weeknotes 5

actively engaged


I use YNAB for budgeting, and the tool I used to automate account syncing (Sync for YNAB) stopped actually syncing. Rather than paying for a service that’s been pretty flaky in general (I’ve noticed missing transactions every now and then causing budgets to drift), I decided to see how hard it would be to build my own.

My main account is with Monzo, and they have a fairly standard RESTful API. YNAB also has an API and a JS library to wrap it. So, on the weekend, I built something to sync the two, running every hour in a GitHub Actions workflow. Because it runs headless and just for me, I managed to dodge the OAuth bullet by using personal access tokens and GitHub’s secrets. It’s entirely configured by environment variables, so if this also interests you (and you’re technically inclined), you should be able to fork the repository, set up the environment, and have it work for you, too! Although I probably need to implement proper OAuth for Monzo to stop you needing to update the token every couple of days…

I have some credit card debt and another current account that I track but rarely make transactions in, so I don’t mind maintaining those manually. I opted for building up generic interfaces for accounts and budgets, so it should be relatively straightforward to make more things work.


My fixed rate term ended a while ago, and I haven’t had the energy to try to work out how to remortgage again. This is another place where my name is still wrong, because of archaic systems…

I tried out Habito and my first interaction with a human was them denying that my name is my real name. :sigh:

I got through the process in the end though. Just waiting for them to search the market for me.

line management

I want to be a more actively engaged line manager. I’m quite disconnected from what people are working on, day to day, and I want to improve that. So I’m going to start going to show and tells for the projects I’m not working on. I’ll probably ask the people I manage to recommend particularly interesting sprints, but my aim is to watch a show and tell for someone’s team at least once every 3 sprints.

ruby build time

Why does Ruby take so long to install?! Every time I start a new Ruby project, I end up waiting an hour for The latest version of Ruby to install (this time 3.0.0).


The saga continues with HMRC flat out rejecting my latest attempt to get my name changed… Their Twitter account’s advice: write them a letter that they will probably not respond to for the same reasons they had issues with every other attempt. GDPR grants a right to rectification, which I am being denied.

quiet week

3 of the 4 concurrent clients didn’t need much of my time at all this week, which was nice. I spent the time working on progression framework stuff and making our monthly financial reporting process more automatic.

progression framework

We’ve been doing a bunch of work on progress frameworks at dxw. We built one for technology that we’ve been using for the last year or so for a subset of the team, but it’s too granualar and skills based. So we’ve been working on something a bit higher level and a better connected to what we actually need from technologists at certain levels.

I did some work on polishing the framework up this week, and we’re now ready to start onboarding the technology group! It’s definitely not “done”, but the best way to learn how good a thing is is to use it.

Sally Lait wrote an excellent article about essentially the same journey that has been really useful for framing our thoughts.


The Expanse! Best sci-fi on TV in a long time.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Heaven’s Vault, and it’s really really good. I finished it and immediately jumped into a New Game+, which I never do. Plus, I’m convinced that the actor who plays Naomi in The Expanse is the voice actor for Aliya (they aren’t, but they fooled me).


I’m really bad about finding time to read. I enjoy reading, but never seem to find an opportunity to start. I’m going to start setting aside 30 minutes at the end of my work day to read work-related books, starting with The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier. That might also encourage me to actually stop at the end of the day.

Recommend me books to read on being a good manager or technologist!


I’ve started learning Rust (again). James and I have set aside an hour every Friday to do stuff at the same time as each other. To start with, we’re both going through the Exercism course, which I’m enjoying (1 hour in).