Weeknote #2

Work stuff

A very productive week. Something has clicked this year where the programme I am running feels possible, as opposed to last year where I felt like we were climbing an impossible mountain. We are starting to get some of the big boulders slowly moving around our architecture and medium term programme delivery plans; hopefully they will accelerate and start rolling after a continued, concerted push.

Lots of reminders this week that I am surrounded by an embarrassment of riches in terms of people that could potentially help me with my work, both inside and outside of the client’s firm, and I need to develop the muscle memory of remembering to talk to them on a regular basis. Got a couple of great leads from the WB40 podcast WhatsApp channel on some vendors to talk to and the whole channel is turning out to be interesting, amusing and productive. (Having said that, it was the cause of me leaving and losing my umbrella on the train as my mind was too distracted by the chat.)

Found Joanne C Klein’s excellent Office 365 blog and have lined up a few articles to read, such as how adoption never ends (a theme I have been talking about a lot with my client) and a look at Compliance Manager for GDPR.

The scale of GDPR and data privacy was brought home to me when I looked at a data extract which showed ‘person A’ logging in for a remote session from ‘person B’s computer at home late at night, and what inference could be drawn from it.

Learned that security configuration in a Microsoft estate could not be more complex if it tried, and that getting specialist help is a must.

Really interested in the free course from Troy Hunt on creating a security-centric culture.

Been thinking that I don’t know enough about formal governance structures from a legal perspective. Will need to search around for a primer. Subcommittees seem to have some kind of official/legal bearing both at work and within the context of a school; some groups have formal minutes and others just have notes. Need to look for a ‘governance primer’ somewhere so that I’m sure of my facts.

Successfully experimented with LogMeIn Rescue to walk a user in New York through the setup of a couple of the Office 365 apps on his iPhone and it worked really well. iOS screen recording output can easily be diverted to an app in real time and you can talk the user through what to do. Will need to look at whether this is a good option to turn into a production solution at my client’s firm.

Bought some great stainless steel cups to take to work so that I stop using the plastic throwaway ones for water. I was already well in the habit of taking a coffee mug to work each day and bringing it back home for a trip to the dishwasher, so it’s been simple to add this to the routine.

Other stuff

Great night out last Saturday with some close friends for a delicious home-cooked dinner. Impressed to learn that one of them used to work for Ceefax; brought back fond memories of favourite pages, blocky art and my BBC Micro Morley Teletext Adapter (£100 from Watford Electronics!) that could download software from the service.

Helped my 10-year old with finding images for a poster for school. Tried explaining that you usually can’t just take images from anywhere for your own use and introduced him to Creative Commons. Don’t think I did a good job of it. Wondering if copyright and fair use is a secondary school topic these days? Seems like an important thing to know.

Signed up to the USD 2/month service from micro.blog to intelligently syndicate my blog feed to Twitter and pleased with how it’s working. Nice to support such a lovely concept in a little way and get something back from it.

Not a great week on the fitness front. Kids’ football was cancelled due to waterlogged pitches which meant no refereeing or linesman duties, and I now haven’t been on my bike in two weeks. Walking to and from work has been hampered by rain. A priority for the week ahead.

Reading and listening

Empathised with how MacSparky got back from his holiday and had to spend a few weeks ‘digging out‘ to get himself back on track.

Learned from a friend how someone would approach harvesting credit card details from websites. Made me think about Report URI and how any corporate website owners should be making good use of it.

Reflected on how to write a blog post. I’ve never printed out a hard copy to proof-read one of mine, but I have asked my wife to read drafts of the ones that were really important to me.

Loved thinking about the ‘near enemies‘ of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equinamity. A blog post I will need to re-read and reflect on more than once.

Ripped though an excellent six-hour podcast of The Celtic Holocaust. I’ve listened to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History since episode one and it was a gateway to the amazing Common Sense — probably my favourite podcast of all — which is sadly on an extended hiatus.

Troy Hunt’s workflow for dealing with a data breach discovery is excellent in its transparent and thoughtful approach. His writing and weekly podcast fascinate me and I envy how much he gets done.

WB40 was its usual interesting and informative self. Got me thinking about how presenting a photo of hand-drawn information in a slide deck implies that the work is a draft, work-in-progress and invites discussion and debate in a way that a polished picture doesn’t. Natalia Talkowska‘s Doodle-le-do sounds fun.

Remainiacs tackles Brexit with far more candour and humour than the BBC’s Brexitcast (yes, possibly just for those remainers like me). With their guest Matthew Parris this week they make some important points about how UKIP served a purpose of draining the most extreme parts of the Conservative party how the purple party’s subsidence could be even worse than having them around.

Thought about how much we talk about giving our children space to play, be bored or think but the societal rules about parents letting their children being out and about alone have changed so much. (An old article, but I think of it often.)

After hearing it a couple of weeks back for the first time since childhood I have not been able to get this 1985 German electro-pop earworm out of my head:

And the award for the most sobering tweet of the week:

Finally

It was interesting to me just how motivational ‘working out loud’ was to the work I did this week. Knowing I was going to have to report back here was enough for me to really focus on the key things I had to move forward.

Next week

Two evenings of school governor meetings, plenty of pre-reading to get done beforehand; membership changes to manage and responsibilities to juggle.

Need to keep the momentum going at work and get those boulders rolling.

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