Tom Ward by Tom Ward

Week 231

Well here we are again, back to my old bad routine of late weeknotes. In my defence, this week I’ve not only been ill, but also moved house. As if that wasn’t enough, Harmonia also capriciously assigned me all this week’s substantial tasks. I’ll be having words with her later.

In sickness and in health

Perhaps it’s the effects of subterranean dwelling (the Futurelearn delivery team being based in a basement), but it wasn’t just me feeling poorly. All of us free rangers have been under the weather at some point this week, though some were braver than me and struggled through. Also various other members of the team have had to take time off. Perhaps it’s the sort of thing daylight would keep at bay?

Speaking of Futurelearn, we are half way through our Lemsip-assisted 6th sprint, fast approaching the (limited) release of the MVP. We’ve been tweaking designs, improving and fleshing out existing features and making everything more coherent. Until we get real users onto the site we won’t know how successful we’ve been, but things feel like they’re coming together more now, though there’s still lots to do. I’m not sure we’ve been able to say ‘No’ to quite enough things - perhaps a more minimal product could have been released sooner - but that’s always the way with MVPs.

His bags are packed, he’s ready to go

The time has finally come, at the end of next week James A will be leaving on a jet plane to base himself deep in the heart of Texas with his partner. He’ll still be working with us, spending most of his time in the USA but regularly visiting the UK. That obviously poses challenges for us all, so this Wednesday we discussed how we can all keep connected, even when remote. The occasional letter from America won’t cut it, so we’ve decided to try using sqwiggle. It’s got some useful looking features, but I most like in the way it uses your laptop webcam to take and share regular team photos, improving the feeling of visual connectedness amongst everyone.

We also talked (again) about how best to achieve our non-client goals. It’s fair to say we haven’t made as much progress as we’d like. It’s too easy to spend our non-client time doing things that while productive, don’t push us forward as a company. I’m probably particularly guilty of this. We’re going to have to try much harder at this.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’ve got some dog-poo to scrape off our baby buggy’s wheel. I know, the glamour!

Until next time,


P.S. If you’d like to see James off, please join us for a drink on Wednesday in Clerkenwell. Full details here.

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