What did I work on?

  • I worked with the team to define some architecture for shipping logs from a range of heterogenous systems and services into a data repository with low latency. Logfiles & Event Streams → Logstash → Redis → Logstash → Cloudwatch is the crooks of it and got a basic version of this working. More to do to get this production ready.
  • I was helping a few teams with development environments, and it was difficult. What made this hard was trying to create immutable environments that were easy to create, could be done so quickly run on macs and run windows native apps. Building internet era services (built on macs) that integrate with legacy windows systems is a hard problem to solve. It took me down all kinds of rabbit holes with clouds, VM's, VDi to name a few, I am still not entirely sure of the way to go with this one.
  • I also worked with another team to share what I have learned so far about GP Records, SCR, SCR Extended, GP Connect, IM1, SPN's and how we found ourselves in this position. I don't think any of this is necessarily bad and is a representation of the evolution of services needing different things from GP systems and services. The tech and the approaches are all valid in this context even if it doesn't represent an ideal from a greenfield perspective.

What didn't go so well?

  • The affects on lockdown are showing with many people I interact with daily now, and it's certainly having an affect on me too. I need to spend more time making sure people are ok and not breaking.
  • I really wanted to spend more of my time on an evening playing with the Bed Capacity problem I have talked about in previous weeks, just because I want to learn a bit more and share some of my work. The reality is I didn't get much time, home-schooling, children that are bored and struggling without social interaction with other children,  plus my wife is now 20 weeks pregnant means I don't get much time after work at the moment.

Who did I talk to?

  • Had a chat with Sean Key from NHSX about UEC interoperability. It's good to get an understanding of how things I worked on a decade ago are still powering positive changes in the UEC space.
  • I also had another discussion with a group of NHSX folks about the various digital tools and services that I have been working with LIVI and MJOG, there has been and continues to be a lot of development of tools and services for General Practice that compliment general practice workflow in both the pre and post COVID worlds. I am hoping to start talking a lot more about this stuff in coming weeks. Being open really does make things better.
  • I had a beer over video with Marcus on Saturday night, it was great to catch up and share what we have both been up to and talk health tech. He's been working on some interesting things and really gets first principle type problems. Check out his twitter.

What did I read?

  • I read James Cattel's Weeknotes - "I’m an introvert that’s learnt how to act like  an extrovert." & "Inside I’m screaming and just want to switch everything off and hide." I really resonate with this at times, my mental health hasn't been great over the last 4-5 years, it came as a total shock to me and it has been a real struggle but I have learned to live with it and starting to get more confidence. Stay well James.
  • This belter of a blog post by Chris Fleming - The way Chris explains this makes it sound simple and common sense, it really should be and posts like this help people understand there is a better way.
  • Chris Witham wrote a cracker of a blog about the state of NHS Websites. It's really well researched and written, it's clear to see Chris has put a lot of work and thought into it. I found myself nodding a lot as I was reading it, these problems have been around for yonks now with many failed attempts at solving them. There is definitely a better way but it is a really hard problem to solve properly without unintended consequences. Thanks for sharing Chris.
  • My previous gaffer Rachel Murphy wrote a great blog post that I enjoyed reading, it prompted a lot of thoughts. After reading it a few times I took a few notes to clarify some of my own thinking which I hope to share soon.

Have a great week folks.