Week 37

I visited the Carers’ Allowance team at the Department for Work and Pensions on Tuesday. The team, based up in sunny Preston, launched a beta of the Carers’ Allowance service last week, and I found it fascinating to see how another team of digital folk have been building things inside government. I particularly like how they’re making the most out of the existing systems to build momentum in the shortest amount of time.

I finished the story to assign numeric Need IDs in the Need API at the start of the week. I found some nasty behaviour in Mongoid 3 and the way it inserts data using MongoDB’s bulk insert mode, which caused it to fail silently when the IDs were not unique. Eventually I resorted to downgrading Mongoid to 2.8, but it’s not an ideal solution.

The second story on User Needs I’ve been working on this week was to keep a history of a need, its changes, and a record of who made the changes. This involved changing the way we create needs in the Need API so that author details are always required, and changing Maslow so that details about the current user are included in its requests back to the API. I completed the first part of the work today - the next step is to return the history and changes in the API and display it in Maslow.

Today, Dave and I have been starting some of the assurance work required in order for us to be able to deploy Maslow and the Need API into our production environment. We’ve been writing up the necessary documentation about the components in each app and where they will live on the GOV.UK infrastructure. There’ll be more to do in the coming weeks.

At the end of next week, I’m heading off to Europa-Park for the Horror Nights halloween event. I’ll try and drop in some week notes before I go.