So many false starts with my health and career development. I will try create a regular habit to write here.

What I’ve been doing

The aim is to write about whatever problem I’m trying to solve at work, whether I think it’s interesting or not, as well as new habits I’m trying, and interesting things I’ve baked. We’ll see what comes up.

What has actually happened since 2020-05-02? Well, I finally got those in-person cello lessons, and I actually passed my grade 3 exam the other week. I was really nervous and thought I might fail, so I’m glad to see I can do it.

Since November 2020, I have been playing Eve Online again, the spaceship MMORPG. I spend a couple of months on it back in 2007, and after friend encouraged me I thought I’d give it another go.

I’ve seen a few more medical practitioners about my sleep and gut issues. Another round of blood and other tests at the moment. I don’t have my hopes high.

Still baking things and making ice cream. Most recently it was white chocolate and raspberry raw cheesecake, with a lot of cashew and rice malt syrup in it. Unfortunately even the dairy free things I create make me feel sick.

What I’m trying to do

After reading Tim Ferris’ “Tools of Titans”, I thought that I needed to make some changes, try some different things, rather than staying in this rut of bad sleep and bad gut health. There are some mental exercises he suggests such as “fear setting” or creating a list of “impossible questions” that I see value in. A few more practical steps, too:

  • Buy a Chillipad to help with my sleep
  • Get a proper sleep mask, such as the one by SleepMaster
  • Before bed, try imbibing some hot water with honey and apple cider vinegar
  • Read the book “Reasons and Persons”
  • Create a Jar of Awesome and start writing down the good things that happen each day
  • Have some sort of daily reminder of the fleeting nature of life - “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”
  • Set up some weekly experiments to actually try to do things differently, such as skipping breakfast or regular writing on this blog

We’ll see how things go.

Current work

So, what am I actually doing at Youi? Thankfully back in the office three days a week. I appreciate the flexibility. A lot of my day is going through Cherwell tickets, doing tasks like creating new tables in the warehouse from data extracts, resolving slow-running queries with refactoring or adding indexes, and giving people access to different resources like Tableau.

I have recently finished implementing stage one of our new change management process - now any SQL changes to our primary database in the warehouse must use the Redgate Change Automation plugin in SSMS to generate changes from the dev server, make a git commit, push them to Bitbucket, from where TeamCity picks up the change, tests it, builds a package, and passes it to Octopus to deploy to the live server. This way, all changes to that database are tracked nicely.

We’re doing a bit of a security audit, checking which users have sysadmin or db_owner that don’t need it. Across multiple servers and more than fifty databases that can get a little tricky.

There are big things on the horizon, like a new cloud-based platform and a new finance system, but it is hard to say when our work for those will actually begin. There is a lot of waiting at the moment.