Andy tweeted about this problem and tagged me in it, I gave it some thought about how to match patients to a candidate ward and what kind of dataset would be required to facilitate this. Part of the problem seemed similar to NHS 111 where a patient has deterministic needs and then matched with services that can meet those needs. I wrote up some initial thoughts and shared them with Andy. I have thought about the rest of the solution daily to the point of it giving me insomnia, these kind of challenges are fascinating to me, I am going to keep spending a bit of my evenings thinking about how this may work and talk to other people about the problem at their NHS Trusts to understand the problem better.

Strangle me

We worked with a client who has an amazing healthcare product built over many years, millions of interactions per month. We wanted to help introduce new features but using modern development principles alongside vintage code. We used the strangler pattern which is basically a proxy to route old and new features side by side without the user knowing anything is any different, session state management is a real problem to overcome when dealing with large volumes of users, its great to see the team focus around resolving this kind of challenge.

A CTO perspective is balancing old v new, rip and replace, strangle v big bang etc is not a new concept, we have worked alongside colleagues like Rob Sinclair on a similar pattern when strangling NHS Choices by side loading the NHS.UK frontend with an intelligent CDN. The key for me is recognising the team dynamics, technology available, budget and understanding the friction that stands in the way of the step changes that are possible. It's kind of become an art and less about the technology.

Hired a new starter

This week we hired a new starter, we are getting better at hiring, we care a lot about the right person and it made me think a lot about hiring processes we have. We have tried code tests, probation, and all sorts of techniques copying others, non of them work really.

We still don't have it perfect but we are learning that when we see a vixer we can spot one, if they are not, we just say no or goodbye quickly. To us if your aren't one the rest doesn't matter, we wish you all the success in the world but we know what we need now, we don't recruit for people with a long list of technologies and JavaScript frameworks on t

Books

  • I continue to read The Midnight Library, mentioned last week, it's good, but I have to say it hasn't gripped me, I will push through hoping for an epic ending that makes me wish I would have been gripped all the way.
  • Romans 8 : I always revert back to Romans when I feel troubled in life and book 8 is the one that stood out for me the most and was a tipping point in the way of life for so many, it really helped me see the difference between living a worldly life and a godly life. It brought more peace to my week.
  • Collective Intelligence - Toby Segaran: This book is old now, it predicates a lot of the modern libraries for using data to make decisions using algorithms,before the words ML and AI became the fashion, but I love it, it's pure, understandable and I can interpret it in a way I can explain the application of the principles and algorithms to other people.