May 3, 2020


Starting this week we decided to try out a two-week sprint, as the team has grown a lot since one-week sprints were introduced, and there was some concern that the weekly planning meeting was largely just a waste of effort. Since we don’t really make a commitment to getting all the tickets completed within the sprint, I’m not sure why we don’t just ditch sprints entirely and work directly off a prioritised backlog (with a periodic meeting for a small number of people to review it).

I got a few things done this week. I helped a couple of other members of the team finally get a ticket over the line which contributes to migrating away from whitehall-frontend (which had been in “doing” for a fortnight!), and I migrated all the functionality of the calendars app into the frontend app, so we can get rid of it.

At GOV.UK we use “micro”services, but we don’t do automatic deployments yet, so we’ve decided that some of our apps are just too micro for them to be worth it.

I also arranged to take the week after next off, as the blurring together of days is making me want a break.

The Plague

Nothing new to report. I’ve not caught it yet, the only impact of the situation is that I’m stuck at home.



This week I read Hyperion, for the first time since 2016. I then started on Gardens of the Moon, the first book of Malazan.

I also bought a bunch of new books, as I wanted some fantasy to get stuck into:

I plan to go through the Fantasy Masterworks and SF Masterworks series and decide on some more new books to get.


This week I ran a Call of Cthulhu one-shot instead of my Golden Sky Stories game, as coming up with heartwarming stories is difficult. The players liked it, though they didn’t get to solve much of the mystery before all the evidence got destroyed, and I’m thinking of running a follow-up scenario.


I decided to do a bit of redecorating, and merged my office into my living room. It’s not like I’ll be having people over in the near future, so it’s nice to use the huge dining table I bought for boardgames as a desk instead. Carrying two bookcases and 300+ books down a flight of stairs is not very easy, but also not as difficult as I thought. I then ordered a couple of new bookcases from IKEA, as my current ones are almost full.