Scotland is melting

Yes its official, it is too hot. I had to have a cold shower last night, something I had not anticipated when I took the job. I will need to revisit my decision to purchase a weeks worth of long johns. Still can’t complain it gives us all an excuse to sup drinks of the cold alcoholic variety alfresco style and none of us have made a career choice to be ceremonial bag piper at Edinburgh Waverley. Bearskin hats aren’t practical.  I believe it will go on next week so stock up on cold drinks, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.

The pace in the office has also been quite hot too as we get closer to the implementation of the Single View and Mobile Banking code bases into PPE in preparation for their testing phases. I know a lot of people have worked some very long hours and have turned around a deployment that looked at the beginning of the week to be a very daunting if not impossible task. Today the task list looked a lot better but we won’t know until Monday exactly what slot we will get because of other PPE testing but we need to get prepared for a deployment that will take us through next weekend. There is a long list of people to thank for the herculean effort so far but I would like to single out in our team Karan, Richard, Carol, David, Steve, Rob T, Rob F and Paul. I also think the approach we have taken this week certainly validates valuing ‘individuals and interactions over process and tools’.

Mike Ritchie our new Development Manager started on Monday this week. I know he is working his way round the team this week but if you can’t wait go for a coffee with him.  He has some really good ideas about how we can implement coding standards, ensure good XP practices are adopted and encouraging continual learning. If you are a developer and want to ‘develop’ I firmly believe you are in the right place. Sean ‘two brains’ Reilly has departed after helping the Wallet team set up their AWS implementation, install Jenkins, write a skeleton API service, burn some story points and work on a POC for the easy implementation of the Wallet service to web sites. The POC is really interesting – it is a Javascript API that negates the need for the site consuming the wallet to write the front end user interface but still gives them the option to style the content provided by the API. If you are interested I would talk to Andy, Martin or Rod.  Iain Frame, a new permanent Developer with some good Agile experience starts on Monday and will be joining the Wallet team.

Talking of Wallets I was made aware of an online payment service in the US that is really popular. Have a look –  stripe.com. They also have an interesting marketing  approach as they have accelerated adoption by targeting developers. Related is an interesting article which asks whether Visa and Mastercard have had their day?

http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/feature/2270659/a-revolution-on-the-cards-are-the-likes-of-visa-and-mastercard-doomed/page/3

We had Quentin and Matt from Cohaesus come up from London to talk to some people from the Digital team about their experiences of delivering content, UX and technology. They are an interesting company in that they don’t directly deal with clients as they are brought in by above the line agencies to help with implementing digital strategies. The content of their presentation was very interesting and very much confirms the need to have multi disciplinary teams delivering features for customers. I will share their slides when I get them.

Some more sharing below. First up is a interesting article about why Google behaves the way it does. Well worth a read.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/09/google-android-reader-why

Another great one from Jo, brings to life why it is very important for us as a developer community to adopt and respect open standards.

http://www.slideshare.net/cheilmann/mozilla-the-web-and-you-including-notes

I have a rival. Amjid has started a newsletter – I forwarded earlier today – some really good links. Well worth a read.

Finally, I couldn’t finish this week’s blog without mentioning Tony’s shorts. I think the weather has got to him – when I started he was wearing suits and now he thinks nothing of donning some shorts with flowers on! Tony you are joining the Android team next week – they have standards – no shorts but they will expect you to sport a Star Wars tattoo or two.

Have a great weekend everybody.

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