I wrote my last weeknote on February 23rd, 2020. My wife and I were about to get the keys to our first house so I’d taken a couple of weeks off work. I returned to work just in time for the world to get turned upside down.
At the time the thought of writing about my cushy tech job suddenly seemed redundant. If not indulgent.
However, the last few months have been transformative for me. A few weeks ago I wrote about my experience of working though the pandemic, the difficulties I’d experienced and ultimately being diagnosed with ADHD.
This week, some three months after my diagnosis, I began taking medication to treat my ADHD.
I thought this was a good point to resume my weeknotes: if not to offer help to others then to help me clarify my own thoughts and experience.
First week of titration
Titration, the process of trying and adjusting medication over a number of weeks, starts you off on a very low dose.
Whilst I initially thought the effects are negligible, I have definitely noticed that I am able to think, code and write more clearly for about three hours in the morning.
For example: I was able to finish writing a 500 word document that I have started, and subsequently abandoned, a number of times over the last few months.
However, all effects had subsided by 2PM every day.
Work is busy and I am happy
I joined a new team two months ago. It’s a small, fast-moving startup and I was asked to help refine the frontend prior to their initial launch.
The size of the team and the stage of the project allows me to have a lot of influence and gives me an opportunity to expand on my leadership skills.
I’m engaged and enthused and it feels good.
Working with a distributed team
The team is split between the Europe and Canada. Whilst I tend to maintain a 9–5 schedule, many of my teammates are 4–8 hours behind meaning that I regularly have to attend evening meetings.
This presents a number of challenges:
- How do you maintain work/life separation when you’re “available” 16 hours a day?
- How to you set up a team for more asynchronous communication?
Some things I am thinking about include:
- Setting a greater focus on code reviews in leu of pair programming
- Allowing everyone to QA each other’s work so that everyone understands each ticket
- Promoting the importance of documentation and ticket detail to allow any member of the team to act as QA and increase knowledge sharing
Virtual Office Hours
My former colleague, good friend friend and long-time remote-worker, Gary, proposed the idea of Virtual Office Hours. Two hours a week where we turn our webcams on and work on our respective projects. It helps promote accountability, reduces WFH-related loneliness and I really enjoyed it.
Brian Lui on the dangers of tight feedback loops.
I’ve been listening to Vasudeva’s Generator album on repeat all week. A difficult record to describe, but a mix of math-rock, post-rock and electronica. But nothing like 65daysofstatic. Very easy to work to.