Weeks 6 & 7

It didn’t take me long to break the the rhythm of week notes. Travel has a way of doing that, and so do small children who decide to wake at awkward hours.

The week before last felt was a full one, with several interviews for developer roles, some more time spent rolling out new line management for the team, some work kicked off around how we manage “place” information and some time introducing a few of the Ministry of Justice Digital Services Division folks to CESG.

I also took a little time to visit a client that Ket Lai had done some work for to talk about the changes that they want to the management system that we built for them. There are still a few projects like that kicking around that are largely quiet but I’ve never quite handed off. Part of the conversation was about how to begin to hand over to someone who could provide more attention, but it was also really good to spend time seeing how they use the tools I’d worked on and identifying some simple improvements that could be made to make them far more productive.

On the Friday we joined the kids on their nursery visit to Southend, and the Saturday saw us at the Olympic Park for the Open East Festival. The festival itself was pretty good–it was well worth getting soaked to ensure that E experienced The Waterboys live–but more exciting was seeing the work that’s been done on preparing the park to open, knowing that it’s going to be yet another great open space so near to our house.

This past week only included three days in the office but they were at a much easier pace as so many people are on holiday. It was a chance to catch up on a few projects and with a few people before I headed to San Francisco on Thursday and on to Sebastopol for this year’s Foo Camp at O’Reilly’s headquarters.

The journey to San Francisco had been 24 hours door to door and I was pretty exhausted by the time I made it out to Sebastopol (thanks to Dan Newman for the ride) but it was a fantastic weekend of conversations. There were just enough old friends to immediately feel comfortable, but also a fantastic atmosphere where jumping into any and every conversation was welcomed.

As ever with an event of this kind it’s pretty easy to dwell on the sessions you missed. I really wish I’d spent more time in the biotech sessions, but it looks like there’ll be a chance to learn more about that closer to home in September. As it was ,each alternative or distraction was worthwhile. It even turned out that jetlag wasn’t all bad as a few other folks were up early each morning and the 6am shift was a good chance for longer, quiet conversations before the pace of the day picked up.

The week was capped off with a chance to use Foursquare as it was once intended as I spotted Kay check in at a bar not far from my hotel and ended up drinking cocktails with a great group of Open Science folks. A nice way to close out the weekend.

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