It’s been an eventful few weeks for everyone in the world right now. Compared to what many people are going through while being away from home, my story is just boring. All I had to deal with was a delay of 3 hours or so at Toronto airport where our plane was asked to wait on the tarmac. I am fortunate to be back home just in time before many countries started to close their borders.
As can be expected, I could barely document any of my learnings this week as well. Here’s what I do remember or managed to document.
This is from an episode on Manager Tools podcast related to management aspects affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode is a long discussion on various aspects of maintaining trust when working remotely. Most of the discussion revolved around 1-on-1s and various practices. As I work remotely and almost all of my 1-on-1s are remote, I found myself agreeing and already practising whatever they discussed.
Two points stood out to me. They tested the optimal frequency of 1-on-1s by measuring retention. They found that weekly 1-on-1s are most effective followed by once in two weeks. The worst outcome is with monthly 1-on-1s, which was found to be worse than having no 1-on-1s at all. This is surprising. It means that if you can only have 1-on-1s once a month, it is better to not have one.
There was another study about taking notes during meetings. Similar to the previous study, they found that taking notes on laptops was worst for retention and recollection. Even worse than pretending to take notes using an invisible pen on an invisible paper. I usually prefer a pen and paper to take notes (or even brainstorm) because they help me remember. Yet, this still came to me as a surprise. Remember to carry that pen and a notebook everywhere.
Raspberry Pi 4
I got back to working with Raspberry Pi’s this week. I got this one (pictured above) to serve as a home media centre but I am thinking of what else I can do with this. My ideas range from building a Dramble running Kubernetes to using just one or Raspberry Pis to run some of my local websites. Docker performance on macOS leaves a lot to be desired and it might be fun to set up a Docker host on one of the Raspberry Pis and use it to run local websites.
I am also looking for other ideas for fun for the future. For now, I tried out NOOBS and Raspbian but then switched to plain old LibreElec to run Kodi directly. Using LibreElec, I was able to set up a Samba server as well to run a simple home file sharing server off my 5 TB hard disk. The setup is hardly ideal right now but the media centre works fine and I can improve the file server in the coming weeks.
Drupal 9 is just around the corner and I took some time to check my websites. I ran the upgrade_status module on various modules to see where they stand. I wanted to see if I could just upgrade one of my simpler websites. The answer was no, sadly. Still, I was able to make quick changes to my contrib and custom modules to add support for Drupal 9. I was also able to submit patches for a few modules and reviewed patches in other modules as well.
Some of my websites were on older versions of Drupal 8 and I updated them to the latest. I even updated the composer template to the new recommended one using my blog post for reference. (It worked well!) Even though I couldn’t really get anything to Drupal 9, I hope one of my projects this week will let me do that.
Until next week, stay safe, and maintain social distance!