Dresses, a cautionary tale concerning personal data and real work

Well I couldn’t start this week’s update without acknowledging that I put a wig and dress on and got up in front of the CIO town hall and did a dance to Beyonce’s ‘Put a Ring on It’. What possessed me, was it the start of a breakdown or a protest at societal conventions that deny me the option of wearing a nice dress should I choose?  Sadly the truth is little more prosaic than this, in time honoured tradition I accepted a bet after having a few drinks and a nice meal. Is this a man thing, I think so, as I don’t often hear about women accepting rash bets under the influence? Anyway there are now photos that will follow me around for the rest of my career but on a real positive note a not inconsiderable sum was raised for CCLASP. 

I thought the whole day was really worthwhile and it was great to hear the drive to becoming a ‘Digital’ bank getting so much prominence. Puts quite a bit of pressure on us but is something we should welcome and think about how we can help other teams in the bank understand what ‘digital’ is and how we can help each other. 

As most of you know we are getting really close to the limited test launch of the iOS banking app. To facilitate this Claire G has been out purchasing older Apple devices to ensure we get full test coverage. She got quite a shock when she checked one of them and found photos of a personal nature. Lets say that ‘selfies’ normally include clothes and don’t form part of a conversation thread. A cautionary reminder that we need to be careful with our digital presence. Putting aside the obvious question about how somebody could be so stupid as to not wipe their phone, there are also questions about whether we really own our digital footprint, for example, can we leave our digital assets in a will? A deep subject I think, maybe for another newsletter. I will also be cautioning my children when they get older that if they are ever tempted to pose ‘au naturel’ that a nice pencil sketch is better option.

I have evidence of real men/scruffy buggers (delete as appropriate) doing real work. The dev LAN is almost here and it will have WiFi. Nobody could accuse them of doing something soft like programming. Have a look below. There is also a modest prize to the person who can identify what they were manhandling into the cabinets.


Some really good ‘brown bag’ presentations this week. The AWS guys on Wednesday providing some deep insight into what they can offer. I remember when they started in Europe and had a handful of people in Luxembourg now it is a question of who they aren’t hosting. Today we had Iain Frame giving a really interesting talk on ‘Lean’, certainly something we should get the rest of the business thinking about. 

Talking about Amazon, are they wanting to take over everything?


A web designer and entrepreneur’s view of meaningful work. Some good thinking here, I like the idea that he writes 500 words every day to increase his chance of writing something good, even though he often writes rubbish. I could be accused of writing rubbish every Friday afternoon but I persevere. 


Are the internet giants providing our ‘soma’? Thought provoking article here, also a timely reminder of how good a writer Aldous Huxley was


Heard and seen at Edinburgh Waverley today. A tannoy announcement informed me that a train this afternoon was cancelled due to ‘passenger disruption’. I have no idea what the disruption was but I am intrigued, what could a passenger do on a sunny Friday afternoon to cause a train to be cancelled? A paper headline giving some salient facts about Glasgow. Half the population is single, population growth is higher than expected and Glaswegians generally feel unhealthier than other people in Scotland. Could these things be connected? I’ll leave it up to you to draw a conclusion. 

Have a great weekend. 


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