Cacti, Rocky Road to Ruin and Champagne

Mark has bought us a Cacti which is nice. I don’t know what type it is but I am assured that it will be turning up in the office on Monday. We only need to water it once a year so I am fairly confident  that we won’t kill it. Maybe we should name it, anybody got any thoughts? 
Yes I am on the road to ruin. The Rocky Road that Lizzie brought in was the final straw. It was delicious but as I shovelled several pieces into by gob it brought on a realisation that I am eating too many treats in the office. My waist line in expanding and staring in the mirror makes me realise that I am in danger of resembling that famous Scottish son, Rab C Nesbit. Feel free to abuse me if you see me tucking into any treats in the office as I need all dissuading I can get.
If anybody wonders why on some mornings I bounce around the office it is because I have an endorphin high. The reason for this is I have started cycling in which I would recommend to everybody. Edinburgh has a fantastic cycle network which makes the commute from Haymarket to EHQ a delight. It it certainly much better than Leeds which in parts was a bit hair raising. One of the Leaders at Tesco attributes is Resilience which includes keeping fit, so give it a go.
Champagne. Well there will be once we get Single View and the mobile banking code into production. A large number of the Digital Development team are all working flat out to get us ready for this and we have a a dry run planned this weekend. If the dry run is successful we will be going  into production overnight on the 21st September. When this happens it will represent a significant achievement by the Mobile Banking and Single View teams, especially when you consider we have a merged code base and the route to live is the most torturous I have ever seen. It will also represent a big step forward for the business  as this is a key enabler for the PCA programme. So if anybody from these teams asks for your help please extend all the support you can. Note to Derek – I won’t get them drunk in the office and it won’t be claimed on expenses.
I spent a couple of hours at Sky Scanners last night. Carlyle Associates arranged an introduction to Conrad Chin, my equivalent at Sky Scanners. It’s always interesting to see how other people in a different sector approach digital development. If you know anybody in other businesses I would fully recommend you go and speak to them as it helps with another one of the Leadership skills – Innovation. I learnt a few interesting things whilst I was there that I thought I would share with you. Firstly, they have a monthly release cycle but would like more frequent releases and are working towards this. I suspect once we get our development environments and build pipelines fully operational across all development we will be ahead of them in terms of our development practices. Secondly, whilst they had a groovy office, complete with migraine inducing wallpaper, their dev stations were static, uniform and they routinely didn’t do pairing. Thirdly, they had a lego model of the Death Star. I asked why they had this and was told it was there to remind them of a failed IT project and to prompt them not to attempt to develop any ‘Death Stars’ in future. A good practice I think and one that I would like us to apply in Tesco bank – can you think of anything that we are doing that is too big and complex? If you can please challenge as we need to constantly refactor our processes, as well as our code, to keep things as simple as possible. Remember we are a small organisation and don’t need complex processes adding in considerable cost and frustration.
I will be meeting Conrad again as we are hoping to join forces with other digital organisations in Edinburgh to promote the city as a great place to have a career in development. As this progresses I will get more people in the team involved as we certainly have a lot to boast about.
Black Ops or Cacti Man and the Mink botherer as they are otherwise known will be in London next week. They are not off to a show or anything like that but they are spending some time with a Dev Ops guy called ‘Hargreaves’ and Deloitte to work through the transfer of the development environments built by Deloitte to environments in our control. The work is planned to be completed by the end of September.  This is great news for us all as it gives us more autonomy and the ability to manage our own development and test environments – imagine a world where we don’t have to fight for a slot in PPE to test any of our releases or analyse any issues that may arise in production!
We said goodbye to a couple of people this week. Carol Graham and Robert Fraser as their contracts have come to an end. I would personally like to say thanks very much to them and thank them for their efforts. 
I demand a modicum of sympathy. My daughter is having her birthday party this weekend, which is fine, what is not is the fact that I will be stuck in a Guide hut with 30 children, a magician and a bloody DJ. The noise will be really insane, worse than any hen party I suspect. Maybe I could liven it up a bit more by telling some of them that Santa doesn’t exist, what do you think?
I really like this info graphic. It is a great reminder of the relative youth of the Internet and the explosive growth that it has experience.

Funny video about scrum. I am not sure we should follow any of these practices, tempted though I am some times. 
Fathers out there. Would you do this because I wouldn’t?

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