What I done did in September

My shenanigans in September 2019

I started a new engagement at work

This month I stopped working at my previous client that I’d been at for a year & a half and started as a Cell Lead at another client.

The new role is quite enjoyable. I work within a team of two developers, one tester and a BA, and I help make sure things run smoothly within the team, build relationships with the stakeholders at the client and help the programme team deliver.

There’s a bit of travel involved in the new role as I need to be in Southampton two days a fortnight but I’ve discovered a nice side effect to the travel which is that I’m able to read through the Discworld novels I’m reading at a steady pace now.

I got to use Github Actions

As part of the React Native app I’m working on I’ve started to set up Github Actions for our CI.

This will add some much needed feedback and automated releases for the component library repo but I’m also hoping to add Github Actions to the main app to run tests and provide an automated release mechanism, so release becomes as simple as running a job.

My initial impressions of Github Actions are that it’s easy to set up and work with, but we’ll see how I feel about it once I start to scale up my use of it.

I got the new iPhone and Apple Watch

It’s been a few years since I got a new phone and watch and as the new models were launched this month I decided to get the new ones and give my girlfriend my old tech.

The new iPhone doesn’t do anything that really jumps out at me yet, it’s a better version of my iPhone X with an extra camera and more battery life.

The watch on the flip-side is a massive improvement over my previous model. I used to have a 38mm series 2 but the 40mm series 5 seems more comfortable and the ‘Infograph Modular’ watch face gives me all the information I need in one glance.

I’m sure over time as I take more and more pictures I’ll be able to gauge if the extra wide lens camera was worth the money, but for now I’m enjoying being able to get more in frame.

I did my “Test Reporting — Why I Hate PieCharts” talk at Leeds Ministry of Testing meet up

Image for post
Image for post
Picture by Ady Stokes

After doing my Kafka talk for a bit I decided to make a new talk based on my blog about building a bi-directional traceability tool in Notion.

The talk covers why piecharts are crap for showing failing tests and how bi-directional traceability is a better visualisation tool and the importance of understanding the value the test reporting brings to the team.

I think it went a lot better than my previous talk and I had a really good session down the pub after.

I got a new keyboard

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Say… Got any grapes?

At the start of the month an order that I’d put in at the start of August finally turned up from China.

It was a mechanical keyboard I’d had my eye on for a while after my old Apple keyboard crapped out on me after 10 years of use.

It’s by a company called Lofree and for about the same price of a full sized Apple keyboard I was able to get a bluetooth keyboard, wrist rest and mat all with this really fun B.Duck design on it.

I made some stickers

Image for post
Image for post
Disregard Glitches. Instruct Computers.

One of the phrases I’ve had in my head for a long time is “Fuck Glitches. Write Code.” — A play on the “Fuck Bitches. Get Money.”/”Disregard Women. Acquire Currency” term.

While I’m not a massive rap fan I can appreciate the sentiment, especially when it comes to code.

I toyed with the idea of having a tattoo of the term in blackletter font, similar to how a lot of rappers have, but could never get the design right.

However as I set myself a goal to make one piece of art a month I decided to give it a proper shot and found the perfect font —Luxus Gothic

So on top of the usual Pokemon Go Community Day badge order I make, I added some die-cut stickers of the design to give out at talks and the like.

I got some new Switch games

Link’s Awakening

When I got my first Gameboy back in 1998, one of the first games I had for it was Links Awakening and I loved it immensely.

When Nintendo announced a remake I was really excited to play the game in HD and the new art style while dividing the fan base I felt was really unique.

On launch weekend I essentially cancelled all plans to sit down and work my way through Link’s Awakening and can safely say it’s one of the best Switch games I’ve played and a very beautiful tribute to the original.

The introduction of a Super Mario Maker-like dungeon creation tool was kind of interesting but as there’s nothing to tie it to the main game I lost interest pretty easily.

Untitled Goose Game

I’ve been following this game for a while, mostly due to Panic Inc.’s involvement in the game (I used Coda back in the day and still think they build really good software).

Having played it for a number of hours I can say it was well worth the wait, and the thing missing in my life was a mischievous Goose simulator.

The fact that the game does nothing more than give you a couple of controls, a world and a checklist would to some people seem a bit lame, but the creativity and freedom the lack of constrains gives is what makes it fun.

If you just want to spend 45 minutes making a poor shopkeeper’s life hell as vengeance for hitting you with a broom then you can in this game.

I played WoW Classic

When it came out I started playing World of Warcraft Classic as I’ve played WoW a few times over the years (never really got that far though) and was interested in what it’d be like to play with loads of people playing at the same time.

Unfortunately like every time I’ve played, life ended up getting in the way so I’ve not really been on it much but I can say that the first night of that game was both awe full and awful.

It was amazing to be in a full server and seeing everyone trying to do the same quests but at the same time I spent 30 minutes attempting to kill creatures only to have the XP and quest progress go to another player who got the first strike.

Later on I was able to do most of the starter quests by myself and join a few groups but had to drop it when I started my new role due to the need to travel and long hours.

I was featured on the BJSS Frontend Podcast

On the 27th of September I recorded an episode about moving to test as well as my work with the React Native app I’m working on.

It was good fun and while it didn’t cover half the stuff I was hoping to cover, due to a 30 minute time limit I think the conversation flowed naturally without much awkwardness, which was my main concern.

It’s an internal podcast so I’m not sure I can really share it, but if I’m able to I’ll get it posted somewhere and link it to this blog at a later point, or do another blog about that experience.

Written by

Technical Lead at BJSS. Interested in Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store