Week 5 of 2020 brings generous colleagues on the final day at ASOS, muscles, Make Life Work video snippets, gaming PCs, Apple Express Transit, Byte, The Vision, Little Boots & Shrill.
That was my last week at ASOS (#AllTheFeels). Seriously though, after working in one place for over 6 years, spending the majority of weekdays with these people, I’ve made some fantastic friends (not just colleagues).
As I drafted my leaving message, it made me realise how many people have been on the journey with me. From starting in the Birmingham office (with just 3 others for company), shifting to London on a number of different teams, help grow the Web platform to over 60 people and nurture a number of cross-cutting initiatives including community meetups, ASOS Tech‘s online brand, Families in Tech and much more. I was over the moon to see my request for donations to the Jurassic Coast Challenge for Mind rather than silly gifts raised nearly £350 for the charity. What lovely and generous people!
The final day was naturally a difficult day, not helped by a stinking hangover from the previous evening’s leaving drinks, but that didn’t stop me wrapping up on a high. Our monthly Tech Develops returned and, with it, I encouraged two of my engineers to present work to peers as part of their personal objectives. It was testament to the individuals when one talk was sold out and in high demand (take 2 is planned for next month) and the other showed encouraging signs for more collaboration across engineering teams. I feel like my work here is done!
Next week, I start my new adventure at WorldFirst. With just one day to rest and recoup, I’m super-keen to get started and understand what my objectives will be. A cheeky email to my new manager this week suggests I’ll be flexing my Jira skills pulling together suitable dashboards and reports for teams to get visibility of focus and delivery. Looking forward to that.
With it being my final week at ASOS, I was also keen to make the most of the free gym and subsidised personal training so squeezed in three sessions amongst all the final bits of work. The personal trainer did give me encouraging signs though to suggest all the fitness is paying off as my strength has improved quite substantially this year, in weights and physique.
I’m now on the hunt for an alternative gym to keep this fitness bug going. There are a couple options around London near the new office block at Millbank Tower or some around my home train station in Rugby. I don’t want to commit to another £50 subscription (as is typical) so will be looking for either a reduced price or PAYG model.
Make Life Work was the main focus for side projects this week. I managed to create a snappy video title sequence for the Making Of… series, pulling together clips from the Skype video calls we used to record the sessions. However, I naively forgot to get clearance from all the guests of the podcast which came as a bit of a shock for some of them to see their faces in the sequence. I quickly pulled the teaser from Twitter and reconsidered the approach, even though most people were understanding after some reactive conversations.
I’ve also continued recording the twice daily voice notes as part of my commute to and from the train station (or start and end of day when working from home). I’m keen to rebrand it under the Verbal Diary guise (seeing as that was the original intent) but it could get confusing if we ever revive the podcast with James so, after learning from the mistake of the title sequence before, I might put a pin in that.
The biggest tech achievement of the week (ne life) was completing the build of The Boy’s new gaming PC. After selling his Xbox One and resolving the Paypal issues, we got the graphics card delivered, installed and the machine seemed to work first time amazingly. The satisfaction on his face gave me such joy but, secretly, I was also quite proud of myself for (a) helping him and (b) coaching him to think about the process without speeding ahead as a typical Gen Z.
On Wednesday, I tried swapping my Apple Watch from left wrist to right to see how it feels. The reason for this was to prepare for Apple Express Transit payments on the London Tube when I start using them next week. It also prompted a Twitter poll which suggests I’m not alone in using my non-dominant wrist.
Notable apps of the week include:
- Very early preview of a coaching app an (ex) ASOS colleague is currently alpha testing with fellow “emotionally intelligent” coaches
- Philips Hue now that my smart bulbs are finally connected to a Hub, it just needs some configuration with HomeKit, Alexa etc
- byte – the latest attempt at a social video network by the creator of Vine which I can’t say has caught my attention but at least I’ve secured my sijobling moniker, disappointed it doesn’t support 2-letter usernames.
The Vision’s “Mountains” (Danny Krivit Edit) is a fabulous follow-up to last year’s Heaven, continuing with Andreya Triana’s wonderful vocals on their infectious loops and quality production. Must buy (when it’s available)
Little Boots disco set in The Lab for Mixmag is a delightful mix by an unknown DJ (to me) who has some serious skills – and I’m always up for highlighting a decent female DJ to fight back the male-dominant market.
Shrill is a fantastic US comedy series we recently discovered on BBC iPlayer about a young journalist who goes through some difficult times challenging the status quo, using her image to her advantage. I love her persona along with the relationships with British house-mate and work hubby.