Weeknotes: Microwaving — Week 29, 2023

  • Another busy week, week 2 of midterms. But they're over now, for now.
  • On Monday, in part to celebrate handing in my first two midterm assignments, and in part because I'd already made these plans, I went to see the new Mission Impossible movie with AD and CR. It was good! Lots of build, especially in the run-up to Part 2. I couldn't stop noticing that in every shot Tom Cruise managed to make himself look so tall.
  • Spent a lot of time this week talking to people about how to staff an upcoming technical strategy initiative. And then the rest doing the first of a few interviews with people who worked on similar projects in the past, where I learned loads. A major theme was finding novel ways to remove the felt constraints of our organisational structure - moving past Conway's law.
  • The Spark team ran a hack-week this week, and I joined their presentation on Friday to see some of the results. All great stuff, but my favourites were an experimental implementation of push-notifications (which is dope, and based on service workers!) and the presentation for an accessibility hack which explored how to make in-article comments accessible.
  • Another big thing this week is that I now own a microwave. Yes, I know, not really a thing, but it feels big. By making food marginally quicker to prepare I'm hoping to rule out any remaining use-case for takeaways.
  • On Friday, walking past the Market Porter (en-route to Katzenjammers, obviously) one Dr Mark tapped me on the shoulder and pointed me to a bearded man standing to the side. Turns out it was Matt Berry, on a date. Being on a date we couldn't disturb him, but it really made my week.
  • Midterms were stressful. Both projects required quite a lot of me, and I ended up with a fully-fledged blogging app built from (more or less) scratch. The final stretch of making sure I offered all functionality was a slog and I wish I'd written some tests early on. Also very gratifying to build an entire web application from scratch in such a short timespan — it's amazing how quickly these projects go when you've got access to a database. Most of my side-projects are so complicated because databases are expensive.
  • Managed to also go to a BBQ at the weekend, but skip the actual BBQ bit and instead go to a pub in the Streatham rain. Very nice.

Collage of week 29, 2023

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