Living dangerously, 128 and a monumental milestone

I am a man not known for his subtlety and tact, however, the other day I witnessed a jibe that was so monumentally cheeky that the act of emitting it could only be described as a dangerous sports pursuit. Yes, Robert T, asking a specific woman, let alone women, whether they wanted to partake in Movember in a team meeting is living dangerously. Have the streets of Glasgow become so calm that he has find another outlet for his adrenaline seeking? I don’t know but I know that he won’t be getting near the stationary cupboard anytime soon. Whilst I am on the subject of Movember could I ask that you support Mark Plumer.  For a whole month not only will he look stupid, his mother will not be talking to him, so he will need all the support he can get as the CIO rep for this very worthwhile cause. 

128. A simple number but also one that means a lot to Andy Ryan. It’s a type of barcode believe it or not! It is also the type of barcode that Wallet will be using. Apparently Andy only needs to look at a barcode and he knows what number is associated with it; it’s like rarified bird spotting for geeks and his family are very impressed. The team have estimated that they have 6 sprints to be dev complete across the Wallet Payment Services, Wallet Management UI and the Wallet App, a great achievement and will keep us on track for the February trial launch. Of course there is still a lot to do, particularly as there are a number of key dependencies that need stitching together. To bring together the overall programme plan Business Change have hired a Programme Manager called David Boast who joined the team last week and is already making his presence felt in a very positive way. You can’t miss him, in common with all the people in Rafaele Petruzzo’s team, he is very tall and wears a suit. 

Something monumental happened this week and almost passed unnoticed. We, as in the Digital Development Team, became the proud owners of all the environments that Deloitte used for development. Put another way this means we have the factory environments for both Tibco and Portal, our core platforms. Also, we didn’t just do a straight swap of the environments we also set them up in a way where they are very securely controlled,  all actions can be audited, we keep all log files and the spinning up of new environments is trivial. This is also a significant milestone towards being able to have fully flexible development and test environments meaning the route to live will become significantly easier.

Black Ops is morphing into a fully fledged support organisation, well it will do over time. We met with Alan Hyndman this week and he is fully supportive of us setting up a team to do 3rd line code support and defect triage for all the components in the Digital domain. I believe this is a key step forward for Tesco bank and ask that all of you support Mark as he sets up this team in both EHQ and Bangalore. I would also suggest that we have a team quiz for the best new name for this team as its responsibilities are changing. Some beer, or chocolate if you don’t drink, to the provider of the best suggestion. 

I am on Monday meeting some people from Government Digital Services and the Home Office to talk about what I have done at O2 and also what we are doing in TB in terms of agile, XP and business transformation. This is a follow on from a meeting I had with representatives from GDS and the Inland Revenue before I joined TB. As I have met them twice now they have promised to return the favour and come to EHQ in the near future to talk about what the Government is doing to become a more ‘digital organisation’ with the aims of driving down cost and increasing innovation. If you think about the projects that the Civil Service run this is a remarkable transition and should be a really interesting talk. I am also in the process of enticing Samsung up to EHQ for them to talk about Android and Apps, I will of course keep you informed of when the visits are being planned. 

We had another new starter this week. Alistair Nelson joined us from Storm ID, a small Digital Agency in Edinburgh to work in the Compare team. Alistair has a lot of experience and I would recommend you seek him out for a chat about working in a small entrepreneurial environment. 

Interesting list of start ups in this article looking to answer some key questions that are facing the FS industry. Have a read

http://finsurgency.com/financial-services/whats-the-big-idea/

I am not sure what to think about the following stat. 47% of all US adult users of Facebook get their news from the Facebook platform. Pew define news as “information about events and issues that involve more than just your friends or family” so even if this is to be believed this still means that over 50% don’t bother with news and given the life sucking properties of FB they will spend an inordinate amount of time on it.  Somewhat depressing, as based on the experience of a person I know intimately this would generally limit their world view  to what people had for dinner, how cute their dogs are, what time they got up, how drunk they are and the occasional ‘homespun’ wisdom that makes me want to punch someone. The internet is a little odd, it gives us unlimited access to knowledge across the globe and we as humans chose to focus on the trivia in our limited social networks. 

http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2013/10/24/pew-47-us-facebook-users-get-news-social-network-30-americans/

Interesting. Mobile credit card payment services without the hardware.

http://gigaom.com/2013/10/25/square-without-the-hardware-flint-raises-6m-to-process-payments-by-camera-phone/

I am off on leave next week to shout at the children so no blog from me. Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you all when I get back. 

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