Today is day ten. Well eleven if you count my induction day (I don’t). I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop somewhat as to date it has all felt a little bit smooth. I can’t remember feeling this settled in a job this quickly before but there is likely a sting in the tail somewhere — we will see.
So what have I been up to?
I started the week contributing my first internal blogpost — just a little review of Govcamp (with a bit of added anecdote and history). Govcamp, many moons ago, was where I first encountered mySociety so it seemed fitting it was the first thing I wrote about here.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what data and research I think we need to make the most informed decisions as we continue to develop the products I am involved with. This ended up being a long (20) list of questions that I think we should be able to answer if asked (and I’m asking). As it happens we don’t track a lot of what I am interested in so I’m going to be starting with a blank sheet to some extent — which is a mixed blessing really. It is great to be able to get things set up the way I think is best but there is a lot of intelligence lost to the ages that would have been helpful.
I’m going along to MeasureCamp in Cardiff next weekend to give my analytics/metrics knowledge a bit of a booster shot. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to this stuff — it has been a while since I got to get directly involved. It is an opportunity to look hard at things like ‘one metric that matters’ and ‘OKRs’ as well.
I also went to a client meeting this week. About 20 minutes in I had this epiphany — this is basically what I have been doing my whole career. It has just been as an internal ‘supplier’ trying to convince other people of the worth of our projects, wrangling with budget holders, discussing why decisions have been made and translating technical conversations. Honestly I had to stop myself letting out a massive sign of relief sat in the room — suddenly I realised that I can do this. Didn’t hurt that it was a great meeting with some really nice clients about a project that is going well 🙂
Spent a bit of time doing ‘competitor analysis’ (well nosing at their websites) which has been interesting and led to *another* list of questions. Our US cousins are particularly slick — well crafted websites with videos, screencasts, testimonials and useful blogs. It can feel a little much for a UK audience I think but there is much to learn from.
This week was also ProductTankSW which was just over the road at Oracle — being based in town properly makes attending these things so much easier and it was a great set of talks — especially Robin Warren talking about his journey with Corrello. I have a strong preference towards talks that are more personal / based on experience over the theory of things — for that I can read the book(s) as well as the next person.
Today I wrote a post for the official blog that will publish on Monday — it is just an introduction to me basically with some info about all the meet-ups I am signed up for in the weeks to come — I have signed up for a Zuz like amount!
I’ve been in the Bristol office 4 out of the 5 days this week. Sam and I have been around all the time but a fair few other folk have been in (Oliver, Dave W, Louise, Tony and Steve and I missed Mark L as well on Tuesday) so that has been great. Despite actually going out for a lunchtime walk on Wednesday my daily step count has been pretty poor — only about 7000 daily average.
Next week I am off to Chelmsford in Essex for a meeting and then up to Leeds for the much anticipated all staff meeting. Exciting.