Poor Fen, Mike the nutter, Southerners in disguise and odd objects

Poor Fen was made to go to the Big Smoke, the big city with lots of fancy people far, far south of The Wall. Why poor Fen? Well, his previous trip didn’t end well when they stole his pants; and they were pretty pricy pants I can tell you, I saw the receipts. So he now has even more of an aversion to the ‘Big Smoke’ than you could reasonably expect from a man who considers Balerno a bit a bustling metropolis. Therefore, he could only be described as experiencing serious trepidation at the prospect of the trip. His only consolation was that Captain Haphazard was coming with him to act as some of sort of hazard shield; the theory being that all the bad stuff happens to Mark first and Fen could run out of the way. Well, Captain H failed to extract his ticket from the machine at the station. He came into the office with some cock and bull story about the ‘number not being right’. I suspect he had gone to ‘Stratties’ for a quick liven’r of Scotland’s favourite wine based aperitif before he headed to the station in a befuddled manner. Since moving to Scotland he has picked up quite a number of Scottish habits. Anyway, poor Fen was left to go the land of pant stealers on his own. I can’t imagine his state of mind but I suggest if you quickly look at the following images and close your eyes you might get an idea of his mind state on that trip…

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.56.30 Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 14.08.12 Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 14.08.48

BTW. I believe the conference was a good one on Dev Ops so go and have a chat with him. He has recovered from his ordeal.
Mike ‘Arnold Bastard’ Ritchie is an odd man, a really odd man. You may recall there was what you could describe as a little difficulty when we were in Bangalore, as a result of him consuming weird cocktails. His taste in drinks is even worse than Derek’s, and he drinks Sambuca! Here is a little reminder of his fragile mental state whilst in India.
2014-02-12 20.27.33
Anyway, I have it on good authority that he managed to terrify the graduates at last nights Grad get together. These poor young people are fresh out of university and they had to endure Mike in full rant on a whole range of C++ related topics as a result of drinking high octane cocktails. Here is the one he was drinking last night, I believe it is called the ‘Type II Diabetes’. The graduates were drinking water, which was a good thing, as they had to help bundle Mike out of the bar after he threatened to start on his ‘assembly memory block’  fun stories after he had finished two hours of anecdotes on the command line japery he has enjoyed.
We have a new Programme Manager on Wallet. The guy is called Jarrod Brinsfield. I was talking to him the other night and he was trying to convince me he was British. He told me that he had a Brompton bicycle and liked to cycle it around wearing his bowler hat. However, I am convinced he hails from the other side of the pond in a southern direction. The evidence? Well he kept talking about his partner Daisy and that she wore ‘dooks’, he was chewing tobacco and he showed me a picture of his car..
Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.54.51
I am going to start a new competition. It is called ‘What the hell is that on my desk’. A can of ‘Buckies’ to the person who can guess ‘what the hell’ this is…
 2014-09-26 11.50.42
Clue. Claudia wouldn’t have one, ever.
This weekly nonsense has been going on for quite some time and somebody may even read it. If you do and are interested in back copies you can access the archive here…
We recently sponsored a small start up called Product forge. They run hack weekends and we were there to mentor and look for future talent. Here is their Twitter feed, see if you can spot the people from Tesco Bank.
If you ever wanted to know what the digits on your credit/debit card meant, then here is the link for you.


Github language trends. Some of the trends are surprising..
Andrew ’20 miles from the front line’ Littlejohns sent me these links on Front End Dev Ops. An interesting concept and well worth reading.
A couple of links on Front-end ops…


Maps that explain the internet
Ivan ‘Zero Defects’ with another compelling and thought provoking column.
The herd can only run as fast as the slowest buffalo (the theory of constraints)

It obvious to me that to reduce risk reduce your batch size and deliver constantly, because when things go wrong the rework is minimal. In all systems there is a bottleneck. The project is unable to run faster, this behaviour is magnified when that overall pipeline works in different ways (handovers + silos = more risk) . In  projects where code is being produced in small batch sizes with continuous feedback but queues up while the downstream pipe is blocked risk increases. Projects struggle to manage a small amount of releases while wondering why other lean companies who understand can deploy faster (sometimes hundreds of releases per day) but also continuously improve. To stand any chance identify, fix, move to the next one (repeat). If you try to “manage” your way out using the same process then there is always another crisis down the road.



Crushed by the forces of complexity

When I saw that cell structure from PLC I understood why it takes us so long to get anything done, to deliver a product dozens of “cells” had to talk to each other while prioritising their own internal world. In this world a simple database restart takes several days! From my dictionary, a cell can be i) a locked room or,  ii) a small secret subversive organisation.



We say goodbye to David Boast whom a number of you will know was the Programme Manager on PayQwiQ. David had a hell of job when he joined the team to pull together the various programme streams across the bank and group and I can confidently say he is handing over a programme in better shape than when he joined. Thanks for that David and good luck with all your future projects.
Claude Hanhart

I am an Agile transformation Sherpa and passionate about building high functioning teams.

My industry experience spans work at corporations including Financial Services, Alternative Investments, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Location Based Services (LBS), Remote Sensing, Digital Map Data, and Daily Deals Commerce.
I was born in Zurich, Switzerland and lived in Chicago for 14 years before coming to Scotland.

I have two furry kids: An English Cocker Spaniel and a Scottish Terrier.

Niels Kee
I’m joining Tesco Bank from Sky, where for the last few years I’d been a Scrum Master for their CRM platform. Before that I got to work as a dev team leader in such exotic places as Kolkata, Barcelona and the rougher side of Liverpool. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing my part bringing Agile to banking. In the last few months, I’m a recent proud dad for the first time, so I apologise in advance if I show you pictures incessantly (she is very cute though). Professionally, I want to make agile fun and interesting as I think the best way to engage someone is to make them curious. Come and say hello. I support Blackburn Rovers football club, sadly.
Have a great weekend everybody. I am not in the office next week so will see you all the following week.

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