Sunday, June 28, 2020

Une Oeuf Blogging

When I started Hiccupps I challenged myself to do 50 posts in the first year. If I could manage one piece a week, I reckoned, I'd have a decent idea whether I really wanted to write and whether the effort I was putting in was worth it. 

At the end of that initial 12 months I found that I really did want to write and, that as far as I was concerned, the effort was worth it. In the almost nine years since then I've maintained an annual average of around 50 posts and as I've reached the half-century or October I've taken a moment to reflect on how things are going. This post will be the 456th — with something like the 400th awful pun of a title — and so now seems like a good time as any to look back down the track again.

Blog is a contraction of weblog and it occurs to me now, in a way that I'm not sure it has before, that Hiccupps genuinely is a log of stuff I've been pondering or doing or reading or viewing. The posts feel like a wander through my learning in the order I attempted it. Here's three highlights:

I continue to practice sketchnoting just enough to stop getting too rusty. Recently, I've also asked myself to write up concise notes of talks I've attended soon afterwards. Being able to get the essence of a thing down quickly is a skill I find extremely handy at work and this is a good opportunity to practice. The Cambridge Agile Exchange has been a great source of material for sketchnoting, and my favourite of the year was their Practice Makes Perfect because I got my sketchnotes down cleanly and I wrote my textual notes up within minutes of the talk finishing.

Finally, I got around to reading Billy Vaughn Koen's Definition of the Engineering Method and found that it set off fireworks in my head. No less than five posts were spun out of what is really only a pamphlet but which is packed to the gunnels with thoughtful review of how practitioners practice heuristically and the creation of a model of the shared context of the players in any implementation effort.

While I'm very pleased with my sketchnotes and reading Koen, the post I'm most proud of this year is Unsung Love Song, my review of a book written by my friend Laurence Dillon, about the rent that being castrated tore in his life. I have read my words back a couple of times since I wrote it, and it makes me cry. The book is brilliant, you should buy it.

Nine years in, then, have I had enough? No.

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