Weeknotes 22 - There was a lot of rain
- It’s that time of year when I receive a tax code letter, full of gibberish, asking me to get in touch if I think any of the gibberish is incorrect.
- I’ve just finished reading Mike Monteiro’s Ruined by Design. I don’t need convincing that design has social responsibilities, so I’m not really the audience for the book. Even so, it was worth reading. Monteiro describes the ethical test exercise he gives designers during the hiring process. I’m not going to share it here, because the way it’s structured is meant to catch people out if they don’t question the task they’re given. I think that’s a bit too harsh, but I am a big fan of constructing opportunities for candidates to show the breadth of their thinking through practical exercises and not just past work examples. It’s got to be done thoughtfully though. Laurie Seldo wrote up solid advice on hiring, if you can get past the “you’re doing it wrong” framing. Seldo summarises how exercises can waste everyone’s time if they’re not relevant to the role, and suggests really good basic rules for developing a good process.
- I’m a bit sceptical of the moral panic over living with digital devices, but this essay mercifully doesn’t bring a clickbaity angle when discussing the benefits of solitude. It reminded me that I refused to watch TV in my teens to protect the time for being alone with my thoughts. That choice had upsides of course, for example less exposure to the pervasive homophobia present on Polish TV. One of the downsides however is that I’m only now watching Friends for the first time, having missed half a lifetime of cultural understanding. Could I be more behind?!
- There was a lot of rain this week, but somehow none of it washed the fox poop off my gas meter cover.