Week 33

This week, I’ve hit the ground running with the user needs project. On Monday, we had our kick-off meeting, working out what the scope of the MVP is. Stuart joined the team as our second developer and I’ve helped him get up to speed on the GDS development stack and some of our conventions. Later this week, we had our first sprint planning session and we’ve also been joined by David T, our third developer on the project.

We’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re going to build for our MVP, so I’ve been doing some prep this week adding the components we’re building to our infrastructure and setting up the continuous integration workflow. If you’d like to keep track, keep an eye on the Need API and Maslow repositories over the next few weeks.

I went along to our monthly GDS all-staff meeting on Wednesday, at the Royal College of Surgeons. It always seems to come around again rather quickly. It’s astonishing how fast we’re growing: since last month’s meeting, more than 40 people have started work at GDS. I particularly enjoyed our guest speakers this month: we were joined by colleagues from Home Office and GCHQ.

On Thursday, six students from an East London high school visited GDS. They have been taking part in a Cabinet Office programme to find out a bit more about how government works. I had a chat with them about what a developer at GDS does, how we work in sprints, how we test almost everything that we do with real users, and how we write code we can deploy the same day.

After mentioning my lack of reading in a post last week, I went and finished two books this week. I finished reading The Tipping Point on Wednesday, and I also read an interesting short book Smoke and Mirrors by Michael Eley, about the history of The Haunted House at Alton Towers.