From Whitehall to Kingsway… my big move forward and back
It’s an overdue refresh. I actually transferred to the Cabinet Office and the Government Digital Service in December 2011, but I saw out the remainder of my two-year secondment to FCO which. But now I am full time at GDS and loving it.
There’s a proper, serious start-up culture here; it’s an atmosphere I’ve been craving to work in. Everyday feels like a mission to shake things up and everyone is pulling in the same direction with the aim of radically and rapidly changing the way Her Majesty’s Government thinks and does digital.
I’ve blogged here previously about the work I’m involved in at GDS. You can also read a recent post I published on the GDS blog about the evaluation of the Inside government beta. It’s part of a triptych that starts with Neil Williams on why we did it http://goo.gl/UF4Eb, followed by Peter Herlihy on how we did it http://goo.gl/KyX48 and ends with me on what the results were http://t.co/yCeX1Vev.
I’m specialising on monitoring and evaluation for the product development team, which is something that I’ve always enjoyed wherever I can but I’m now getting to focus on it in the midst of some serious design and development talent. Everyday I’m amazed by the people around me and I’m already feeling the benefit of being driven on by my colleagues to work ‘simpler, clearer and faster’ (which has been the mission statement for Gov.uk).
This is easily the most innovative, technical and principled environment I’ve worked in. It’s the most trusting, respectful and demanding team I’ve ever worked in. So, so far so good.
And the ‘big move back’ bit? Well, almost ten years ago I moved down to London to start a job based on Kingsway and now installed in GDS’ Aviation House HQ, I find myself back where it all began.
I’ve been working on Whitehall for the last two years, which was very cool. But in a weird way, being right at the heart of government made me feel totally out of it. Whereas back here, at the intersection of the West and East ends of London, under the Plane trees, next to Covent Garden and up the road from the LSE and Somerset House, it feels like I’m bang in the thick of the world and discovering London again.