Weeknotes: 6-12 Jan 2020

It wasn't until I wrote a “decade in review” draft post and my husband informed me it read like a school essay (it really did) that I realised I needed to chisel the rust off my writing skills. I'm hoping that writing regular weeknotes will provide an opportunity to rediscover my voice and get into the habit of writing more regularly. “But I used to do it all the time,” I whinged, until I realised that posting teenage angst and heavily edited photos on my LiveJournal doesn't quite match up to what I'm hoping to achieve at 30.

Work kicked off Properly again on Monday, which I welcomed. As much as I enjoyed spending the Christmas break in a semi-comatose state in front of Red Dead Redemption 2, it was time to rejoin the land of the living.

I've been making a conscious effort to articulate my goals for this year to my colleagues, including getting more experience leading projects and increasing the amount of shitposting in our web engineering Slack channel to build a sense of community. Having goals is one thing, but if your colleagues don't know about them, they can't help you achieve them.

I've switched to an iPhone this year, and despite owning Apple products in some form since 2009, I'm constantly having to ask my husband how to do things on it. I find myself tapping things irritably and audibly despairing, which is something I've frequently witnessed my mum do. My mum, who showed me how to add more RAM into a computer when I was a child. I wonder if this is it now, and technology will only become harder for me. I should just pack it in and start buying those magazines you get in WHSmiths that tell old people how to use iPads.

On Wednesday I went along to the premiere of Season 2 of Sex Education at the Genesis Cinema in Stepney Green. A good dose of gut-clenching cringe in the first two minutes opened what looks set to be a great second series. In an entirely separate turn of events unrelated to us getting these tickets, two friends and I recorded some backing vocals for the a capella scenes in both series. A later episode in Season 2 features us singing something rather rude which I don't think I'm allowed to post about yet. You can hear us twice in the first episode, filling out the a capella scenes…

One of my personal goals this year is to speak more at meetups and conferences. I sat down on Saturday and tried to map out my experience, hobbies and skills in an attempt to identify things I could potentially do talks or write blog posts about, but I ended up getting frustrated. I really enjoy public speaking and sharing knowledge, but knowing what to actually talk about is the hardest part for me. I'm dealing with impostor syndrome at the moment around my own knowledge and whether or not I actually have something unique to say to the tech community at large. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has experienced something similar.

Saturday evening promised a trip the theatre to see Magic Goes Wrong but the show, er, went wrong and had to be cancelled due to a bomb threat. The manager came on stage the moment the show was about to start and informed everyone that we had to evacuate, but given the nature of the play everyone thought it was part of the show! It was only after we filed out and saw the flashing lights and police tape that we realised it wasn't some elaborate piece of immersive theatre. We returned home on the bus (trains aren't running, naturally) with sad faces.

Sunday was spent adding a ton of content to my RSS reader (another goal for 2020: broaden my techy horizons) and going for another run. I managed to finish Couch to 5k last year before dramatically spraining my ankle, and getting back into it has been a challenge to say the least - especially while it's so dark in the morning.

Thanks to iOS's Screen Time app, I realised with a cartoon gulp quite how much time I spend on Twitter. I've followed Andy's advice and restricted my Twitter timeline to try and curb my addiction. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of being less Extremely Online and more “Reasonably Online”. Now there's a resolution I'm unlikely to keep.