Weeknote 2021-06

So a week since my last weeknote, let's see if I can keep this up this year!


Now finished my second week at Ripple. This again has been a week mainly of 1-to-1 meetings with various people to get to know some more people in the company. I'm now up to 37 people cards in my notes (see below). I've also been working my way through the usual corporate mandatory training more companies have – ethics, IT security, etc. But also with Ripple there are a lot of courses on how things like international payments systems work.

Still most of my day has been skewed towards evening working, and I'm moving my family time to the morning. It seems to be working out pretty well so far.

One slightly surreal episode, was an EMEA social lunch session. Ripple sent out a food delivery voucher to everyone and we all ordered something for lunch one day and “met” on Zoom for a lunch. My wife had a medical appointment just before that overran and so I joined the social a bit late... and as I joined I was dropped into a Zoom room with a bunch of Icelandic employees all holding their hands up in the air, and a palm/tarrot reading entertainer reading people's palms!

Three specific 1-to-1's I wanted to call out were with Reinhard Cate, the face of the Ripple Drop videos; David Schwartz one of the original creators of the XRP Ledger; and Lauren Weymouth who leads Ripple Impact.

As well as Ripple Drop, Reinhard also shows up in a lot of the internal training, playing a prospective employee in a number of the videos. He's interviewed many people in the company and was great to get his feeling of the lay of the land.

David, I met a few years ago in Amsterdam and was great to have a longer session to discuss the history of the XRP Ledger, and some of his views on upcoming ideas.

Lauren leads Ripple Impact, Ripple's philanthropic division. She also leads UBRI, the University Blockchain Research Initiative. This is a collaboration with a number of leading universities around the world. Universities and students will be a key part of my Developer Relations efforts.

I'm starting to get a feeling for how we can pull together a lot of the great efforts by various people both in Ripple and outside in the wider community to really form a more coherent developer community this year. There is so much going on, and I really want to showcase it.


I started using the [Zettlekasten](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettelkasten#:~:text=The%20zettelkasten%20(German%3A%20%22slip,used%20in%20research%20and%20study.) idea of note-taking recently. My notes are growing, and I've been working out how to best physically store them. I was originally going to get a box to put them in, but couldn't find a box the right size. I then stumbled on an idea of punching holes in the cards and using rings to bind them. The idea is to grow a bunch of cards and then split them when it gets too much. As I've got so many notes for people in Ripple I've decided to already split just after that topic.

This should also help with the unexpected failure mode I experienced a few times... the dog jumping on my desk and sending the cards flying!

I did have a discussion with a former colleague, Sean, about possible ways to create a hybrid mechanism to scan the cards for electronic use. I could create an app or something I used on my phone to take photos, or we talked about using a Raspberry Pi with a camera module to have a small scanning station that I could just hold a card underneath and it would automatically photograph it and store it electronically. Having a search around, I found a great project of a similar ilk that someone built a Magic: The Gathering card scanner out of lego and a Raspberry Pi:

You can load a deck of cards in there and a small wheel spins to push the cards one by one from a deck to be photographed.


Random acts of kindness

A couple of random acts of kindness by friends this week. My wife has been having a very hard time battling mental health issues, and there have been a series of very stressful incidents this week. One friend sent a lovely bunch of flowers. What was really nice about these flowers, is you actually had to arrange them yourself. It came with an instruction book telling you some simple tips for arranging them, and the function of each flower in the ensemble.

The other nice thing was a good friend wanted to send a food hamper our way... due to Brexit and not knowing what we eat etc, they sent a food deliver gift card instead. And this weekend we ordered a massive feast from a local Indian takeaway. Was delicious! And enough to feed a small army!

Thank you both! ❤️

I am very fortunate to have met and interacted with some amazing people over the years. Both in person and virtually, and I'm looking forward to when we get the pandemic under control enough to travel freely again, as I'd love share a beer and a meal with some of them.

Take care all!