One Month at Hazy

1 Month: Deadlines

This post is 11 days late, if measured in fiscal months; 1 day late, by business day-months; and right on time, if by business day-weeks. Further, I'm not even sure if "late" would apply here: nobody told me to write this post - equally probable, nobody wants me to write this post. I simply chose a "month" as a good time to post an update to my previous one week at hazy. I can't give you a numerical proof why a month is a good time. It just seemed reasonable.

I'm going somewhere with this.


I ocasionally really like Google. In this case, they've added a very simple, but very nice insight widget to GCal:

GCal widget tracking weekly meeting hours and average. 20.8% meeting time, this week, compared to an average of 5.6.
GCal widget tracking weekly meeting hours and average. 20.8% meeting time, this week, compared to an average of 5.6.

Since I've started it's looked like

week hours avg avg (cummulative, actual)
0 8.8 0.3* 8.8
1 7.0 3.1 7.9
2 4.2 5.3 6.67
3 5.5 6.7 6.375
4 8.3 5.6 6.76

* I had to look back in the calendar, it seems like Google applies a default of 0.3hrs retroactively to accounts. Meaning the avg. is a bit rubbish. So I've added a corrected, cummulative column manually. Ya had something good goin' for ya Google, and ya squandered it :(

Depending on your perspective, ~1 day per week in meetings may be a lot, or a little. In my case, this first month, the vast majority of those meeting hours were either (1) 1:1 meet and greets ("coffee" chats), (2) scheduled by myself as pair programming or planning, or (3) scheduled but not fully observed (standup cancelled, meeting ended early). From my perspective, having 4 (four FULL) days a week of meeting-free time is hard to grok. To be clear, my previous role was amazing, but it came at a cost: frequently 20-25 hours per week of meetings. So, when I joined hazy I said my number one goal was to "code more". I can happily say it's absolutely easier to achieve that goal when I can dedicate ~80% of my time to it, uninterrupted.

I point this out, because it's a really common complaint in tech. Big CorpTM is renowned for calendar cramming of engineer's precious (and let's be pragmatic, expensive) time.

Hazy, not so. In fact, I've felt a bit guilty about (2) above, as I think there is the opposite of a meeting culture here: an anti-meeting attitude.

(sadly lacking tracked measures) From 5 weeks of working here, I can confirm that people happily take meetings - but they also happily hang up as soon as the important stuff is said/agreed/delegated. That is to say, meetings are efficient and the focus is on working, not bikeshedding.


What you're measuring matters. Did this post deliever on time for a "month"? Should we trust Google's average weekly meeting hours? (Yes, No, respectively)

In the AI field, we have to spend a huge amount of effort on asking these measurement questions. That is, before asking "how good" a given model may be, you need to know that you're measuring the right thing. And, like, fiscal/calendar/business months, the measurement isn't always immediately clear.

Thus, I've begun my first project, in earnest, now: benchmarking code performance measures. That is to say, when we create a model for you, how do we say that it's a "good" model, how do we know that it's good? What even is goodness?

Upping my PR Game

I mentioned in my first post that I was going to take it a bit slow pushing code. That's seemingly paid off, as it gave me time to explore a handful of tooling that has been on my backlog for quite some time (but for one business reason or other I haven't been able to incorporate into a real production-focussed project),

  • Data Pipelining Kedro
  • Experiment Tracking with MLFlow
  • Data versioning (and more) with DVC
  • Some other stuff

No time was wasted (bikeshedding) here. A challenger PoC was coded up, evaluated (see (2) above), and approved.

All in all, I feel my "onboarding" is pretty complete.

Now it's time to set the bar.

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