Weeknote 2024-10

An abridged list of sins

  • I arrived back home from Washington DC this Sunday. We’ve now finished the annual Shopify Ruby Infrastructure Team Burst for this year. Where we all get together in person for a week and get to know what everyone else is working on and planning on building over the medium/long term.

    It was a supremely good time. We even took a team photo outside the Capitol (we did not storm it)!

  • As always it was wonderful and truly invigorating to be able to work and pair with my wonderful colleagues IRL. Almost as wonderful as it was to head out to dinner and drinks with them afterwards.

    I love the remote working life - I’ve been full-time remote for nearly 6 years now. But I’m honestly not sure I could keep doing it if I didn’t have regular opportunities to reconnect like this every once in a while. They don’t have to be often. I think I do 2, sometimes 3 a year. But they are absolutely game changing for my motivation and empathy at work.

  • Washington DC is a pretty walkable city, which made a refreshing change given my last experience of being in the US. My Apple Watch tells me I’ve averaged 12km of walking distance over the last week - which I’m pretty impressed with, considering of the last 7 days I’ve spent 3 in the same meeting room, and 2 on airplanes!

  • I will never fly United airlines voluntarily again. Here is an abridged list of the sins they committed:

    • Ran out of main meal options before getting to my seat on both legs of the trip.
    • Charging for alcohol (which should be illegal on cross pacific or cross atlantic flights imo)
    • Having no ability to heat water on one leg of the trip - and therefore no tea or coffee for the entire flight. The knock-on effect of which is that basically any soft drink containing caffeine was gone before I could get one.
    • They also managed to lose 3 lorry loads of bags between the plane and the terminal building in Dulles, culminating in a rather bemused announcement over the PA system, that they had misplaced these bag trucks, but don’t worry, they were looking for them really hard and would update us when they’d found them… And an hours wait for my bag on arrival at Washington.
  • I am jet-lagged and exhausted as all heck. But I’m still doing better than Liz: who came down with a hacking cough, chest cold and a fever the day after I left, and is currently unable to taste or smell anything.

  • It does sound an awful lot like COVID, despite a brand new set of test kits (exp 2025) testing both me and her as negative on multiple occasions.

  • I arrived back on Saturday, and Sunday in the UK is Mother’s Day, for which I was woefully underprepared! My kids made wonderful posters for Liz, which was very lovely to see. But I feel like a bad person for not having more things organised.