Weeknotes: Taking Stock — 14th November 2021

Reader, we're six weeks away from the end of 2021. How did that happen? It was March 2020 not that long ago.

At work I feel like my team is starting to make a lot of progress quite quickly.

  • I guess now that half-term is over, we're in the last "sprint" of the year?
  • A few initiatives on my plate have sped up which makes them harder to balance, but, that's a good thing because it's nudged me to change tact in some and delegate a little more in others.
  • Particularly exciting is planning the change/removal of a few bits of consistent process & technology debt which we've previously worked around the hard way.
  • We were optimising locally a lot: Solving problems per-team and sharing notes, but not giving reusable solutions. Ignoring hindsight bias, I still think it was the best thing to do at the time (giving small teams much more autonomy) but it's really refreshing looking forward at the slightly bigger picture.
  • Really I'm just thrilled to see things coming together.

On Monday I was offered an exciting opportunity which originally, I thought would be a no-brainer. It's been sitting with me all week...

  • Alex would remind me that “We suffer much more in imagination than reality”, and I know that it's right? But, still...
  • The experience has encouraged me to revisit my (vague) career goals, which is always a good thing. That's where this post title comes from.
  • This whole exercise has helped me understand that my desire to move (temporarily, but who knows?) from engineering into product management is much more than a desire and — if nothing else — that is something I wish I'd realised much sooner.
  • As an engineer I'm personally motivated by disparate problem-areas and love deep-dives into problems across domains and technology - which is probably why I've become "full-stack"? Some time ago I learned that the behavioural pattern of returning to horizontal-problem spaces so frequently aligns me closest to a generalist.
  • So far this all tracks.

Generally though as we approach December, people are beginning to introspect on the year. The yearnotes posts which have appeared so far are fantastic — it's really cool seeing how much people have done. Between starting with this exercise & having a healthy amount of time booked away in December ... another thing to do, hum.

This weekend also marked the point of me finishing my first track to the point where I'm relatively happy to share it. While I wait to gather some feedback, I made the mistake of looking into how music distribution works... The short answer is that (even for free) it involves printing & signing a lot of international tax forms. Huzzah for bureaucracy & paperwork.


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© Alex Wilson 2021