Open Thinkering


Weeknote 08/2020

Rebel Code

This week has been half-term for my kids, so I’ve been working less. Although it didn’t pan out exactly this way, the plan was to keep the same working days for Moodle and We Are Open co-op, but just work half days. My thinking was that this would allow me to keep up with the projects I’m working on, and also spend time with the family. As it happens, this approach has left me feeling like I’ve neglected both a bit.

Last week, I explained how my son had suffered from some trauma to his neck. I’m absolutely delighted to report that now, almost two weeks after the injury, he’s back to (carefully!) playing football with his sister and me. Some parts of his left hand have still have reduced sensation and he can’t turn his neck all the way to the left, but his recovery this week has been pretty staggering.

On the MoodleNet side of things, I’ve been finalising details around the budget for this year. Up until now, budgets have been centralised at Moodle, so it’s great for the team to have some direct control over resourcing. As we received around 90% of what we asked for (pretty standard practice, I’d say) we’ll have to bring forward some of our plans to make MoodleNet sustainable in a way that isn’t annoying or creepy.

What MoodleNet currently looks like (staging server)

I’ve learned with this project not to make promises about exactly when things will be ready. That being said, we’re probably a few weeks away from federation testing, which I’m looking forward to.

In addition to this, we’ve been working closely with the Moodle LMS team around integration for the two platforms, ready for their 3.9 release in May. Things are going well in that regard.

For the co-op, I’ve been working on a project which will be launched soon. It’s a community for aspiring open leaders within the public sector, and has had me revisit some work I’ve done over the last decade.

A slide from one of the decks I’ve been working on this week

This is a joint venture with LDR21 and sponsored by Red Hat. I’ve been collaborating mainly with Laura on some workshop resourcing around the fundamentals of working openly. It’s always interesting revisiting the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of your everyday working life.

I received my new phone this week, a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. It’s a beast in every sense of the word: larger and heavier than my previous phone, but with three cameras, insane amounts of RAM and storage space, and a 90hz full-screen display. Given where we live, the 5G isn’t much use to me right now, but I’m future-proofing…

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

This has meant we’ve done a hermit crab-style upgrade, with my son inheriting my OnePlus 5 and passing on his OnePlus One so that my daughter now has her first phone. She’ll get a SIM for it in time for next academic year.

Inexplicably, my new phone doesn’t have wireless charging built-in. So I read this guide and added it myself with a super-thin charging receiver that fits underneath the phone case and plugs into the USB-C port. It’s actually pretty unnoticeable, protects the USB port from dust and dirt, and works really well.

Due to my son’s injury and him previously not being able to do much in the way of physical activity, we brought our PlayStation 4 downstairs and attached it to our TV. (It’s usually hooked up to a projector in the room next to the master bedroom.)

Ultimate Chicken Horse

A game that we’ve greatly enjoyed playing is Ultimate Chicken Horse. It’s as daft and fun as the name suggests, and we’ve had a whale of a time playing it together this week! It’s up there with Party Golf for fun multiplayer games.

Next week, it’s back to a regular week of working full days for Moodle on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, and the co-op on Wednesday and Thursday. My wife’s parents are coming up to visit next weekend, but other than that it’s business as usual.

Header image: photograph of the back of my home office door showing part of Inappropriate Guidelines for Unacceptable Behaviour. The partial quotation to the right reads “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” (Kierkegaard).

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