Anna Shipman

Recent stuff

Staying technical

29 March 2015

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about being a technical architect, and one of my main conclusions was that you need to stay technical. But how?

Some suggestions here...

What is a technical architect?

01 March 2015

I have wanted to be a technical architect since I started out in IT, and last September I was delighted to achieve this long-held goal. But very quickly I realised that, while it was clear to me that the role of a technical architect is overseeing the technical aspects of large software projects, I really wasn't sure what that meant I should be focusing on day-to-day. So I turned to some of the brilliant technical architects I know, both colleagues and elsewhere in the industry, for their advice.


How we moved vCloud Tools from Coding in the Open to Open Source

19 December 2014

I've written a post on the GDS Technology blog about moving a project from 'coded in the open' to true Open Source. How we moved vCloud Tools from Coding in the Open to Open Source.

How do I get more women to speak at my conference?

08 December 2014

Last year I wrote about how anonymous submissions affected gender balance at SPA conference. Short answer: not hugely, but it did have some other positive effects. This year, however, we did have more women speaking at the conference than previously. Here are some suggestions for how to replicate this at your conference.


Infrastructure as Code in Government

16 September 2014

A talk about how we do infrastructure as code on GOV.UK and my work on vCloud Tools, our open-source tools for automating provisioning. Video is here, abstract is on the Velocity site and the slides are on Slideshare.

Build Quality In

03 September 2014

I am a published author! I have written a chapter on DevOps at GDS for the book Build Quality In. 70% of the royalties go to Code Club so do think about buying the book. There's a Q & A with me here.

Some thoughts on preparing an Ignite talk

07 July 2014

I did my first Ignite talk in November last year, based on roof bug-fixing, and these are some of the things I found useful while preparing.


Automating Government

06 June 2014

I gave a talk at the delightful Scotch on the Rocks in Edinburgh on my work on vCloud Tools ā€“ what we built, how we built it, some hard problems we faced and some tips on how to automate your own infrastructure. Slides are here.

Using Git to refactor vCloud Tools into separate gems

04 June 2014

Another post on the GDS Technology blog ā€“ this one is about using Git to re-architect vCloud Tools.

Read it.


17 May 2014

At Scottish Ruby Conference earlier this week, among the many great talks I attended was Jess Eldredge's excellent introduction to sketchnoting. Here are my attempts.


Building tools to provision our machines

07 May 2014

I wrote a blog post on the GDS technology blog about the work I've been doing building vCloud Tools.

Read it.

Running OSS projects

03 April 2014

At ScaleSummit last week, I proposed a session on running Open Source projects. I am hoping to move the project Iā€™m working on, vCloud Tools, from being coded in the open to being Open Source and wanted to get the benefit of the accumulated wisdom. It was an excellent session and I really got a lot out of it. The executive summary is that if you are trying to build a community, you need to optimise for bringing people into the community, and a lot of the discussion focused around that. Here are some of the main things that I took away from it.


Are you thinking of speaking at a conference?

09 March 2014

As co-Programme Chair for SPA conference I often find myself trying to persuade inexperienced or completely new speakers that it is worth doing and that they have something great to say. Here are some of the resources that I send on to them.


Applying for a job at GDS

24 December 2013

I wrote a post on the GDS technology blog explaining the unusual process for applying for a developer/web operations job at GDS.

Read it.

Craftsman Softwareship

12 November 2013

I gave an Ignite talk based on my roof bug-fixing blog post.

Watch it.