• Weeks 290-292

    29 July 2018

    I took week 290 off from Lambrigg whilst the team regrouped, based on our presentation at the end of Week 289. But come 291, I was back into it, and we were really diving into a period of thinking-through-making: ideating again, but this time with our hands, rather than via deskthinking.

    And as a result, just right now, I'm a bit in the weeds. Which is to say: in this period of thinking-through-making, the thinking and the making are both proving equally hard.

    The hot weather hasn't helped with the former – I just haven't had enough brain on tap some days. But the latter has become very fine-grained: I'm exploring techniques and materials by working with them, and it turns out that they are difficult materials to work with. So the progress is slow, as I try to bring my knowledge – no, my understanding – of what's going on up to speed. Trying to get good enough at something for my sense of smell to kick in. I'd hoped that'd have happened by now, but it hasn't quite. But I got some good steers from Tim at the end of week 292, so have a few things to try in 293.

    Still, a busy few weeks, jumping around a big stack: writing some OpenFrameworks, waiting for said C++ to compile, spending some time collaborating on CAD via Fusion 360, designing prototype circuit boards (and CAD models of them), and getting those fabbed up. But the hard stuff is the programming – right now, anyway.

    Selworthy marches on – a successful end to an initial R&D spike there (namely: we want to take it forward, and continue our QA tests on it) – and then back into some file format hexadecimal fun.

    I've spent some time catching up with colleagues and peers in the past few weeks, and that's been really useful. A long lunch with Nick from Playdeo; some good chats with Jim; and a long-overdue catchup with Mike. Lots of different perspectives to apply to the world and chat about – technologies and teams; narrative and design; objects and design processes. Really good for the brain, and lovely folks one and all.

    I also spent some time meeting some Interim CTOs and talking about that particular role. I'm thinking a little about what broader shapes of work might look like in the future, and testing my appetites. This certainly helped put some of my own other work in perspective – understanding what I've grown at and where I'm going to have to get over some of my own tendencies or preferences if I want to move into a particular direction.

    And all this after Matt W wrote a prehistory of weeknotes over on the Job Garden medium. I would apologise for the whiplash perspective shifts in my notes – from nice high-level progress down to a surprising amount of detail about chips or code or whatever – but I'll be honest and say it's semi-deliberate: a whole bunch of my work is about thought and abstraction and applying a long history of knowledge… but there's also a lot that's still about thinking with my hands, about developing skills and understanding through doing, and some weeks, I'm just stuck in the doing, so that's what you're getting in my notes. If you get whiplash… well, so do I, some days! But it's some of the fun of the work, too.

    Let's get back on the wagon, though, because weeknotes become less useful at a distance: monthnotes have such a different feel. The point of this isn't just sharing progress; it's also for me, and being able to keep a closer eye on the shape of my weeks. If that means making the time to do them faster… that might be the way they get done for now.

    Anyhow. That's enough to catch up on these three weeks. Good progress all around, but it's all making my head feel very full right now. Onwards!