Conference talks and presentations

I've given various talks about agile, technology, data, organisation design, and people.

  • The Lead Developer 2015 – Go – I made all the mistakes so you don't have to

    A talk about Go showing mistakes to be avoided when coming from other languages, discussion about strengths, and perceived shortcomings like dependency management.

    Slides
  • Scale Summit 2015 – Soft real-time interrupts for squishy humans

    A 5 minute lightning talk on how using hand-signals can make meetings shorter and more productive

    Slides
  • Strata EU 2013 – Information revolution in government

    The UK Government’s ground-breaking GOV.UK project started with a tool to capture and understand user data about user needs called need-o-tron. Need-o-tron was the heart of the project helping the team understand the vast landscape of what citizens might need of government, and focus in on the genuine, core needs that only government can serve. It was a useful tool in itself, but its true power was in the conversations it stimulated and the mental processes it hacked.

    The child of need-o-tron is “the Performance Platform”, a suite of tools to understand the performance of government services, helping service managers and their teams understand the performance of their services and how they can be improved. That’s a huge step away from immensely detailed value stream maps about a call-centre and paper process (which might be an inherently 5-day long journey), to something that’s digital, lightweight, fast and pleasant to use. The Performance Platform will publish the existing (call-centre volume) data and capture new data about conversion funnels and our 4 core metrics about digital transactions. And it’ll make the vast majority of that data public.

    Building tools for well over 600 government services isn’t something that can happen overnight and is never solely going to be a technical challenge. We’ll talk about the iterative approach underway to move from the world of need-o-tron to a world of truly data driven government services, and the huge cultural shift that’s involved in getting us there. Along the way we’ll explore techniques that can be applied in many large organisations, or anywhere that a little culture hacking is required.

    Slides
  • Strata NY 2013 – Information revolution in government

    The UK Government’s ground-breaking GOV.UK project started with a tool to capture and understand user data about user needs called need-o-tron. Need-o-tron was the heart of the project helping the team understand the vast landscape of what citizens might need of government, and focus in on the genuine, core needs that only government can serve. It was a useful tool in itself, but its true power was in the conversations it stimulated and the mental processes it hacked.

    The child of need-o-tron is “the Performance Platform”, a suite of tools to understand the performance of government services, helping service managers and their teams understand the performance of their services and how they can be improved. That’s a huge step away from immensely detailed value stream maps about a call-centre and paper process (which might be an inherently 5-day long journey), to something that’s digital, lightweight, fast and pleasant to use. The Performance Platform will publish the existing (call-centre volume) data and capture new data about conversion funnels and our 4 core metrics about digital transactions. And it’ll make the vast majority of that data public.

    Building tools for well over 600 government services isn’t something that can happen overnight and is never solely going to be a technical challenge. We’ll talk about the iterative approach underway to move from the world of need-o-tron to a world of truly data driven government services, and the huge cultural shift that’s involved in getting us there. Along the way we’ll explore techniques that can be applied in many large organisations, or anywhere that a little culture hacking is required.

    Slides
  • WebExpo 2013 – A startup within government

    GOV.UK is a breakthrough approach within government to building digital services that are so good citizens prefer to use them.

    This talk will look at multi-award winning GOV.UK, how and why it was built by a collaborative, cross-disciplinary team at the Government Digital Service (GDS), and share how the team works. It will cover the technology choices, how we revisited those choices along the way, why we've chosen to reject the traditional government option of large vendor stacks, the open-source culture and how we code in the open, the tools used and architecture of the web site, the benefits (tens of millions of pounds saved), how others have built upon our work and what it's like to work at a startup growing at a massive pace in a government environment.

    Slides