do that are not strictly part of team and mission work. Things like our tech debt meetings and process, our developer tools working group and “conference talks we love” community. These things that people take on are so important. I would love to get to the point that these extras are actually recognised as positions in their own right - perhaps with a head of community leading them, but we don’t have enough people for that at the moment.

Accounts work continues. We’ve spent a fair amount of time workshopping next experiments. I’ve found it a little frustrating and it brought up some thoughts around strategic and tactical work. Long term large fundamental chages vs shorter term MVPs. These require different cadences in their planning, different focus in and around user reseach and different considerations in team size and make up, order of work and what success looks like. I was worried that we would get lost in planning out work and thinking too far ahead. I still don’t think we have a firm grasp of how GOV.UK can and will change when it becomes more of o personalised platform. Random thoughts. I want to find time to explore my thinking around longer/shorter term pieces of work.

And then, mid-week, pay happened. I achieved a Tom Sawyer moment of negative pay. I literally paid the Cabinet Office for the privelidge of working. I spent far too much time finding the right person to talk to about this over the course of a few days. It was frustrating and stressful and ruined my week. It made me far too curt with other people as well. I’m very grateful to Tom though. He helped me even though he’s no longer in the same organisation as me.


Schools are going back to real life lessons from the 8th March. This week, COVID tests for the kids start. My daughter has been doing well at home. We’ll see how the return goes.

February and March are full of family birthdays. I find serendipitous present shopping difficult online.

Over the weekend I made a shelf for our breadboards and my daughter and I fixed a marble table that had cracked in two with some epoxy resin. We coloured it blue with some glitter as an experiment.

I’ve renumbered my weeknotes. The old Season/Episode thing wasn’t working for me. Sequential numbers are simpler.

Listening, Reading

Reading David Foster Wallace: This is Water

Reading A Vim Guide for Advanced Users