Weekly Journal: Week 2, 2019

Last week was interesting – I had a bunch of things going on at once and all of them were kind of interesting. In fact, it would not be hard to write a full essay on each of these.

Reading

I finished 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson, and I can thoroughly recommend it. It can require some reflection moments rather than reading the whole way through – definitely worth the investment in time.

Listening to the lectures by Eliyahu Goldratt called Beyond the Goal – examining the Theory of Constraints. I was inspired to read his book (called The Goal) and then listen to these lectures after reading the Pheonix Project. My thinking is that there is the ability to apply the Theory of Constraints to a software engineering professional services organisation like Thinking.Studio – a lot of the heavy lifting was already done in the Phoenix Project, however, there the focus was primarily DevOps, so I felt like understanding first principles was a good idea. There is something there to adapting measures like Inventory-Dollar-Days and Thoughput-Dollar-Days into a professional services business that would simplify out more traditional measures like ‘actual to estimate’ which are ‘local optima’.

Software

Spend the week engrossed in writing Python data cleansing tools. Came across a few interesting questions;

1/ when is AI better to use than rules-based solutions?

2/ what is the trade-off with AI services versus training your own models?

These are worth answering in future blog posts as the answers are quite involved. Needless to say, these are the issues I was facing last week, and will continue to work through this week as well. I also updated some example code demonstrating some fuzzy-matching strategies that I will use in an upcoming blog post as well.

IT

I had to do an emergency PF Sense rebuild. Luckily I managed to salvage a configuration before the hard disk running the firewall completely failed. Entire machine and firewall rebuild in less than an hour was amazing. PF Sense even goes and installs the packages used by the configuration in the background after restoring a backup. Just brilliant.

I have two design workstations I have been updating with external storage. One machine needed a low-end drive while the other needed a high-performance solution. The high-performance solution chosen was an Akitio four bay drive chassis in which we put some fast solid-state drives. The interesting thing was the attention Akitio pay to the ‘experience’ of unboxing and owning their drive that matched the not-small pricetag. It felt ‘worth it’. I love the idea that these tactile and aesthetic touches can have. Something to consider this year when we deliver solutions for clients.

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