Weeknotes: One Week In


I have a new job! Yay and Hurrah!

One of the best things about the new team is they have an internal wiki detailing what they do, with comprehensive information for new starters. I can't begin to tell you how useful this was. In my opinion, every team in every workplace should have something like this. Before I even started, it had told me what I needed to know about the team, their priorities, and the common terms of reference. It made starting on Monday stress-free.

Obviously this is slightly easier in the public sector where we have a habit (and duty) to work in the open. Naturally, the more sensitive stuff was behind more stringent access controls - which is probably sensible.

I was already well acquainted with DNS, but before joining I took the time to do a short O'Reilly course on it - thankfully I have a free subscription thanks to my MSc course provider. So I started the week confident that I knew all the acronyms I'd be using. And I was right! Mostly…

My week was a mixture of learning, learning, and more learning. The team are friendly - and generous with their time. They've got a smooth running operation and my brief is to supplement - not supplant. I think there's a little bit of all of us which looks at any new job as a chance to radically shake things up. That's something which rarely succeeds, in my experience. I want to understand how everything works - and why things are done in a certain way - before I go "hey, why don't we try…"

Oh, and in the middle of all that, came an urgent PQ from my previous role which - naturally - needed a comprehensive, yet brief, answer within a tight time frame. Fun times!

At the end of the week came the news that NHSX was no more. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say I was there before the beginning of NHSX, and it dominated 18 months of my life. Including the rapid response to the pandemic. I'm glad that we won the argument that better technology can lead to better outcomes - but a little sad that the name is no more. But, hey, the work continues.

Part of my MSc coursework is to encourage me to reflect more. That's not something I'm good at and, as a consequence, not something I enjoy. But I know that I'm proud to have played a part in setting up something new. And I'm glad that I was able to help with the COVID-19 app and steer it in a sensible direction. And I'm grateful for the friends I made and the lessons I learned. But moving on is sometimes hard. Perhaps it is just as well that the news came this week?

Still, I enjoyed my new job well enough to decide to go back tomorrow.

Anyway. Have some music to play out the weekend.


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