Trying to find a work/life balance

Something that has been, quite literally, in my mind is the question of work/life balance.

I am currently working on finishing a dissertation for a Masters in Software Engineering on Behaviour Driven Development in Sonification as well as working across three different projects at work. The dissertation is on the way to first draft completion, though I’m having a few thoughts about some of the code and improving it. The code is perceived as less important than the written work but there is a principle. I hope that the work will be of use in one of the projects which is also on audio.

Parts of life fall across each other and keeping it all apart to maintain some sort of work/life balance is difficult. The Mental Health Foundation has a good guide on maintaining mental health.

There ‘s always the temptation to keep working and tweaking code, as well as writing. This is not the always on call culture but a genuine interest in what I am researching. Some of it is historical, other parts hopefully build towards the future. Some of this has uses in other projects and entails relearning some forgotten skills. But more on that anon.

One thing that I am poor at, is drawing lines under things and calling it a day. This is not that I do not have other interests but tend not to make enough time for them. More recently I have forced myself to take time for my own things and taking tome away to do some personal things (although my recycling bin is now a touch full). Now that winter is coming, the garden is being tucked up and pruned. Time to do the same for my self.

It is not as it there is a dearth of advice and I think that this is personal choice about ways of managing it. Meanwhile I will settle down to stroking the cat who has curled up next to me.

 


Interlinked communities gaming the search and social

Carole Cadwalladr’s article, “Google, democracy and the truth about internet search“, published in today’s Observer New Review section is a thoughtful piece about the way that Right wing politics (under what ever banner they wear today) have used the Web to push their agenda. Her opening paragraph about typing “are jews..” returned the equally appalling […]


Visuals without speech

Last night I watched the Ballet Boyz‘s film, Young Men. It is a film without dialogue, apart from some screaming, set in the First World War. A mixture of dance and music, the film brought out a different set of emotions than spoken word. The music and the physical moves affect us in a different […]


Soft skills in developing Research Software Engineers?

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New beginnings, new stories and finding ways of communicating

I am starting a new project with the Oxford University Museums to work on making art more accessible. My role is a technical one but I love visiting the museums concerned and it feeds out of an interest in audio and sound. One of the challenges at the moment is to create user stories for […]


The Audio Paper format announced in Seismograf

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Identifying depression on social media

I was skimming Arxiv yesterday and came across Moin Nadeem‘s paper on Identifying Depression on Twitter. I am a little skeptical of the area due to the Samaritan’s Radar application. There is an awful lot that is good to the paper and the work in it and clearly the model has something very positive about […]


Talking Heads

A link has been surfacing on Joseph Faber‘s Euphonia, a nineteenth Century text-to-speech device. Using mechanics, it appears to have spoken whilst being controlled by a human. It takes the Victorian fascination with automata to new levels.


Is UX really providing user experience?

Although I am not a gamer (no, have not played a game for years), Benjamin Brandell’s reflections on User Experience in 1990s games is a provoking read. His thesis is the contentious: the evolution of UX — although we know it now as a way to keep users sticking around — this is from a time period when it wasn’t […]


Facebook getting some spatial audio

I’ve just seen the news about Facebook buying the 3D Audio company, Two Big Ears, to support its spatial and virtual reality businesses via Techcrunch. They are also releasing their 3DCeption as a free download. I look forward to playing with it at some point soon. At this moment, it appears that the workstation is […]