Four months on..

It’s been a fairly hectic four months, but honestly – it’s felt like much less and much more time since joining a new position as Head of Technology @ FutureLab Digital. So I’ll summarise a few highlights:

Working with New Zealander’s.

We kiwi’s are an interesting bunch. Most meetings and interactions are hyper positive and fairly laid back. The best part is hearing proper (or honest attempts) of māori pronunciation of names. After almost 10 years working internationally, it really does feel like coming home.

Equally fun is being hyper-local, something as mundane as discussing locale weather or the latest news is just delightful – genuinely feel closer to each interacction.

Everything feels new, even when it isn’t.

I was pretty well accustomed to my previous role as an engineering manager across multiple countries with 80+ fellow team members across the world. Being part of a smaller team means I’ve found myself jumping in and out of things I thought I knew, and many more things that are new:

  1. Improving our engineering process
  2. Understanding more about business metrics (both our own and clients)
  3. Determining and defining value
  4. Returning to software engineering (getting closer to the metal)
  5. Building relationships and understanding new pathways to achieve outcomes
  6. Being comfortable with absolutely uncomfortable again
  7. Finding delight in small and large wins

Embracing digital’s adaptive nature

Everything is new, just when you think you know how to do something – anyone can tell you something new, the entire game changes or a new tool update disrupts everything.

The true nature of digital markets is that everything changes at any point in time. Crypto markets crash and fall, best practices evolve, new tools and languages encourage new levels of experimentation.

Trust.

I’ve gained new levels of trust and respect for people I’ve known for a long time. Trusting their approach is different and built atop an equal amount of experience took time – but now I am genuinely excited to be proven wrong (and often am).

Maintain relationships.

I made many good friends along my career path – some of those I regularly chat with, others – not so often! I can always do better with keeping in touch… pick up the phone and talk with someone you haven’t yarned with.

TLDR hit list of things that stuck out.

  • Auto-deployment is difficult: Buddy.works made it easier, but is still far from perfect.
  • Runcloud is a really good way to manage infrastructure for staging environments.
  • Some WP hosts actually suck.
  • I have no idea what CSS is any longer!
  • Its been way to long since i’ve written anything decent in JS.
  • ACF isn’t actually terrible (until enterprise scale).
  • Hubspot is clutch
  • Asana is not.
  • Slack still calls all my devices on calls, no idea why.
  • Communication is king… no matter what I am doing, I work towards clarification and communication open by default.
  • No hello is not common.
  • Async is still hard.

Well, until next time – which is probably 8 months away 👋