Weeknotes 2021.02: Vaguely sketchy
I failed to take many notes this week so I’m going to be doing this from memory. Honestly not a ringing endorsement of my ability to keep up this weeknotes thing, but at least this post made it onto the internet on time so maybe that’s enough for now?
I’m still in touch with the lovely man at the running shop. He watched my video, assessed that I do something called overpronating and then dropped round 3 pairs of shoes which I’ve been wearing around the house for the last week. The best substitute for a treadmill I could think of has been running around our open plan kitchen, so I did a lot of that.
Anyway. I’ve picked a pair now: The Saucony Omni ISO 2. They aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as my other shortlisted choice, but they were much more comfortable after a few hours at the standing desk. I now need to pay for them, and wait for the running shop man to collect the other two. I still haven’t been for a run yet.
As for many people, last week was my first week back to work in 2021. I started off the year by reflecting on what I felt I had acomplished in the last few months and the answer was “not as much as I wanted to”. So I started making steps to fix that - I’ve scheduled a regular pairing session with someone on my team who’s experience and advice I respect a lot, and I’m currently working on pairing with people outside the company too. My main goal is to level up my ability to contribute to MRI (and other Ruby implementations) as far and as fast as possible.
Peter is back! Peter and I are working on a project together, but he was pulled away from it at the end of last year to help out with some really important work around BFCM.
I was on paternity leave for some of that time, but I worked alone for the rest. I was determined to use the time to learn a lot and make enough progress that I wouldn’t feel like a total burden by the time Peter came back, and I think I mostly acheived that.
However, I wasn’t prepared for quite how lonely I’d feel tackling the same thing day after day in isolation - I’ve had experience of this with my previous project, which I worked on alone for many months - but for the previous project, I knew the language and domain and I was confident in my ability.
It feels much more isolating when you’re working in a language, paradigm and domain in which you are completely unfamiliar. Self-directed learning is tough, and opportunities for distraction and procrastination are rife. You think I’d have already figured this out after working in EdTech for 5 years.
On a similar note. Peter and I have been pairing a bunch again. And we’ve been busy, submitting bug fixes to Ruby that we’ve come across while attempting to get our current branch into a state where it’s ready to be seen. I am excited to be making progress and I’m hoping we can get a proper PR up soon. We’re working in the open, but it’s very far from being ready yet.
I watched Taeha Types build a Keycult No. 2/65. As well as being in awe of how beautiful an object it is, I was also somewhat inspired by how the assembly works. I went back and re-worked the case design for my keyboard. I’ve not been brave enough to go with completely hidden screws like the Keycult, mostly because doing so would require a complete redesign of my PCB to build in the required screw holes. But I did build a seamless design, and made my plate gasket mount rather than the original Kyuu-inspired top mount. I feel like this design is evolving into something more my own, rather than a complete Kyuu knock-off, which is basically what it started as. I 3D printed a sample to test and it looks like this idea is workable!
This process is giving me a better appreciation of how and why Keycult boards cost as much as they do (but I still don’t understand how much some people are willing to pay for them).
Here are some pictures of the in-progress design:
- It was Liz’s birthday this week. Lockdown birthday’s are never the most interesting, but we had a nice chilled out time. went for a long walk with the kids, made an appropriately sickly (but amazing) cake together and had takeout pizza for dinner.
- I’m jealous of all the other people who do weeknotes, and who’s posts show up on twitter with lovely cards. I’ll get round to writing the required opengraph shenenanigans at some point. Probably. Maybe.