It’s horrible and insidious, and the words carry a crushing weight that describes what it does to you.

Whatever light you had inside get’s smothered until it’s almost gone, you don’t see it coming, but you know it’s there.

A gathering, creeping, clawing shadow.

It makes you doubt yourself, it makes you point the blame elsewhere.

I’m just tired.

It was a long week.

It was only delayed two hours this time.

It makes you see hope where it might not even exist.

It’s not so bad.

It could be worse.

Next week will be better.

Slowly, slowly it changes…

DISCLAIMER: This is not entirely my doing. I learned it from my time with the gov.uk PaaS team, and more specifically Graham Bleach. So I apologise in advance for any errors in what follows, which is a simple approach to planning disaster recovery for a platform.

Disaster Recovery as a team sport

This is incredibly important to understand, this is not the preserve of the technical team alone. To make the right decisions, and avoid unnecessary work investing time and effort in disaster recovery implementation for things that aren’t really that important, the following approach needs to involve the whole team, with product/service representatives taking part.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

*this is likely of more relevance to people in the UK but hopefully it helps explain things a little

I’ve been involved in the response to COVID-19 and I’ve learned a lot about the virus and the general response whilst working on a few different things.

One of those things was directly related to contact tracing.

Every day a new story appears about the latest App that’s going to save us all.

Then it isn’t ready, and it goes away again.

Everyone asks ‘but how can we do contact tracing now??? (Not everyone, but certainly news outlets.)

This is driving…

Today is mental health awareness day.

Funny old things awareness days…how much can being aware help really?

Turns out probably a lot. If one person understands that having Mental Health issues is something that effects more of us than not, then we’re making a difference.

That’s why I’m joining in today, to add my voice, out there, specifically as a fully grown-ass man, to the number, who understand that Mental Health issues happen, and they happen to me.

Don’t got it alone.

As you might expect, before reaching my almost forty years old grown-ass man state, I was a kid.

Pretty standard.

My first…

Some background first.

What are you on about?

As Deputy CTO in Kainos Digital, I get to work on lots of interesting things, in lots of different contexts. A decent percentage of my time is spent working on delivery. That means being with teams, looking at architectural approaches, advising on options to solve problems, checking we are doing things as well as we can. It also means talking to people from the customer’s side…are we doing things right? How might we use technology to make things better for users…it’s challenging, but it’s also fun.

Another part of what I do in Kainos (there are a…

As I mentioned in my estimation article, when dealing with uncertainty one approach is to play a Spike to get clarity.

In this article I’ll go into a bit more detail and offer an approach you may find useful.

As an aside, don’t worry about the origin of the phrase, it’s a subject of speculation, but it’s mostly attributed to Kent Beck.

What is a Spike?

Simply, it is work you do to learn something. An investigation to turn the unknown into something a bit more known.

You could go on ahead and put on your +10 boots of future seeing, or get out…

So you’ve got some bunch of money. You have some amount of time. You also have stuff to get done.

Users need to use, developers need to develop, user researchers need to research users and we need to make sure what we build is actually useful. Adoption is crucial. Reputation is crucial. Communication is crucial. Crucial is crucial. Wait. Strike that last bit.

Deciding what to do and when to do it

Everything is important. But, some things are more important than others.

This is my rough guide on how to decide what matters.

Let us build a world…

Our vision, our new world

There it is. Our new world. A beautiful idea. So…

Things go wrong

Regularly.

All of the time.

By way of example, I’ve done a talk on this topic a few times. It was advertised as this once:

My work Macbook got stolen. The how isn’t important really, thankfully it didn’t involve any violence. But the aftermath is what I hope will be interesting for people.

There is a monetary impact of course to the company, but thankfully we have coverage for theft. It’s also a dent in my time, which also sucks. But really, that’s all.

Below is my cheat sheet for why this is not a big deal for me

  • I inform people that need to know, straight away.
  • I use ‘the cloud’ by default for storing data
  • I use ‘log out all sessions’
  • I use…

Background

This post is the start of a discussion in response to this question:

For context I’m talking about a small niche service solution, low usage, with no proposed requirements for exposed API, with both internal and external users.
when is it acceptable to avoid complexity in your architecture?
i.e. at what point does an application qualify as a monolith, rather than a web app?
- Steven Alexander

DHH, creator of Ruby on Rails and CTO at Basecamp for 13 years writes about the Majestic Monolith

TL;DR: Run a small team, not a tech behemoth? Embrace the monolith and make it…

Rory Hanratty

Belfast. Architect, developer, electronic music maker, husband to an awesome wife, father to 3 crazy children. Previosuly @gdsteam and now @KainosSoftware.

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