My current job as an “Enterprise Architect” has my place of work officially listed as my home, although I’m regularly out visiting clients. I share that home with my wife, 3 sons and a cat (the cat is the only one with me in the daytime). As a relative newcomer to the home-working scene, I thought it would be interesting to share my experience over the last year in how I’ve adjusted to this new way of working. I was inspired by one of Scott Hanselman’s tweets around going for a morning commute even if you work from home:
Now, I’m sure most home-workers will tell you one of the best perks of being based at home is avoiding the traffic-filled commute but something about Scott’s tweet definitely rings true. It made me think of what I’ve done to motivate me to get out of bed in the morning when I could just as easily roll out at 8:55. How do you get into good habits rather than develop bad habits? So here are my personal 6 rituals of working from home.
Continue reading The 6 Rituals of Working from Home
This is the news you’ve all been waiting for, I’m getting back into blogging!
A lot has happened since my last post, to me, technology and the IT Pro community. I’ve been really impressed by some of the work my peers have been doing publishing articles, producing YouTube videos and recording some great podcasts, so I feel it’s about time I jumped back in the water.
My blog posts will continue to be varied but will mostly focus on my interests in cloud computing and especially the Microsoft stack. I’ll be avoiding “paid for” articles like a few of my previous ones to keep a better sense of integrity and provide better value to those of you who may stumble across my ramblings.
The point of this article is to give me a kick to actually put some content on here, so hopefully that’s done the trick and you’ll see more regular posts (if I don’t get too distracted with updating my “about” pages and tinkering with the theme/layout!).
For now, follow me on Instagram and Twitter and say hi.
Disclosure: I was sent this pair of trainers free of charge in exchange for a review of them
I’ve wanted to pick up running again after a bit of a lull since Summer 2014. I’ve got a bit fed up with long distance running and thought it would be a good idea to focus on improving my running times for 10k and below. This meant I was very pleased when I received a new pair of Airia Ones to review.
The big deal about these Swedish shoes is that they have been designed with the goal of making you able to run faster. In fact, they give you a 30 day guarantee so you can test it out for yourself risk-free. I was immediately sceptical; it sounds like a big promise to say a shoe can make you run faster. However, as soon as you open up the box (which felt a bit like unboxing an iPhone for the first time) you can see that these trainers are different to your usual Nike or Adidas running shoes. They are so light when you pick them up it reminded me of the polystyrene blocks you get in packaging. The patented outersole (manufactured by Vibram) gives it the unique shape and is firm but flexible. The rest of the upper is made out of an airy mesh and when you put it on it hardly feels like you are wearing anything.
Continue reading Review – Trainers from space (a.k.a. Airia Ones)
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. They do this every year and it’s one of the reasons I love using WordPress as a blogging platform!
Here’s an excerpt:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report.
It seems like a long time since my last proper technical blog post, I blame OneNote for replacing my need to publish all my notes online! I intended to do at least one article a month but I was shocked to discover I only did 6 new articles in 2012, although I did update many existing ones. Even so, I’ve been getting impressive page views and glad to see the technical articles becoming more popular than fluffy ones (like my old 2009 Windows 7 theme packs posts from 2009)
As it is a new year, and I’m soon to be starting a new role, I thought it’s about time to share some of my problems to help others stuck in the same situation. Check back very soon for fresh, interesting and (hopefully) useful articles
Last month I took on my wife’s challenge to abstain from any social networking over the six weeks of Lent. Some thought it couldn’t be done but I endured and think I may have come through it a little wiser.
At first, it was a real mental struggle. I can remember the very first day when I almost broke out in a sweat when not checking in to my train station on Foursquare. I could sense the long road ahead and could feel all my social clout slipping away from me. This was no joke and it helped me realise just how addicted to it I was.
Fortunately, the initial day was the only real struggle. I was occasionally tempted by a few notifications slipping through on my phone but once they were all properly turned off it was surprisingly easy to leave it all behind, refreshing in fact.
Continue reading The Return of Me: what I learned from my social fast
I’m sure a lot of us use social networking too much. By too much I mean using it,
- for procrastination,
- at inappropriate times and places,
- first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
This is becoming the latest addiction for our generation, and although not as harmful as drugs or gambling etc, it can cause a disruption in your real life and actually make you less social with the people you see on a day to day basis.
Continue reading Addicted to Social Networking? I’m giving it up for Lent!
And now for something a little different. The true(-ish) story of how I got my new job as a SysAdmin for LinkedIn …
Once upon a time, there was a country boy from the shire of Bedford. One lucky day he received a Windows Phone 7 smartphone from the wizards at Microsoft. It let him do lots of magical things. His favourite trick was to check-in using the Foursquare spell. He got so good at using this spell he managed to conjure himself into the mayor of Bedford train station.
Continue reading A social media fairy tale: How a mayor got a new job
I thought that raising money online would be a really easy way to support a charity when I ran the Loch Ness Marathon in 2009. It turns out that it was actually easier to raise it offline by shaking a tin under peoples’ noses. You soon realise that the odd nagging tweet or facebook post isn’t going to inspire many people to type in their credit card numbers.
In my first ever Saturday job as a Sainsbury’s BWS Replenishment Assistant (i.e. Beers, Wines & Spirits shelf stacker) I was told that a customer needs to hear about a product an average of 23 times before they will think about buying it. I guess the same goes for donating to charity, although I would hope it’s a bit lower! That’s why I think Comic Relief does such a great job with Red Nose Day. I’ve seen so much RND stuff this year all over the internet, TV and radio. Combine that with the ease of impulsive SMS text message donations and your on to a winner. Who would have thought that 2 DJs could have raised £2.4 million just by staying awake for a few days. I don’t think even the BBC had any idea of the viral sensation that occurred, enough to crash even their servers! I’ve found myself shelling out on several occasions and I’m dedicating this week’s post to ask you to do the same this year.
Find out more by watching coverage on BBC1 & 2 tonight or by visiting bbc.co.uk/rednoseday