Gateway games, hatches and the amazing hypnotic powers of Mark

I was walking past the canteen window a little late the other night when I spied through the corner of my eye two of the team, of the male of the species, sat opposite each other shuffling cards. Believing in sustainable pace I was concerned they were working late on something so I immediately made phone contact through the window; I wasn’t concerned enough to make it back through the security barriers and commune in person. I had thought they were trialling a brand new way of designing app UX using playing cards, alas no! They sheepishly admitted to playing a game, and after further hectoring from me admitted that it was a fantasy role playing game called Netrunners. If you don’t know about role play, these are the kind of games where you pretend to be somebody else and that your fantasy character can beat up somebody else’s fantasy character, or my Elf can take your Dwarf/Orc/Unicorn….. If you wish to play the game you can find out more here http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/124742/android-netrunner. I would urge caution because these are clearly ‘gateway games’ to full blown LARPing. Live Action Role Playing, a tragic affliction that leads to grown men and ladies dressing up a ‘little’ and seeking the company of their own kind….

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I of course will exercise discretion and not actually name these gamers but one was Greek and the other has lost a lot weight recently. The amazing thing is they both have women at home. 

A member of the team became a Granny last night. Yes, Lesley’s daughter finally decided it was time for the little bundle of joy to enter the world. Ollie Ross was born at 19.51hrs. Mother and son are doing well. I don’t know the weight, nor am I interested so don’t ask me. In fact I am not very interested in new borns, including my own, they do very little of interest. I would rather speak to Mark P about his cacti collection than hold a new born. For some strange reason women, particularly mothers, are insanely interested despite them having experienced the process of getting them out which I am led to believe smarts a bit. Anyway for those of you who want to look at a picture of new life see below. 

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Mark Plumer has finally moved into his flat. This will be a relief to all those who have been press-ganged into helping the invalided Black Ops supremo. There is still some work to be done so my advice is to avoid his gaze otherwise you will yourself round there one day doing some painting, joinery, sewing, cleaning……I think he has hypnotic powers, he must, Fen was doing some cleaning the other night. He doesn’t even do that at home. Joking aside it was really nice to see people rally around and help Mark, it says a lot about Scotland and Irish fathers.

A number of us were invited to spend some time on Tuesday evening having pizza with Chris B and Derek T this week. There is no such thing as a free pizza as I, Mark P, Alistair B, David M, Ken Aitken, Andy R and Markos C found out. We were there to workshop some ideas around strategy to support the bank’s Digital strategy refresh. We weren’t idle as we generated 71 ideas grouped under how we remove friction for our customers and how we remove the internal friction that prevents us delivering for our customers. If you want to have a look at them they are all in Jira under a project called IT Digital Strategy. We will be refining this raw output over the coming weeks and I will of course keep you informed as we progress. 

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Ivan Zero Defects Corner.

Feisty quote from Ivan this week. 

“Testing at the end is trying to solve problems created in the past, time travel is expensive and when I last looked is not quite production ready!”

He has also made me aware of this great post from the Tea Driven Development blog. I recommend you have a look.

http://blog.mattwynne.net/2013/05/09/two-ways-to-react/

 
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Fight. Who wins between Facebook and Twitter. An interesting article, worth reading as there are some interesting facts in there, for example, Facebook connect is the No.1 referrer of traffic to Spotify and 2 million sites have integrated Facebook connect. 

  PandoDaily3 reasons Facebook will beat Twitter (and 2 reasons Twitter will beat Facebook) http://t.co/tjvNcjWqoD by @SteveTappin06/02/2014 21:32

100’s of billions of Tweets. Twitter is looking to grant academics access to their entire back catalogue of tweets. I wonder what sort of insight this will drive?  
http://gigaom.com/2014/02/06/twitters-data-grants-and-the-proprietary-data-conundrum/

We are insignificant, we really are! Look at this picture of the earth shot from Mars.

http://explore.noodle.org/post/75853924827/a-quarter-century-after-the-pale-blue-dot-the

Mike, Mark and I set off for India on Sunday. Having Captain Haphazard in tow I am a little nervous. Anyway I am looking forward to meeting the team out there, building a great relationship, finding out how far Tesco have got with their Continuous Deployment work and letting them know what great things the team in EHQ are doing. Next week’s ‘blog’ will be an India special so lots more to follow on how we are going to work with HSC and PLC.

Have a great weekend everybody.

NEW STARTERS 

We have a couple of new starters in the team. So rather than me just give their names I have asked them to write a few lines about themselves. First up is Cameron Jones
I recently joined Tesco Bank on the IT and Business Change Graduate Scheme after spending 17 years in various forms of education, the last four of which were spent at the University of Edinburgh studying Mathematical Physics and pondering the mysteries of the universe. My first rotation was in the FRMIT IT Delivery team where I learnt a lot and met at lot of great people, but my current four month rotation is in Digital IT where I get to live the good life for four months before having to leave and return to spreadsheets once again.
Followed by Colin McRoberts
Fifer born and bred so you had better hope the old saying that “breeding will out” is not true.
Computer Science degree at Edinburgh Uni when the MMI still included paper tape and punched cards and when removable disk was something like a stack of fragile dinner plates and had a capacity measured in kilo bytes if you were lucky.
Started my career at ICL in Reading before they were swallowed by Fujitsu, then had a brief foray into the banking world at Chase Manhattan Securities which was enough to put me off banking until now. Moved to Vodafone where I was the proud owner of the latest Motorola trans-mobile – meaning you could use it in the car and the pub.

 
Even bigger and heavier than a Tesco Bank laptop.
 After 10 years in the wilderness (England) returned to Scotland with a succession of jobs at KSCL (mobile billing), then Kit software(commodity trading) , GE Energy (Electricity Network Management) and  latterly Schneider Electric (Energy Consultancy).
Somewhere in amongst all that managed to find time to have two children, Michael and Catriona, both now teenagers. We’re all black belts in Taekwon do, which means twice a week I get to beat up my kids – though these days I’m the one likely to come home with the bruises.

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