Weekly Journal: Week 9, 2019

Last week was reasonably intense. I started it by reading “The Critical Chain” by Eliyahu Goldratt – which was a fantastic read – over the weekend. Monday, I started investigating how we might implement this in our project management tools and processes to see if it has an impact. Given the pressure the project team have on them right now with a product launch imminent (today) I didn’t push this very hard – but I will come back to it this week.

Intercom

Configured Intercom for a client and integrated it in with a software platform we have been working on for them. I started seeing the potential of building support workflows and routing. It’s a polished product – you can tell they spent a heck of a lot of time working on the user experience.

Writing

I was hit with inspiration multiple times over the course of last week with writing ideas. I’m not quite sure which ones should happen first, but the basic overviews are:

  1. Expanding on the original Old – New whitepaper with a trilogy: one distilled and refined to focus on mapping legacy technology to UX, one on finding, mapping and managing legacy data and the final one on strategies for bridging the code and security models. The original Old vs New whitepaper was trying to achieve too much in a single narrative – you can see why.
  2. User Experience archaeology. Looking at old software on old computers to understand where user experience concepts come from and where they might be going. I find it interesting that through technology we have developed universal languages of design that transcends spoken or written languages yet they are able to convey complex ideas effectively. It seems the codified rules for user interface design are intrinsic in the language of design itself – and as technology and human behaviours adapt – so does the language.
  3. The final one is more of a personal piece which may not ever make it – but I have been considering this for a long long time – and reading Maps of Meaning around the same time as reading What We Cannot Know helped to clarify my thinking about the relationship of God, spirituality, culture and social structures. I have committed to working through reading the Summa Theologica over the next month or so – which will probably adjust my thinking even more.

Code

Continued working on the Python modular data science platform. Finally released the data to client from the V1 branch, so migration to the V2 code branch is happening in earnest. The only really interesting changes last week were getting a little more fancy with the code – (but I’m still elbow deep in debugging right now, so not too exciting.) and moving off WSL.

I have loved my time using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as I much feel more at home using BASH than DOS – and Java and Python are really at home on a BSD or Linux based machine. The fundamental problem though is that I am constantly trying to straddle two operating systems – in every way – I need two installations of Anaconda, two copies of every library – so I can debug in my IDE and run from the command line. It just defeated the convenience – so I finally bit the bullet and purchased VMWare Player. It’s better (in my opinion) than VirtualBox, but still – it is nowhere near as convenient as WSL.

Oh, and this was a fun video…

This video took me back! I remember using one of these Quantel babies after-hours when I did work-experience in my last year of high school. It was an amazing bit of kit even in 1992!

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