(Get yer shit together) Sunday Update

The trouble with not blogging for a while is that the list of things I want to tell you build up until the list is so long it’s practically impractical to blog about them all so I don’t and then the list grows and the days go and I end up not really knowing what to do!

Do you remember what it was like making things for the internet at the turn of the century? The way we web professionals didn’t really consider things like the experience of our users, or what the client needed so much as what we wanted to - or more to the point what we could - build and deliver? The way clients didn’t “understand technology” used to drive us crazy and we didn’t understand clients because some of their needs seemed petty and unimportant to us compared to the big picture and so our communication and collaboration was often token and poor and our projects tended to suffer with scope and budget creep. We then sometimes had to deal with unsatisfied clients and burnt out developers. It was stressful and not a lot of fun and we had to evolve fast to sort out a better way of working.

Various flavours of this attitude is continuing to be phased out as we and this digital industry matures and a lot of us have changed the way we work in the last decade choosing a more of a collaborative approach. We’re realising we need to educate our clients and bring them along with us as we deliver solutions. At the same time we’ve also realised we have a lot to learn from our clients. About the way they do things, what they need, what their problems are and what their organisations can bare to change or what software we need to bend because changing fundamental operating systems to make our lives easier could break the company even if it looks amazing on our porfolios and award cabinets.

Many of us have learned, and continue to learn these lessons. It makes for more successful projects and much richer client connections and development of rich and valuable company cultures. There are, however, a couple of pockets of the ‘old ways’ and attitudes still out there. I am not interested in working with people who are still stuck in that old way of thinking and treating people. Besides it being condescending and arrogant, it also produces and causes acceptance of poor work.

I need to dip into one of these old attitude pockets far too frequently for my liking and it’s contributed to a feeling of sadness and erosion of personal resilience.

That stops today (last Thursday, actually). It’s time to start dancing sideways and stop head bashing the brick wall that has been years in the building. This means mediocre work no longer gets a sign off or approved just because it’s as good as it gets/that’s how we’ve always done it/everyone’s worn out and doesn’t know any better. No tantrums, no tiaras, just an agreed level of quality that if not met will not be accepted. I’m done with the repetitive grey background I’ve let in these last few months and I’m ready to texture up the joint.

So let’s look at what’s coming up in the active and interesting world of The Jamjar for this Winter:

Climbing Mt Everest

Right out of the gate we go for a really big goal tempered by a pragmatic participant. Mt Everest is 8,848m tall (from sea level) which equates to climbing the stairs at work 407 times - so that’s how we’re going to achieve that goal. I need to iron out the details such as breaking the goal into milestones; determine measures; draw up a timeline.

I Quit Sugar

I don’t need a redo. I loved the program so much, I’ve signed up again. This time I’ve encouraged my sister, mother, and two work colleagues to join me learn to eat nutritiously dense delicious seasonal food that kicks sugar’s cravings to the curb. It started last Monday, and I’ll be taking way more photos of the food and posting them so you can follow me on Instagram if you fancy it.

Rails Girls

Getting more women into programming is good for the community, and for the industry. This is the first time Rails Girls’ weekend has come to Auckland and I’m lucky enough to be able to attend. See, they need more grandmothers who program too. I am personally invested having three young grand daughters who I intend to entomb in the basement and have them churn out apps that will make me rich beyond my wildest dreams. But first things first, I’m gonna get a bite of that Ruby cherry!

100 Days Project

Want to do something every day for one hundred days? Registration is now open. While I’m a notorious starter and a non-finisher, I did manage to complete the I Quit Sugar 8 week challenge so maybe I have another “finish” in my somewhere.

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So that’s me feeling better and you updated. I have a roast lamb about to come out of the oven, to be served with seasonal vegeable and shared with family. The rabbits are good and the weather is cool and clear. Monday is going to be awesome and so are you.