Working for the Man

Tomorrow is the start of my second week at my new job, working for the Government. Working for the Man. Maybe we are the Man. It’s probably different from what you might expect: I still don’t wear a suit to go to work, for example. So far, I’m really enjoying it.

More specifically, I’m working for Government Digital Service on the single government domain project. Government procurement is typically associated with big consultancies, bigger budgets, and long delivery timelines. By contrast, this is being developed in-house by a small team using agile practices—and we’re going to do it better!

Some of you might find it, well, surprising that I’d choose to go and work for the government, but the idea of making government online services actually good feels pretty revolutionary and even a bit seditious. Given that some amount of government is necessary (which is, I think, accepted by most people with the exception of anarchists), it’s also necessary for people to interact with the various arms of the state, but the online facilitation of this hasn’t always been as good as it could be (to be generous). I’ve got a chance to be part of the solution, and to work on a project with national impact that really should make things better for everyone in the UK.

If you want to know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, you should probably read:

It really does feel like working in a start-up: there’s a lot to do in a short time, and a sense of energy and urgency about the work. I’m finding it quite invigorating.


  1. Paul Garbett

    Wrote at 2011-09-26 08:10 UTC using Internet Explorer 8.0 on Windows XP:

    Well my Monday just took a bit of an upturn on that news Paul – not just that the fine words are being translated into action or that someone like you is involved. No – the real boost is that the solution is “being developed in-house by a small team using agile practices” and the giants of the consulting world have been sidelined. For the first time in ages I can rest easy that some of my tax is being spent well. Good luck and keep us posted.
  2. Strawp

    Wrote at 2011-09-26 13:56 UTC using Chrome 14.0.835.186 on Windows 7:

    Welcome to the public sector! Sounds like you’re in a very rare and privileged area of it if you’re allowed RAD :P
  3. xiangdian

    Wrote at 2011-10-10 01:56 UTC using Internet Explorer 8.0 on Windows 7:

    Good Good! I totally understand what “quite invigorating” means since I’m running a star-up and ‘life-time poject’. Enjoy! Hope we could work together one day.
  4. San

    Wrote at 2011-11-18 19:49 UTC using Firefox 5.0 on Windows 7:

    Congratulations on an interesting job.

    An old cynic writes:
    Whatever the absolute worth of what you’re doing, and whatever its relative worth, expect the project to go in to the “valuable, lessons to be learned” category once it affects real Departments :( .

    ipdl was great :). Thanks.