in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #231 — Ramekin atoms

Summer rain leads to rainbows

Summer rain leads to rainbows

Another super busy week at work, coupled with four nights out1 in a row. The week seemed to accelerate as it went, leaving me with a feeling of not having enough time to catch up by the time we hit Friday. But it was fun.

This was a week in which I:

  • Had a chat with the team about when we move our password manager rollout into ‘business as usual’ now that we have signed up 90% of our staff. We’re nearly done.
  • Sat with one of our executives to talk through and answer questions about his specific workflow when using the password manager.
  • Wrote a memo about the coming AI tools and what we need to do to prepare our organisation for them.
  • Attended the steering committee for our real estate programme, part of which I am due to pick up and run over the next 18 months or so.
  • Caught up with an external consultant who we last worked with four years ago when we remodelled our office. It was interesting to discuss what we’re thinking about, and to get his input on what other companies are doing with their offices from a technology perspective.
  • Met with colleagues to continue planning for an office move in the US.
  • Had a couple of meetings with an external vendor as we work towards getting a contract in place for their services.
  • Gave my presentation on Large Language Models and Generative AI to our Generative AI working group. It seemed to be well-received, even by this audience who are more involved with the technology than anyone else I have presented to.
  • Met with fellow panellists ahead of an online event at work on Monday to go through the kinds of topics and questions that will be asked. I’m a little nervous as I’ve never been on a panel before, but the conversation we had allayed some of my fears. Hopefully my appearance won’t be legendary for all the wrong reasons.
  • Had an introductory meeting with the representatives from a technology consultancy that we are working with.
  • Met with colleagues to discuss progress towards the end of year ‘town hall’ event that we are hosting.
  • Spent time cleaning up the ‘drop lane’ on our Kanban board, fleshing out an amazing number of placeholder cards that I had created over the past couple of months. We continued our sessions to clean up the board and get aligned on what we’ve decided to keep.
  • Attended the monthly Architecture Community of Practice meeting.
  • Had our monthly team Lean Coffee session. I think we need to extend this to 90 minutes in future as we often don’t get through that many topics.
  • Attended a presentation on the view of our organisation from the perspective of one of the major cloud infrastructure vendors.
  • Found that our Monday all-office lunch is on hiatus for the summer, so had lunch and a chat with the team instead. It’s been a while since we got together like this.
  • Had a long, impromptu meeting at the end of the day with a couple of colleagues, covering a vast array of topics about life, the universe and everything.
  • Managed to drop a glass ramekin in the kitchen five minutes before I was due to be in a meeting. When dropped they seem to split into individual atoms, requiring a ‘three pass vacuum’ across a wide area to ensure that every last piece has been safely removed found.
  • Enjoyed the third instalment of the WB-40 Album Club. Our host had chosen to take us back to the mid-1990s when he spent time in Russia, choosing Несчастный Случай’s (Neschastny Sluchai’s) Mein Lieber Tanz from 1995. He had kindly and painstakingly translated the lyrics to the album, which revealed it to be quite bonkers. I love an Album Club — when on earth would I ever have listened to this otherwise?

  • Loved going to see Julie Byrne and Juni Habel on Wednesday night, and getting to meet Katie Von Schleicher in person.
The beautiful Kings Place in London on Wednesday night

The beautiful Kings Place in London on Wednesday night

Sorry, do you have a larger specials menu please?

Sorry, do you have a larger specials menu please?

  • Enjoyed this week’s cycling club ride. I hadn’t managed to fit much cycling in this week but felt very strong as we took on a relatively long and hilly route.
  • Put my running shoes on for the first time in months, joining my wife while her usual running partner is away. Every time I run I love it, but I don’t ever seem to build it into my exercise routine as I love the bike even more.
  • Took a rare family trip to the cinema to see the latest Mission: Impossible film. It was…fine. Super formulaic and forgettable, but I didn’t really expect anything else. We thought about going to see Oppenheimer but apparently cinemas are now very strict about verifying children’s ages. Our 14 year old may not have got in to a 15 and we didn’t want to take the chance.
  • Did the ‘renewal dance’ with Virgin Media after our 18 month contract ended. It looks like we’re going to end up with much more stuff for slightly less than what we were paying.

Next week: Trying to get as much done as possible before a couple of weeks off.

  1. Technically one of those nights was at online from my house, but I’m counting it. 

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