S2 Ep8 code and decoding

It’s been a funny week – lots of great things, but also lots of frustrations, and a slight sense of overwhelm at times (see ‘What I learnt this week?’.)

yellow irises by a pond
Hampstead Heath ponds on my run this week

7 (mostly great) things that happened:

1.Monday started strong with a workshop with the contracts and procurement team – thinking about our goals for the next quarter, and what we’re going to do to help us reach them. We’d done a lot of the planning a couple of weeks ago, so it was good to recap and revisit our thinking.

2. We had our second conversation around the project wall – we’ve decided it’d be useful to have a sense of size of each project. So we’re going to use t-shirt sizing to give us a visual guide* – we need to decided what we’re sizing though. Is it spend? Budget? The value we think will be delivered by doing the work? What we choose will drive the conversation in a particular direction, and I don’t think there’s one ‘right’ answer. Also the people stickers arrived this week and look great, so we can start using them to think about who we need to recruit and who can work on which project.

3. I spent some of Wednesday trying to find a form of words in our tender specification for printers that our procurement colleagues are happy with whilst still making it easy for our suppliers to make their best bids that meet our user needs. We still haven’t managed to finalise this, but I’m sure we will early next week.

4. I voted with my younger son. It was his first election, and I was super proud that a) he was really pleased to be able to vote and b) he’d really thought about how he wanted to vote and why.

5. Nic and I spent some time planning our HackIT recruitment event – it’s on 12 June from 4-6pm. There’s an eventbrite link to sign up, so we know who’s coming and roughly what time, an opportunity to meet the teams and find out more about why you’d want to come and work with us.**

6. On Friday I met some of the #bureaucracyhack organisers at the venue so that we could have a look round and plan out the day itself in more detail. I feel reassured now that I’m not the only one who’s seen the venue, and that the space will work for us on the day.

7. Later on Friday I’d volunteered to help at the verification count for the election. This is to check that the number of ballot papers in each box matches the presiding officers tally, ready for the actual vote count on Sunday. It was really interesting to be part of the process and see it first hand.

What I learnt this week:

I’ve had a few four day weeks recently (bank holidays plus a couple of extra days off). Having not been very well during February and March I’d deliberately built in some long weekends during April and May. What I didn’t do though was adjust my expectation of how much I could do during that time. Note to self: try not to have to learn this again.

I felt slightly overwhelmed by ‘the list’ of things to do this week, but what I have definitely learnt is that, if you tell people this is so, and you work with awesome, supportive colleagues you will get a) emergency chocolate b) offers of help and c) support and understanding. Thankyou all of you.

What I read this week:

Now, this is something I’ve been pondering for a while. Is knitting code? Having started a new project with my mum recently I’ve been thinking about the links between programming and knitting, the logical repeating patterns that only work if they are followed exactly. This article was really interesting and takes it to a whole new level, and also uses the word ‘floofy’ in a scientific context.

Knitting is coding

I liked this from Tom Loosemore on culture:

Tom Loosemore on culture

And also this from @mitsmr via @helenbevan:

Principles for creating the culture you need

*this involves ordering some more stickers, which can only be a good thing

**there are so many reasons why you might, come along on the 12th and find out!

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