[S05 E12] “Slow News Day”

Bouncebackability


To paraphrase O’Shea that was a ‘good week’. Feels like a while since I could honestly say that. I’ve either been feeling knackered, ill, stressed, depressed or a combo of them all for ages it feels like — certainly most of this ‘season’. Felt pretty good this week though. There were reasons for that but it was a welcome change of pace!

One of the main reasons was that my recent little burst of blogging has burst the logjam in my head for blogging at the day job. I managed to get a couple of posts published this week — including something about the Democratic Commons I’ve been meaning to write for weeks. The other post was a collaboration with Matthew about the performance improvements he’d been working on with FixMyStreet — mainly because I was so impressed when the team was discussing it in Slack! I’ve also written an internal post about ‘dashboards’ and their place as part of the FixMyStreet platform as I rather rabbit holed on Thursday as I was trying to unpick some of my own thinking and decisions over the last few months on the topic. I think I’ll revisit that post down the line and rework it as a public post — it doesn’t feel far off with a bit of work and it inspired a bit of conversation internally (and some clarity of vision for me.)

I’ve also been working on a couple of other posts — that actually need some proper research as well as a bit of help from colleagues — I think they should be pretty interesting though and I am learning just writing them.

We also did our first formal(ish) sprint planning this week for months. It was useful but as it had been so long it ended up being a pretty detailed review of work in progress before we planned out the next two weeks. It still feels like a challenge due to the nature of the way work emerges from our client relationships but I think it was useful — I enjoyed it anyway.

The mission to help some of our clients ‘transition’ to new suppliers continued this week so I answered a few questions and pointed people at a few docs and repos — it is going well now and starting to get some momentum. I know I should have done it earlier in most cases but it has been hard as I do have a tendency to try and be helpful when I probably should just say no. Still its a weight off my mind increasingly.

Locust Grove started to get a move on this week and Elkinsville has rather come out of nowhere as well so there was a bit of arranging of kick-off meetings there. That will be two more proper FixMyStreet Pro clients to join Monark Springs and Blooming Rose so that feels like a nice way to end the year if we can get them going properly.

Had an interesting and easy call with Hindostan Falls about chatbots and the like and how we can start thinking about them in relation to some of our services. It is something Dave has already done a bit of investigation into and I think there are some real benefits (and a bunch of risks) in the strategy — it is something we are keen to dig in to though so should be a fun piece of work.

David, our new Sales Director, and I seem to be getting into a decent rhythm now as well and it is a great help having someone out there spearheading these conversations with potential clients — I just come along later in the process and sprinkle in a few product buzzwords and some questions about delivery in very much a sidekick role — I like it.

It is noticeable that this week has been pretty much free of our Internet Giant friends due to Thanksgiving and in general there weren’t many big things that needed to be done immediately this week — I suspect that influenced my feeling of well-being. Not that I dislike the Facebook stuff but it has felt fraught to me and having some space from it all obviously helped. Still a lot of Wikidata related stuff to jump into more deeply as well — that is coming.

Also:

Couple of trips to London next week and other meetings so we’ll see if this improved mood holds. Fingers crossed.


#weightnotes

Lost two pounds this week but it is a bit of a grind at the moment. The weather means I’m not walking enough and I’m always blooming hungry in winter! Still I feel pretty good and I am genuinely starting to look like I have lost weight (though shaving the beard might contribute to that!).

#no-life

Watched

Punisher: Best of the Netflix Marvel shows for a while. Definitely better than Iron Fist and Defenders and actually over the whole thing probably better than Luke Cage (but I love the first half of that show deeply — it just gets let down in the final few episodes.). It is very true to the comics — in fact I really think it is a better portrayal than I have read! Due to this though it is brutal and sometimes difficult. Not for the faint-hearted. (The Frank/Karen ‘relationship’ is really nicely done though.)

Just started watching She’s Gotta Have It and Godless — Netflix shows by two of my favourite directors (Spike Lee and Steven Soderbergh) and early signs are they both live up to expectations in very different ways.

Listening

The She’s Gotta Have It playlist has been the soundtrack to my last couple of days — music is integral to the show (in a very clear way!) and not surprisingly a Spike Lee Joint that is at least partially a love letter to Brooklyn appeals to me: