Weeknotes: Anniversarial — 31st July 2022

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, even if disappointingly it turns out that there’s no such magical number. Still, this post marks a consecutive year since resuming weeknotes and so I’m in a celebratory mood.

  • One helpful tweak was slightly systemising the process, leading to the format you’re reading now. Sticking to a few themes and expanding on them in bullet-points contains thoughts and avoids editorialising.
  • In the past weeknotes were about forming a writing habit - so in the past I wrote about tech, sometimes at a stretch. But this past year they’ve been a chance to write about things going on in my life, and things I find interesting with as little censorship as possible.
  • Engagement on Twitter is also way down compared to 2018, which others have pointed out is for mostly algorithmic reasons and there’s a whole slightly-ranty essay in there. But major kudos to all you RSS folk: I don’t know who you are but - one-time offer - drop me a note and I’ll buy you a coffee.

As for the week itself:

  • I beat Dread Mode on Monday, which was something of a feat. For the uninitiated, that’s a play-through of Metroid Dread’s highest difficulty in which a single hit results in a game-over. It’s been a real trial of patience but feels better than last year’s feat of reaching end-game in Phantasy Star Online.
  • On Wednesday I had a lot of fun debugging a broken SAML integration. I set out with big dreams and an open log-file, and ended up re-reading the docs. It worked first time: A lesson I wish I’d stop re-learning.
  • Helped by recent events at work and informed by the excellent advice at LeadingEng, I’ve made good progress towards one of my objectives: Coming up with a career plan. By mapping my values, I’ve narrowed down what I’d like to do to three areas and have begun mapping my skills against roles on those paths. Speaking to other engineers it’s surprising how few of us actively plan this way - something we should change!

As Rowan has mentioned this week has been quite fun with Kara, Arjun and Gallal’s birthdays and dinner with Lily, resulting in 2 trips to Pizza Pilgrims and at least 5 pizzas. I’m tired of pizza.

  • Following last week’s heatwave, Victoria Park’s luscious bright greens have faded to more autumnal shades of red and gold. Sitting on charred grass, I couldn’t ignore the writing on the wall.
  • Getting to and from Victoria Park during a train strike was exciting. Road trip there, District-line trek back.
  • Anyway I’ve eaten and drunk far too much this week. 😬
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© Alex Wilson 2022