Week #520 & #521

Friday, February 5th, 02021 at 15:51 UTC

Week #520

This week share’s its name with two things outer space. 520 Franziska is a larger, outer astroid-belt member. It is part of the Eos Family of asteroids with an unusual make-up. The Mars-500 mission was a 520 day long experiment in preparation for a future manned spaceflight to Mars.

We sent out our Q1 newsletter this week. 🚨 We’re looking for some help and need an expert art historian of portraitures. The project would be around exploring what a 02050 portrait look like.

The Australian Plumber Project has been going smoothly. So much so, that they had an idea for an addition to the system. It currently tracks the time reported for each location by each person, but they also have a calendar component to map people to projects each week. Currently, that’s in a spreadsheet, but it’s buckling under its own weight. Now, we are putting together a proposal for a new project assignment feature.

It has been a week of survey work. For one client, we started a new survey. That means importing all their customers, setting-up the questions and reviewing everything. Next week, we’ll start 3 new surveys, plus one long-running survey, and should prep for a 5th. March will see the largest staff survey we’ve conducted, then April will be 2 new ones as well. That means, we’ve been cleaning-up little things in our data collection tool, streamlining it for customers to be even more self-sufficient.

For a different survey customer, they are adapting to the times. Rather than going out into the field with nurses to gather the data, they are moving to an online self-assessment. It does mean reducing some of the measurement questions, but it still allows for data collection during the pandemic. Todo this, we needed to connect with the island.is SSO (Single Sign-On) service. That took a few more days than we expected, but once we got access, we could test and complete the whole data collection flow. That seems to be working and it has been turned over to the client as we wait for the next round of feedback.

The carpenters were at the office early in the week finishing the installation of some new fire doors. That’s done, so just some clean-up on our end and get organised in the office space again.

Week #521

This week share’s its name with 521 Brixia, a minor planet, and is a Prime number which is palindromic in bases 11 (43411) and 20 (16120)!

We spent some time tracing some numbers from photos of hand painted numbers we found in town.

We are pretty happy with the results. Not sure exactly what direction we’ll go next with them, but they are good to have on hand if needed.

Since the carpenters are all finished, we finally hung-up our SF Symbols Poster.

We created this poster before the holidays. It is an updated version of one we did the year before. Apple added lots of new glyphs to the SF Symbols font and it was time for a revision.

Work-wise, we started three big surveys this week. We contacted around 1 out-of every 38 people in Iceland for a parent survey. But the number is actually much higher because of those 38 people, many aren’t parents of school children. That was first a lot of emails, followed a few days later by a lot of SMS messages. We run these surveys on behalf of our customers, but we continue to monitor them to make sure the response rates stay high-enough. This will require us to send more emails, a robocall and finally manual calling to anyone still short on responses.

This week we also pair programmed with a customer to look into ‘milestone events’ in their application to prepare for the upcoming changes to Apple’s SKAdNetwork. This change will make it much more difficult to attribute revenue to very specific customers who download the app. There is a solution, but it is requiring a change in mindset and looking into the existing data to see what activities players are doing in the first 24 hours that predict a ‘good’ life-time value or return on the advertising investment.

This week we can officially announce that we are supporting the team at BBC Research on the Next Generation Internet Policy Lab grant for Bringing Human Values to Design Practice. Our contribution is only a small part of helping diseminate the information, but it is great to be apart of this and contrinbute some of our experience.

We also volunteered for a Research Project about disused IoT devices. It is run by the University of Edinburgh Creative Informatics division. (We didn’t know that before volunteering, because it is also our alma mater)

There was an interview on Monday, followed by three days of short Q&A prompts and concluded with another interview on Friday. It was a great experience for several reasons. We got to be on the flip-side of research for once, but also during the interviews they teased out answers from us and we also learnt more about why some of our perfectly good IoT devices are sitting in a drawer. (More on that in a seperate article!)

Happy Birthday

On Feb 7th, the company will celebrate its 10th birthday 🎂. No festivities are planned yet, but we’ll be sure to do something nice for ourselves.

We’ve also decided to start the process of ‘upgrading’ the company. The way the company structure was originally founded made sense at the start, but times have changed and we’re moving to something more regulated and structured. Nothing major will change, but the company will be in a better place for the future.