Year of the Dog: Notes from ‘Grain Rain’ (Guyu)


Things are still a bit unsettled at work to be honest. The fall out from the less than successful project has dominated this week — which was actually unexpected as I thought we were over the hump with it. Tiring. I am learning a lot but honestly I think ignorance was probably bliss on this occasion.

What else has been happening?

Well I gave a talk at Agile Exchange Cambridge at Redhat last Thursday and I really enjoyed it. It was amusingly billed as ‘..an evening with Matt Jukes’ and I did go all after-dinner speaker on them with an almost 90 minute performance. I think it went down OK — it was my ‘working open’ shpiel again and there were some great questions. I was pretty wiped out after though.

The following day was fun as I took advantage of being London adjacent and caught up with my colleague Sean who is usually based in Scotland on one of our projects but who actually lives in East London so I ‘hot desked’ at his flat before going to visit one of our partner companies in their trendy Shoreditch offices. This was interesting as actually they do a lot of work I’m pretty interested in (a lot of digital publishing type stuff with charities) and it also made me feel ancient.

I have read and become semi-obsessed with this book Accelerate about modern software development and high performing teams — it has led to me revisiting my ideas about what a ‘team as a service’ sort of offer could look like. I’ve even been sketching out a Lean Canvas to help get it out of my head into something a bit more coherent. Building out this ‘proposition’ is very much my objective at the moment in my quieter moments at work (and in AirBnB land).

Popped along and watched David Carboni speak at the Swansea Software Developer meet-up. It was nice to see a bunch of the team show up and David killed it as usual — blending a technical talk about microservices and using them as metaphors for his ideas about organisational change. Engaging stuff — though he needs to work on his talk timings!

We sponsored that event and Design Swansea on Thursday — I would have liked to have stayed at that one longer (and will make more of an effort to in future) but I was feeling a bit broken and needed to pack up my AirBnB after a month.

I returned home today to find my copy of this:


..so I suspect I’ll be nerding it up over the weekend reading this and will likely blog a review on the train back to Swansea on Monday.



Excitingly I’m off on holiday at the end of next week — I’m going to Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. I was planning to get the train all the way but the logistics didn’t work for the first leg so I am getting a seaplane from Vancouver harbour to Seattle harbour…for someone who is a nervous flyer this is a big thing!

Please feel free to suggest anything for my to do in those cities — I’m travelling alone though hoping to catch up with some people but I have no tight itinerary — I’m just going to have a bit of a wander (and eat at a lot of food trucks!).


New me vs Old me

One of those ‘On this day’ reminders on Facebook brought this very grumpy, fat faced selfie to my attention this week. It was from four years ago and was likely not even my heaviest…it brought it home how far I have come.

To be fair I am often still that grumpy but I look healthier when I am 🙂


Onwards.