Week 2

I’m meant to be writing a talk at the moment. Weeknotes feel like a good way of procrastinating.

Our daughter starts school in September and the week kicked off with a visit to the school to meet her teacher and learn a little more about the shape of the next few months. We were a little taken aback to discover that a “transition week” is planned for the week after next–rather short notice to completely change schedules–but really enjoyed the time and delighted that E already seems to adore her new teacher.

The week was largely about people. Four interviews, 19 CVs to read, 12 other interviews to schedule and one new starter to welcome: Elliott who’s with us on a summer placement and will be spending some time helping out at GDS and some time at with Ministry of Justice.

A group of us also got together to review how the “2nd line support” rota is working out. That was a painful thing to get set up as time on 2nd line is by nature rather bitty and reactive. Thankfully Jim, Carl and others have done a fantastic job of reshaping it and it’s turned into a good opportunity for everyone to learn a bit more about how our various applications and services fit together.

There was an interesting meeting about the Prison Visits exemplar that Gavin‘s leading on. He’s done a huge amount of discovery work over the past five months and it’s now time to dive into making some software. I’m excited to see how that comes together and we’re setting ambitious timetables for producing an alpha so we can really see how the flows work, how people would use a new visit booking system, and so on.

It was also good to spend some time with Simon discussing some of the research and thinking he’s been doing around “governance.” Adapting the frameworks by which spending is agreed, risks are assessed and value is determined is an issue that’s coming up over and over as we work on projects around government, and it’s vital that we get that right.

I ended the week doing a “tech talk” for 30 or so colleagues. It was set up initially to explain “how GOV.UK fits together”, but in the end I used the time to walk through a few of the decisions and changes we’ve made along the way. We’ve been working on some of this code for 2.5 years now with a rapidly growing and changing team and I wanted to begin to fill in some gaps in the history and start on the next steps of documenting what we have.

And now back to preparing slides…

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