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Weeknotes s01e05 — refact0r_y0ur_life_away.mpeg

My s01e04 where not a typical week most weeks what I do is generally a lot more focused around development work (as you will see very shortly), but I am excited that I now have a streak of two.


I pushed an update to govuk-elements-nunjucks, it is kinda odd having that there, as it serves a couple of my projects but could be maybe beneficial by someone else running it, but give to give it some updates.

This now has the new radio and checkbox styles so should make upgrading a couple of the UIs on services a little easier.

I also watched in glee as both the delivery manager and designer both started re-vamping their walls. (I largely think they are completely in love with the new dev kanban board).


My day seemed to be consumed by meetings. One of the content designers ran a workshop to talk about Mission statements. I’d recommend reading this post Helping teams define their focus”.

It was interesting that we split off into two groups and end up with similar output. I’m looking forward to seeing how that ends up as it will help focus the team.


Spent the day refactoring the State Pension front-end — it took all day to refactor out some quite complicated code, it ended up with about 20% failing tests.

Given I’m not familiar with the codebase I took a delete first approach. It would have taken me way too long to read the 2000 tests and work out where it would have been a problem. The code itself was heavily used in the tests but not in the application

I also started editing down my ‘productive agile teams**’ **— one of the 15 drafts in my medium.

I also checked out Scott Logic’s Tech Talks it was great to see their team given the time and space to work with things like web assembly and graphQL.

If you are not familiar with WebAssembly then Lin Clark has one of the most beautifully illustrated talks I’ve ever seen on it. Check out A Cartoon Intro to WebAssembly.

Thursday & Friday

I’ve merged days, I continued my refactoring story — I’ll be honest this is the most painful thing I’ve done this year, hopefully, now we have a similar, cleaner front-end that is easier to test and update in the future. 🎉

It took a long time to get context around a couple of the issues, as it was largely done with structuring mocks for testing. This is something I try to heavily avoid as I end up writing more code for tests than in the application.

I also finally collected the prototype of the NodeConf badge. It is a really lovely little piece of kit! It runs on an Esprunio, the best bit is to unlock developer mode you need to enter Konami code.

It was also nice to see that after a long time, front-end roles are being advertised again. If your interested in front-end development in Government then check them out at

It is good to see the team growing again and is a real positive note to end the week on! If you are reading this and you are wondering what front-end development in Government looks like — feel free to get in touch!

Friday also was the 1st of December , which means advent, and are both excellent!

Important question: are you a giraffe or a seagull?

orginally published on medium