No denying it now, winter is officially here. Last Sunday the snow kept coming and we awoke to around 40cm on the ground. As expected it took the city a little time to deal with the first snow of the year.

The little guy too has also struggled with going back to being taken to daycare in the trailer with the big tyres rather than upon my shoulders. Mentally, it hasn’t felt like an encasement yet. Not sure if that’s because the brutal January temperatures have kicked in yet or with ever year that ticks by I’m a bit more prepared for what is to come. With winter tyres on the car and the right selection of jackets it isn’t so bad.

Week before last had the always early (to avoid Xmas party clashes) team leads dinner, which I think I made the right call to duck out of early. And by early I still mean gone 11 and after a bottle and a half of wine. I looked at the slurred speech, and swaying of the group as we left the restaurant and decided that the night wasn’t going to get any better from there. Of course, when the kids jumped on me at 6, the extra hours of sleep felt like a great idea.

This week saw the whole company Xmas meal - which to be fair compared with previous years was relatively underwhelming. Having had the company nearly double in size there were a lot of new faces. But the wine was free and ample. The food was tasty, even if the servings were meager. And as the night wore on and the numbers thinned a couple of great conversations were had, or at least I thought so, but that might have been the ample wine lubricant kicking in.

I’m consciously trying to be more positive this week. Having decided that I’ve wallowed in this pity party for long enough, I’ve double downed on deciding that I’m going to be happy where I am. In every sense. Time to take some of that stoic philosophy onboard. Ultimately, the journey is what matters. We spend more time on the road than at the destination. And even if you do make it to the end of the road, you’ll just spend the whole time thinking about how sweet it will be to come back.

On the work front, that means an end to my exploration phase. I’ve looked at being a CTO for something brand new. I’ve looked at being something senior for something new-ish and ready to scale. And from my experience I know what big corporate looks like. And I’ve said no to all of them. So it’s time to shut up and live with the decision.

The company in the meantime has finally started make a few steps towards actually productionizing one of our solutions so that we could maybe flip it into a commercial solution. Or at least, use it as a service in future endeavours which would massively reduce our timelines on projects.

I’m not leading that first charge, but I’ve already been tapped for the second one, and told that it’s all mine if I want to run with it. Responsibilities whilst allowing someone else to trailblaze and work out where some of the landmines are. Seems like a pretty sweet deal.

On the home front too, the same thing applies. Realistically nothing is going to change. With the grandparents here until the end of January, my house is going to continue to be needlessly loud. I feel that there’s been a storm brewing between the two grandparents for a while now and it’ll blow up at some point.

I think I’m also coming to terms with the fact that given the personalities involved, the mother in law is always going to be absorb all attention and I’ll be an afterthought. Which means I’ll be getting the scraps of whatever is left at the end of the day. The political drama, both from the Middle East, the department or whatever has gone wrong in the lab this week.

I feel like I’ve communicated more via text this week than anything else. Which is sad, but that’s the realities of having kids and a busy life. Our comms seem to boil down to operations.

None of us are in the headspace to meaningfully explain our emotions and come to something actionable. Come back together. No. The hint of anything will be sparks on dry kindling… next to a pile of gunpowder.

I don’t know, it’s a funny place to be. I feel like I’ve gone through a few chapters of personal hardship, strife and revelation in the past few months and I’ve seemingly talked to her about almost none of it. In fact we’ve barely talked since Mexico.

Urgh! Well that’s unsustainable. That’s a recipe for a divorce in the making. Maybe not today. But I’m starting to understand why so many marriages fall apart the second the kids leave the house.

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What distinguishes you from other developers?

I've built data pipelines across 3 continents at petabyte scales, for over 15 years. But the data doesn't matter if we don't solve the human problems first - an AI solution that nobody uses is worthless.

Are the robots going to kill us all?

Not any time soon. At least not in the way that you've got imagined thanks to the Terminator movies. Sure somebody with a DARPA grant is always going to strap a knife/gun/flamethrower on the side of a robot - but just like in Dr.Who - right now, that robot will struggle to even get out of the room, let alone up some stairs.

But AI is going to steal my job, right?

A year ago, the whole world was convinced that AI was going to steal their job. Now, the reality is that most people are thinking 'I wish this POC at work would go a bit faster to scan these PDFs'.

When am I going to get my self-driving car?

Humans are complicated. If we invented driving today - there's NO WAY IN HELL we'd let humans do it. They get distracted. They text their friends. They drink. They make mistakes. But the reality is, all of our streets, cities (and even legal systems) have been built around these limitations. It would be surprisingly easy to build self-driving cars if there were no humans on the road. But today no one wants to take liability. If a self-driving company kills someone, who's responsible? The manufacturer? The insurance company? The software developer?