[JISC] Weeknote 22/33

I’ve decided to try and keep these weeknotes going for a while but they are likely to now split between what I’ve done at work and what I am doing to facilitate my next career move. We’ll see how it works.

Started the week with a trip up to Sheffield for IWMW10. It was only a flying visit – I enjoyed the opening talk by Christine Sexton and thought it really set the tone nicely with a very nice use of her personal experiences as IT Director at Sheffield Uni to paint a bigger picture of the issues facing HE in general. The second talk was OK but not really anything new and I took the opportunity to slip out and make a couple of calls.

Then it was time for the workshop I was involved in which was a kind of Scrum vs Prince2 cage match🙂 – as it happens I had decided quite late in the day to rope Phil Wilson from Bath Uni in to cover the Agile side of things and Pete Barnes from Reading took the Prince2 side – I did the chairing thing and pitched in on both sides and moderated some of the discussion but left the heavy lifting to the guys using the frameworks in anger as it were. I thought it was a good session with alot of questions and a surprising (to me anyway) lack of awareness of Scrum and ‘agile’ in general. Pete and Phil did a great job and it was a real pleasure to be involved.

I slipped off pretty much straight after this for a very enjoyable evening with the Sheffield digital mafia (well Jag, Hannah and Ian anyway) plus Frankie and Mike which again reminded me why Sheffield is one of the places I really love to visit.

Tuesday was primarily traveling home and continuing the process of tidying the last bits of my work up to handover to those taking it forward.

Thursday we had a long team meeting which was wildly uncomfortable and which I felt there were bits I should have been excused from. I was feeling a lot better about things but Thursday was a step back and if it hadn’t been for the fun at Ignite on the evening I would have drifted into a pretty dark place. It has to be said that while I personally (still) like and respect the people I work with/for they really aren’t good at the whole ‘people’ side of things but that isn’t news and I knew what I was getting in to.

Friday I did at least get a meeting to discuss what I’m going to be doing the next few weeks and it is something worthwhile so that is a plus – it gives me a bit of focus for a while.

On the next step side of things I have had a few really helpful conversations this week which might lead to some bits of freelance type work. I’m continuing to apply for anything I find interesting but in parallel I am taking steps to set my own business up just in case (or maybe as a primary option if I get any interesting offers). I’ve chosen a business name and purchased a URL and am working on my ‘pitch’ this weekend. I haven’t quite decided whether to just start off as a sole-trader or set up a Limited Company straight away – advice seems split on that but hopefully I’ll decide soon.

Next week it is my UKOER Fringe event which I’m looking forward to (but would like a few more signups!) and also UKOER10 which hopefully I’ll attend despite a clash with a meeting I reeeeaaaaaalllly don’t fancy!