Weeknotes 28 Jul 2018

Weeknotes 28 Jul 2018

I came across weeknotes earlier this week.

Considering I've wanted to write more and it's sometimes not so easy to come up with a topic to blog about, reflections on my past week seems like an evergreen way to stick to it. Let's see how I do from here on out. I'm sure I'll miss some weeks, but I'll make an effort.

What I do

I'm currently employed at Power Home Remodeling. I work in the Business Technology department as a Solutions Architect. That doesn't really tell you what I do, though.

I started out as the initial developer, a little over ten years ago, on their internal business management application. We've grown to around twenty-five or so developers and plan to grow much further.

I eventually ended up on a team just like the other developers. But my experience with development (thirty years of it), paired with my history with the application and my tendency to take charge when no one else will, ended up distributing my attention. Helping other teams impacted my own.

I was promoted to my current role which focuses more on helping all the teams. Making sure we're doing things consistently and guiding the department's technology and frameworks.

OKRs

The week leading in to this one was spent up at company HQ planning how we get from where we are today to our CIO's vision a few years from now. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) were introduced and we put up some initial ones.

Overall it seems like something we should be doing, but having just read "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr it will take a bit of practice before it shows benefits.

I'm reading another recommended book, "Radical Focus" by Christina Wodtke, as a follow-up and, thus far, it's provided a better reading experience.

I think we failed on just about everything the books said we'd likely fail on in the beginning. But they also said it took practice. It will. But it feels like the right thing to do for us to help teams become more autonomous while keeping them tied to the company's overall objectives.

GraphQL

My first OKR surrounds a task I've had on my plate since the beginning of the year: creating an API Strategy for our developers.

Our existing API endpoints are chaotic. A number of developers suggested we look into GraphQL. I did. I like it. Not a magic bullet. After a bit of discussion using our RFC process, we've decided to invest more time with it. I'll be doing that. I know enough right now to be dangerous, but there's a lot I still need to learn. I'll be learning.

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas

For the past twelve years, I've attended this film festival primarily because I've always loved Asian films. Really all films, but Asian specifically having been an anime, kung-fu, Godzilla, samurai, you-name-it film fan since I was a kid. It's a blast every year and I've made a few festival-friends there which are great to catch up with.

The Outage

The app I work on is the engine for the entire company. It doesn't go down often, but this week it did. For a few hours. Unfortunately, this was when I was about to walk into a film from the aforementioned film festival, so I had to sit out on one of them.

I couldn't do much on the incident response call but be there and listen. But the people who needed to be there showed up. One out-of-space issue caused a domino-effect of things that took a bit to backtrack to the root. Yes, we had monitoring, but there was an unexpected spike in disk consumption that ate away space at a severely aggressive rate.

Fortunately, the business overall had a good day, but any kind of outage twists my gut in a knot because I know it's impacting a lot of people. Co-workers I never want to disappoint.

As with any of these incidents, we did a full post-mortem to learn more about what happened and what we need to do in order to not have a similar issue happen ever again.

XIA: Legends of a Drift System

I sometimes have a solo boardgame going on. This is partly because I enjoy them, but it also gives my eyes a break from the computer monitor.

XIA

Top photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

About Wade Winningham

After teaching myself to program using Turtle and Basic on my Atari 400 in the 80's, I've continued to learn and grow into the jack-of-all-trades developer I am today.

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