Evolving the vision

Busy month, although probably not as busy as Gareth Southgate’s… The major news was that I was told in very firm terms that I risked not passing my probation. I had to pull a full 8-hour on a Saturday to work in order to make sure I did. No, I’m not talking about my job at NHSX, but about my allotment :) Different allotments, different priorities — lesson learned, but we’re now fully approved tenants and we’re already enjoying some of the goodies.

A personal guide to approaching the workplace and its relationships

Throughout my professional life, I’ve kept notes of things that bothered me or gave me some eurekas. I’ve worked in different roles from very technical ones to advisory/consultancy, and all of them have one thing in common: the real challenges were always centred around people. A few weeks back, I had a chat with Omar about leadership and management in technical environments, which triggered me into gathering my notes into the following list.

Image credits: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

This is my list. It’s not comprehensive and might not work for you nor apply to all situations. …

On new colleagues, admin fights, and the unavoidable realisation that the strategy is delivery

May has been a busy month, during which I spent way too many hours navigating the odd recruitment processes that need to be run in order to get 3 new starters. In absence of my usual admin support, it required much longer than I thought (with a bit of frustration-induced Rottweiling whenever I realised process duplication or lack of clear ownership where the issues). But the negatives, all in all, stop at this. 3 new starters are joining my team between the end of May and the first week of June. This is pretty awesome. …

Open source, new people, and donkeys

Last month started with one of my favourite things in the world: releasing open source code. The Data Lens project is something that had been agreed and initiated before I started, but that resonated a lot with my core passions: data, search, applied NLP, and replicable platforms. …

Don’t you hear my call though you’re many years away

March has literally flown past. I turned 39, and it’s the second time I (don’t) celebrate a birthday while COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, albeit more loosely than last year. Everyone I know who’s over 70 has had a vaccine, as did almost everyone I know who’s over 50. Things seem to be travelling in the right direction, despite a few widely discussed issues, and hopefully soon settled, issues regarding import/export blocks. But I’m still concerned about international travel, especially given the apparent third wave in most of Europe. I haven’t seen my family for now about 6 months…

The shortest month of the year

February is the shortest month of the year, and it always flies past very quickly. But it’s also a bit of a dark month for me, locked in between the Christmas vibe and the promises of spring. We had a few days of freezing cold and snow in London, and it was beautiful to see Alexandra Palace all white; a bit less was to see people forgetting that there’s a pandemic and bunching up on the top of the hill to come down with their toboggans — lockdown fatigue is surely happening and we must really think before doing silly…

It’s a new year, hopefully

This month’s TL;DR:

  • NYE was a little sad
  • work was busy but good
  • my newsletter keeps bringing me joy
  • mental health has been challenging
  • UKGovCamp and other data virtual meetups were energising
  • I’ve started a local campaign for better broadband in my isolated block.

Wow, we’re in another year. My partner and I had a Zoom NYE doing a quiz online with friends and family, which was nice. But it was also a bit of a sudden realisation of how things have changed due to the pandemic. You might laugh at this — and you’d be right — but I…

It’s been quite a year…

The final month of this entirely crazy year has gone. It’s January 1st, 2021, as I complete these notes, and it’s the first time in 38 years that I’ve spent New Year’s Eve with just one person (my partner) rather than a group of friends or relatives. It’s not a year in which I fancy writing an end of year review, although I put together a listicle of 20 half-serious things I learnt in the past year.

December was my first full month at NHSX. Most of it was spent getting to know colleagues and the organisation, being handed over…

It’s been a difficult year.

Number #1: Jesse Norman’s dad invented Polly Pockets

Jesse Norman was the first transport minister my work at DfT fell under. Two things are interesting about him: he is a qualified pilot (but, no, aviation wasn’t part of his ministerial brief), and he owes his wealth to his father’s entrepreneurial success as the owner of the company that launched Polly Pockets.

Leaving and joining

As I set out to write these slow week notes, I’m just recovering from what has been an entirely knackering month — leaving my job at the Department for Transport, ten days off (mostly dedicated to life admin), and then starting remotely at NHSX.

Leaving a job at a time when things were absolutely great and exciting was always going to be emotionally difficult, complemented by my utter ineptitude at good-byes. Leaving dos are hard. But it was somehow nice to see most of the people I had spent two fantastic years with, albeit virtually. Some of the personal…

Giuseppe Sollazzo

www.puntofisso.net — Subscribe to my data newsletter at http://puntofisso.net/newsletter

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