Life Update – Autumn 2020

Been a great year so far, hasn’t it? Well, I’m trying to make the best of the situation that we’ve been granted and take what opportunities are available to me.

And things are changing in my life. Firstly – work.

We had an announcement a few weeks back that the team I work on, the product details page, was being disbanded. Project complete, and completed very successfully – one of the quickest loading product pages in retail (I think the quickest, but not entirely sure so don’t want to claim too much), much cleaner and more responsive than the old page and has directly led to higher revenue.

Of course, I did say a while back that my job was safe unless they disbanded my team, or the company went bankrupt. Well, it is thankfully still safe (though there are plenty of other jobs out there for software engineers) and I am being moved to the new “mission” team which is going to focus on recommendations.

I don’t know a lot about the mission – not much has been decided on yet. But basically we are going to be doing some hopefully rather clever data-focused stuff on the recommendations, which you see at the bottom of the product page. I probably couldn’t tell you even if I knew.

So this is quite exciting that I’ll have something new to contribute to and another string to my bow. I’ve set myself a target of being on a salary of at least 50% more in 2022, which I’d much prefer to achieve at M&S, but with their financial situation, who knows. I could probably already earn that elsewhere, let alone in another 18 months – the progress I’ve made at M&S as a software engineer is quite ridiculous. But so much more to learn.

Not moving

I’ve decided against moving house for now. I still haven’t decided where in London to move, there is no longer any urgency as there is no threat of being forced back to the office until next year, and most importantly – there isn’t really any point now.

With 10pm curfews and Tier 2 restrictions, there isn’t much point in moving house for the purposes of improving my social life. My rent would go up at least £200 by moving to a more socially interesting area than Harrow, and with socialising on the backfoot, I might as well save that £200+ a month into my stocks and shares ISA.

Next year I’ll move. Honest.

My investments are my new drug at the moment (though I really need a couple of weeks off my main drug – booze), and I enjoy trying to challenge myself to invest in the best companies. I do make mistakes and it is frustrating at times – like nearly selling my shares in ASOS and then the next day they drop 15% after announcing much better profits than expected. Yeah, I don’t always get it. But I am outperforming the FTSE with my decisions.

I am still having some social fun too, despite the restrictions. I reckon I have one rule break allowed per senior politician’s rule break, though I’m not going to push it. I have my support bubble and maybe every couple of weeks I’ll meet one other person. From what I’ve seen, I doubt people will be following the rules to the letter, though it will certainly be a significant pullback of socialism (ahhh if only…socialising was what I meant to write), as I shall be doing also. The beat of the lockdown drum does seem to have slowed over the last week, though maybe that is because I was on holiday.

Oh yeah, I had a great time in Cornwall. You know there will be a blog about this coming up, to go on my travel page. It wasn’t quite an adventure through Japan. But Cornwall is super gorgeous and we had a great time – exactly what I needed.

Back to work tomorrow and back to roasts today.

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