Weekly Braindump #41

Purpose, Conferences and Giant Tickets

Here’s another weekly roundup of the things which I’ve been doing, thinking about and reading for the past 7 days. This is a slightly delayed braindump (again) which was due (again) to a busy week going into a busy weekend.

What I’ve been working on…

I’m digging through my notes. Monday+ Tuesday mostly blurred into a mish mash of admin and planning. This indistinct blurry-nes is usually a reliable indicator that I need to book some holiday time and disconnect for a bit. The fact that these posts have been late two weeks running is another indicator!!

Wednesday was a day off for childcare.. although I couldn’t resist the urge to reply to some emails that I semi-accidentally caught sight of. Whilst it headed off a problem to deal with the next day, I chastised myself for doing work when I’m supposed to be present elsewhere. Naughty!

Thursday involved diving through the helpdesk and pitching in where I could. Resolved a particularly annoying problem that involved a certain large British Telecommunications company missing their SLA’s for the second time in four weeks. *slow clap*

Just to spice things up, one the few remaining physical servers we have developed a disk fault. That resulted in wracking my brains to remember to what extent for this I could simply plug a replacement drive into the RAID or if there was any additional stuff I needed to do (I didn’t).

Friday was a bit of a mad dash trying to close multiple loops. Seemingly, lots of people are on holiday at the moment which makes it really tricky to get confirmation on stuff.

What I’ve been thinking about…

For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about purpose. What is my mission statement. Are my actions aligned with that mission? Could I be doing anything different?

As a bit of a fan of working more openly, I wondered whether the value I add internally and externally to my organisation were different, and if so, in what respect? Also, I have assumptions about the ways I’m trying to put a dent in the universe, but does that match reality and the perception of others?

I decided that as a starting point to answer some these questions, I’d put a survey out and see how people perceived my actions. Once I’ve got a meaningful number of responses, I’ll write up a post on the results and reflect on what they might mean.

What else?

Conferences.. what are they good for? I enjoyed this provocation from Neil Goodrich. What is the point of a conference and do they result in any outcomes. More importantly, do conference organisers consider these points?

For better or worse, the Internet has given everyone a voice and a way to easily interact. I wonder to what extent my willingness to sit and passively listen to someone has been shaped by this. I admit this opinion might be shaped on feeling a bit jaded following one too many barely disguised sales pitches.

What else?

Had a good chat/moan with Dave Floyd about the user centred-ness of Arriva Trains Wales (or lack thereof). Whoever designed the paper tickets obviously never actually travels by train on a daily basis. Witness how the ticket (which is supposed to fit in a pocket/wallet/purse) is demonstrably longer than my laptop.

What I’ve been reading…

What I’ve been listening to…

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