Weeknotes #005: On call

What I did in the 41st week of 2020

[note] …but only got around to writing about on the 18th October 2020… woops


Work on accounts goes on, we draw closer to showing our prototype. We’ve been taking a look at our daily security practices, looking for proactive measures against the most common ways developers can make make mistakes. One we’re trying out is Pre Commit with the detect secrets plugin. It helps us catch any commits that include anything sensitive though an audit and allow/block list process. I’ve used Pre Commit hooks before, mostly for linting / code quality standards. It always seems a trade off between adding friction, and helping enforce good practice, hopefully a worthwhile one here!

I was also primary on call this week. A first for me, a few interesting moments but mostly just to watch a system repair itself under load. When government makes high profile announcements huge numbers of visitors can surge to GOV.UK. It’s a testament to the good engineering work of my colleagues that it handles these spikes graciously.


Started the week pretty unwell. Just a cold, not COVID (no symptoms, we checked… in almost hourly paranoia). Took it out of me though, a couple of bleary days in bed and blankets.

And, Oh yeah… Winter… I’d forgotten about you. Why do you have to be so dark, dreary and cold? I will miss summer sun drenching my windows a the end of the working day and inviting me into a garden and world beyond. I hear the thing to do is force yourself outside in all weathers to discover it isn’t so bad… but I’m looking out the window now and… urgh.


Still working on catching up with podcasts, whilst noodling through my ever growing collection of natural history filmmaking books. I should start some in earnest soon, they’ll probably pop up in read in a few weeks.

Listened to

Out of everything I listened to this week Outside/In ran a particularly good episode called The Olive and The Pine. I’m a sucker for this kind of storytelling, take an object, preferably overlooked, bonus points for natural history and weave it through momentus world events. Environmental initiatives are often thought of as external to politics. This is a worthy contribution to annuals of why that’s never true.

Thinking about

| Huw