Week 6 of 2020 brings a new job, unused gym memberships, Ferrite, merging cloud storage woes, Windows shortcuts, TfL Contactless data, Purple Disco Machine, Man Like Mobeen, Ghostbusters and freelancer idioms.
This was my first week at WorldFirst; my first company change since 2013! Needless to say I was full of excitement, energy & anxiety, wondering what to expect from the company, the team and the role. The first few days were energy draining. I was thrown into a few projects to get a better understanding and improve communication (typical NDA’s hold me back from sharing the exact details) but it was fascinating to see how they operate at an international level and what the internal teams have done so far.
I was also tasked with documenting the basics of agile delivery to guide our teams how we should strive to operate across all the engineering squads. I spent a few days understanding the status quo but also noting down my recommendations from personal experiences. It’s been enlightening to compare models between two different companies but also highlight the differences.
What really caught my attention was all the pleasant extras WorldFirst offer employees to make you enjoy your working environment; every Tuesday newstarters take a chocolate trolley around the office to meet new people, the kitchen is full of breakfast goodies and snacks to keep you going through the day and the classic Friday beers are available from 4:30pm. My desk view across London is phenomenal too (hence the feature cover image) but it’s taking some adjustment with the additional daily Tube journey from Euston to Pimlico. I still make it to the office for 8:30am though to hook up with our Chinese counterparts.
With the new job, I’m slowly adjusting to a new routine but I did manage to squeeze in a swim Monday (the one day off between jobs) and Saturday with the kids, plus I also signed up to a local Rugby gym on a £5 month trial. I’ve not had the chance to try it out yet with evening commutes but plan to get down there a few times next week with things settling down.
Make Life Work editing finally began using a new iPad app, Ferrite (see Tech below), starting with Naomi White‘s conversation. As the first session of the series, we used a Skype call to capture audio for convenience but it’s definitely more tricky to trim, edit and level when using a single audio track. I’m glad subsequent guests recorded locally which I’ll continue to encourage on future episodes.
I also realised this week most my “successful” projects are results of community efforts; House Finesse with Stu and Matt; Derby County with Franca, Simon and co; F1 Calendar with Andy, Brian and Andy. It definitely helps surrounding yourself with people who can help bounce ideas and challenge you in ways. Having OnTheSide to help with Make Life Work certainly has.
Ferrite – the most expensive iOS app I’ve ever bought (£28) but it should be used enough to justify the cost. The UX is so natural to anyone who’s edited audio before and it appears to offer all the basics to produce a good sounding podcast. We’ll see as I use it more.
I’m in the process of trying to consolidate my online subscriptions, starting with migrating Dropbox to iCloud. I’m currently paying for 2TB plans on both which neither are touching the sides so it makes sense to merge the two. However, there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to transfer files from one to the other online so it looks like a painful manual process.
With the new job, I’ve been given a Windows(!) laptop until the new stock of Apple Macs are available. It gives me all the tools I need to work (mostly Web-based) but retraining my brain to the other keyboard shortcuts is proving difficult. It’s amazing how familiar you get after 14 years of the Apple eco-system.
Commuting on the London Underground, I was keen to use Apple Wallet on my Watch for tapping in and out of stations. It generally works but I’ve noticed on the TfL Contactless website each day has a different instance of the same (Barclays) account making it trickier to monitor aggregate costs. Has anyone else noticed this?
Purple Disco Machine returns with another infectious disco tip “In Your Arms“, due out soon and bound to be on most house DJ’s playlists for the Summer.
Man Like Mobeen returns for Series 3 on BBC – love the real Brummy edge (unlike Peaky Blinders) but respect to the reality check of gang culture not being glorified.
The Movies That Made Us on Netflix is a great trip down Nostalgia Cul-de-Sac, reminiscing over the biggest movies of the 80’s; how Ghostbusters was made on a tight deadline with endless curve balls and how Home Alone struggled with funding from Warner Bros and realising how the bonus cam provided better results which they discussed about using in their dailies (faster feedback FTW!)
I’ve also tried to finish off Red Herrings & White Elephants to close my first book of 2020; here were some of my favourite origin stories:
- Off the cuff – Victorian times when speakers tried to talk without notes but did, in fact, write notes on their shirt cuffs before and during dinners.
- Freelancer – originated from Middle Ages as a lance soldier available for hire.