“So this is our phoenix moment. GDS doesn’t just need to sit inside one building. We have the responsibility to work not on the Government, but of the Government.” – Jason Caplin, Digital Director of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) [Saturday 15 August 2015]
I joined the Government Digital Service (GDS) on Tuesday 18 September 2012, a date I know off by heart. Back then there were a couple hundred of us.
We were preparing to switch off DirectGov and Business Link. In other words make GOV.UK live.
It was a frenetic time. People were busy, stressed and loving it.
The only other work experience I’ve had that comes close was at Lehman Brothers, a now defunct investment firm. I did trading floor technical support in 4 different countries for them back in 1997.
In government I know I’m making my country a little bit better everyday.
I never felt that way in Lehman Brothers.
This is why I’m #OfTheGovernment – because I know I make a difference.
I left GDS in January 2015 to work in the Cabinet Office Transparency and Open Data team.
But I’m still a GDS’er – that spirit will live in me forever.
User research, user needs, agile, sprints – all this I learnt at GDS.
In Jason’s blog post he askes us to:
- make a commitment to remember why we got into this in the first place
- announce when we, as a government revolutionaries, are ready to move on to out next in-government contract
I went to work for GDS because I:
- saw alpha.gov.uk and thought, “wow” – I remember that moment with crystal clear clarity
- was frustrated with Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) internal and external digital services
- wanted to learn from GDS and return to BCC to digitally detonate it
I’ll make good on #3 one day, but not yet. There are still many roles I need to learn.
Then I will move back to Birmingham and blow it up.
Jason – thank you for reminding me why I got into this 😊