Weeknotes 2024-09

I’ve been having an absolute nightmare with our slowest integration test at work. It basically runs a whole load of tasks against simulated remote nodes, which involves making lots of ssh connections to a fake external system running as a docker container. It recently started randomly failing to connect, or the connection would freeze partway through a command, and because I’d ignored my better judgement and changed too many things before getting back to green, I spent ages trying to narrow down the problem. The trouble is I don’t think it’s actually deterministic, so I kept going down blind alleys thinking I was getting somewhere. Despite trying everything I can think of, including reinstalling docker, it still doesn’t reliably work on my Mac. Fortunately it still seems to be OK on CI, so at least there’s that. Still, grr.

I was slightly dreading Tuesday night training after Tarpley, but my legs surprised me by mostly still working. There was a track session on Wednesday too, which might have been a bit much, but fortunately I had an excuse in the form of a clashing Run for Beer. We’re trying to mix up the destinations a bit this year, and for February we picked the Greyhound. It’s an excellent pub, and I should go there more often.

Run for Beer

On Thursday we had one of our irregular developer events at work. Amazingly we’re now up to DevCon17 (I came up with the idea for the first one back in 2009), and apparently I’m now not just the only person to have presented at all 17, but no-one else has even attended them all! This time I talked about time, and a few of the ways it can bite programmers (seemed apt for February 29th).

I dropped a container full of sugar on the kitchen floor yesterday, and it somehow landed and remained upright, the base almost but not quite detached (that clear plastic bit is open at the bottom), and almost all the sugar stayed inside. I’ll take that as a win.

Lucky escape

The long-delayed Framlingham cross country happened today – it should have been the first race of the season, but had to be postponed because of massive flooding last year. Some parts of the normal course were still underwater, but the Flyers did a sterling job of adapting the route and also coping with reduced car parking capacity. I don’t think most of the course was really much muddier than in previous years, but there were a few points where it was a bit deep (including in the iconic section through the [dry] castle moat.

At the bottom of Ed Sheeran’s castle on the hill
Gratuitous cat photo

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