Punch Drunk

Feeling pretty rough today, like someone’s been punching me in the head for a while. Reasonably productive day yesterday. Got to bed at 10:30pm, but my “good” knee was starting to ache from the new physio exercises I’m doing for my “bad” knee. I couldn’t sleep — eventually I was listening to Todd Barry standup on Spotify to get me off to sleep. Ideally of course I’d be using my powers of meditation to effortlessly drift off to sleep, but when my mind gets stuck on money worries, or re-hashing the complexities of past social interactions that haven’t gone so well, I run out of patience and reach for audio comedy.

In the background the remote DevOps conference started, and since I was trying to multi-task with all the usual family and AgileVentures activities I only managed to attend one talk. That was in the waiting room in a leisure centre while my boys did an academy football (soccer) class. I love the concept of remote conferences. This one would be easier for me if the schedule was in UTC; DevOps RemoteConf is running seven hours behind me in US mountain time. It also makes me reflect on the value of a physical face to face conference in that it takes you out of your day to day routine and clears some space to focus on other stuff.

I was really pleased to see Chuck had set up a Slack instance for the conference, and I joined all the channels for each talk. The activity in the Slack instance so far hasn’t been high — it’s frustrating that Slack isn’t also the chat used in the sessions themselves. I think that if everyone watching the talk was automatically in the Slack channel it would help connect people, and then there’d be a stored history of any questions that got asked in the session themselves. I was pleased to be able to use the Slack channel to ask Arthur Hicken about his talk “Evolving from Automated to Continuous Testing for Agile and DevOps”. I asked him if he had any thoughts on how we can make sure that tests are really testing the right thing, rather than being tests that would pass even if the functionality was removed. Having the slack meant that I continue to have the transcript of the conversation to refer back to:

Arthur was suggesting having comments like @PR12345 to associate bits of code with a requirement. I felt that might introduce a linkage between test and code that wouldn’t give us the implementation flexibility we might want, but even just having the conversation I found some Ruby mutation apps that might be interesting to use. The round-table discussion that I really would like to have joined was taking place at midnight my time, so it wasn’t really practical given my schedule and how badly I perform on little sleep :-/

I’ve got my talk coming up later today at 9:15pm my time. Hopefully I can stay awake for it :-) I’ve had some good feedback on the draft version. Giving the talk into a YouTube live stream and then sharing the video link really makes so much sense. One suggestion was to write out the transcript and then read it back. That has been the way I have slowed myself down and made myself comprehensible in the past. Not sure that I have the luxury of doing that today. I have done it with the half hour chunks of stuff in the AV102 course. Reading my own edited monologue back from a teleprompter really is the way to make myself understandble to a wider range of folks, let’s see … maybe some coffee can get me over this punch-drunk feeling …?


p.s. this blog took 21 minutes to write

p.p.s. originally published at http://nonprofits.agileventures.org/2017/01/19/punch-drunk/

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