Year of the Dog: Limit of Heat

chù shǔ 处暑

I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks — here are some things that have happened:

  • Lost my wallet — realised how much of my life is tied to my debit/credit cards after I cancelled them
  • Had my wallet returned — including £180 cash — faith in human nature restored
  • Got a new Macbook — it is pretty but mainly I am happy to have Keynote and Ulysses back. Sad I know
  • Got a bit of a pay-rise and a much better idea of what I’m going to be up to professionally in the next year or so — exciting
  • Caught up in person with Onkar for first time in a couple of years and went along with him to a bid meeting with amazing views
  • Started to get involved in the marketing of our company a little — including thinking about re-working our website
  • Pitched an idea that we need to start doing a different kind of marketing — akin to Melinda’s ‘employee evangelism’ idea to make us the preferred option for independent/contractor software engineers looking to join squads
  • Convinced the bosses to sponsor the amazing ‘You Got This’ conference
  • Started experimenting with Mastodon — it is weird and feels like really early Twitter. I’m intrigued more than engaged
  • I’m also a bit more active on Instagram at the moment — basically I’m pissed off at Twitter so cheating on them
  • Wrote a bit about the work of the BBC team I am doing the product thing for at the moment — still loving it
  • Did some more interviewing for roles in the team — touch wood we might be getting somewhere finally for the Product role — not so much on the Tech Lead
  • Started working on the proposal for what in a perfect world will be my next assignment after the Beeb finishes — fingers crossed
  • Caught up with Sam from mySociety (who has been looking after a massive pile of my comics since I left — oops) to catch up on what is happening there
  • Had the anniversary of getting my diabetes diagnosis — it has been a hell of a year really — celebrated with an Oreo milkshake which was really naughty!

All that is to say things have been happening. The big thing for me though was yesterday after 101 weeks I returned to Newport and went to visit my old team at ONS.

I found this really hard. I have nothing but love and respect for the people I got to know when I was there and will be forever proud of the work I did there but unfortunately a lot of my memories of the place are now coloured by how bloody broken I ended up — and that is on me but still it is hard to shake.

Anyway it was weird. But lovely. The place has changed a lot but is also exactly the same. I gave a version of my ‘working in the open’ talk and made sure to make sure that team understood how amazing and respected they are. It also guilted Andy into writing a spectacular blogpost!

The reason I got over my reticence about returning is Laura is leaving ONS. For those who don’t know Laura was my boss during my time there. She was a friend before we worked there and is a closer friend now but she will forever be the best boss I’ve ever had.

Now Laura does not have my love of self promotion so occasionally I have to do it for her. If we (when I was there and after) achieved anything at ONS it is because of the work she did in building the team, in providing constant air cover (and god knows I needed it — Andy probably less), in always providing wise counsel, in being as geeky as any of us when needed and generally in trusting us to get it done.

She also always supported my desire to work in the open. Which in those early days was a risky proposition.

So thanks boss and sorry for ambushing you (I turned my talk to the team into her leaving presentation so she couldn’t escape!).

Anyway it is soon the Bank Holiday. Enjoy it. Relax. Maybe have a couple of beers or read a book. That email will keep.

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