Techstars London day 3: Already feeling the benefits

Today was a long day. I woke up early (6.30am), jumped in the shower and got on the run.

I walk everyday from our lovely flat in Haggerston down to Clerkenwell. It takes me about 45 minutes to get to the office and it is good exercise. I am not a morning person – actually, let me correct that: I am not an (insanely early) morning person and walking helps me a lot to wake up and be more alert.

I arrived at 8am with a bit of buffer time to get changed and head to the CTO meeting. Our first. The meeting was led by Tak and to my (great) surprise Dom Davis was the guest this week. Yes! The same Dom Davis that inspired me to start blogging my experience at Techstars! THE Dom Davis in the flesh! (Sorry got a bit carried away there..)

The CTO meeting is presented during the induction as a “forum where you can b*tch about your CEOs” the same way that the CEO meeting is an “opportunity to b*tch about the CTOs” – but in reality, and as Dom already pointed out in his book, it was actually a very helpful chat about things that are concerning us in our position.

Some of us have experience managing teams but some others don’t. Or some are more confident about the technologies they are using, and some need some help with this or that. But there we were, a room full of incredible talent, and as Dom put it, among all of us, we are sure to cover most expertise areas in computing, which makes the group incredibly powerful. If you have a question you just ask. It felt great to be able to be open about our worries. It’s also good to see that, it is ok to not have everything figured it out but knowing in the end it will be ok. 

Right after the CTO meeting we went onto our first deep dive as a company. The first rule of the deep dives is…you don’t talk about the deep dives. But I will say this: it was a brilliant conversation with Max, Jon and Ben and that I finally got to show that I am not as quiet as it seems at times! (*)

After that, I spent the rest of the day coding. There’s one thing that I am not sure all developers would agree on, but even though I can be quite productive and get great insights in meetings and all, there’s no better metric for productivity than the number of commits or lines of code(**) that you write in a day. So for me, to have finished off (almost!) some work that has been dragging for a while felt great.

Another good thing of Techstars so far is having an office. Especially an office where, not only there are other great companies in your cohort, but there’s also great companies where you have a bunch of your closest friends, who you can ask for help and they won’t hesitate to give you a hand after a long day at work (thanks Nickrw!).

Ended up grabbing dinner at 9pm at Byron. Naughty, I know, but hey! I just had a salad for lunch and I totally skipped the pastries at the CTO meeting – can’t promise I’ll always have this will power though.

And final highlight of the day, our screens arrived! And they are massive! Not sure what it is about them, but I just get 10x more productive when I am working on 27” than 13”. It must be (again) a developers’ thing, since Stan’s and Maria’s reaction was “I am not sure I need this big ass screen” – but I assure them they will love it!

My final setup :D
My final setup 😀

To finish off, while chatting to Dom, he gave me a few ideas to include in the posts, which I absolutely loved and for the sake of science I will implement: provide numbers on how much I sleep every night, when I wake up, when I go to bed and what my mood for the day was, etc – then I will analyse it and see if there’s any correlation. I have also noted down my weight and will see by the end of the program just how much more I have put on – I have been hearing it is bound to happen, so might as well embrace it but trying to keep healthy. 

So here’s the summary for the day:

Wake up time: 6.30am

Hours of sleep: 5.48

Mood for day: Positive and happy due to productivity during the day

Levels of tiredness (as of 00:47): extreme 

And to finish off, since I am a music passionate and I started this blog not long ago to blog about music but didn’t get to much of it, I will also add the soundtrack for the day: https://open.spotify.com/track/2GLl5SfGDhAEztVvEVRimA 

Now, off I go to sleep, tomorrow more…

(*) The first real conversation I had with Tak he mentioned I seemed like the quiet type. To his surprise, now he can’t shut me up! 

(**) Sometimes (generally) less code is better in terms of design, but you still need to write code 🙂

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