Monday 27 April

I don’t normally write much about my job. I guess that’s because I am wary of revealing company confidential information but I work for Oracle Corporation and have done so since 2006. I am a Technical Consultant (‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None’).

I find ‘Dear Diary’ blog posts quite tedious but anyway, during these strange times, it’s something to write about.

I have been a remote worker since I returned to work following a ‘minor health issue’ in 2011 so this remote working thing isn’t novel, strange, challenging or depressing for me. I don’t need endless quizzes, fancy dress meetings or ‘Best Zoom background’ competitions to motivate me or raise my spirits.

09:00 - login and process email.

It’s a cliche but you do need to be quite disciplined when you’re a remote worker. I always endeavour to get to my height adjustable desk by 09:00, err, let’s say 09:30, well at least by 10:00 (in case anyone notices).

The temptation to lounge around in my pyjamas watching mindless daytime TV or the tennis from Wimbledon has never been an issue for me. I feel very lucky to be able to work from home. I have done my share of sitting in airport lounges, staying in expensive hotels, eating in lovely restaurants (on my own) during years of foreign travel to help customers in glamorous locations like Prague, Bergen, Madrid and West Bromwich.

It’s down to trust. Your employer is trusting you to get the job done. Guess what - if you don’t, someone, somewhere will notice.

09:30 - demo to colleagues of a embryonic APEX application that, essentially, provides real-time access to an Excel spreadsheet on an internal Web site. Sounds trivial but this enables multi-user access and a single source of truth without managers circulating the file via email which is beneficial.

11:30 - complete a design document for an external client describing how we intend to purge data from FY14 due to legal requirements. Again, straightforward but slightly complicated by the fact, the client needs to review and approve the data to be removed. The data volumes to be purged involves millions of records to there is no way they can possibly meaningfully ‘review’ the data but the purged data is preserved in separate tables for audit purposes (and recovery in case we got the threshold date wrong)

13:00 - lunch. A cheese sandwich using home-made bread. We didn’t have any yeast so, while it smelled nice coming out of the oven, it was slightly dense and heavy going. A single slice felt like you’d eaten an entire loaf.

14:00 - research an longer-term internal project providing an APEX front-end to a Document repository. Sounds interesting and is a real project with eight people involved using REST API’s. Most of my APEX work to date has been just me on my own so it will be useful to work with a more experienced colleague and learn something.

15:00 - cherry picking presentations from the recent APEX@Home marathon.

The Covic-19 Therapeutic Learning System (TLS) was particularly interesting to me as it was a real-life application developed very quickly. Imagine demo’ing an initial prototype to Larry Ellison over Zoom !

16:00 - researching pastel coloured histograms, doughnut rings and pie charts in APEX.

17:00 - wife’s return from work imminent (she is a nurse in a GP surgery) so put some salmon fillets in the oven to accompany the roasted vegetable couscous with feta cheese she made on Sunday.

18:00 - moment of weakness and I find myself watching ‘About A Girl’ from Nirvana’s first ever live gig at the Pyramid Club in New York from 1989.