Last year, I met the excellent Russell Davies to ask his advice on how to create a strategy. Russell was the Director of Strategy at the Government Digital Service while I was there. He and the internal comms team did an amazing job of making sure we were all aware of what we were doing and why.
I’m the Technical Director of Customer Products at the Financial Times. In Customer Products, we run FT.com and the FT apps (as well as some other products, like Alphaville), and we have about 55 engineers.
A while ago, the excellent Russell Davies gave me a copy of Good Strategy, Bad Strategy. He said it was the best book he’d read on the topic, and I found it extremely useful. Here are some of my notes, but I recommend reading it.
This is the first role I’ve had managing a large budget and I recently had some excellent training from my finance director colleague Isabelle Campbell. Here are my notes.
Building relationships with vendors is an important part of my role as Tech Director and when I joined the Financial Times, the excellent Rob Shilston gave me his five top top tips on how to make the most of those meetings. He has kindly agreed to share them here.
Last April, I joined the Financial Times as Technical Director for FT.com. This has been a brilliant move. The job search was different from any of my previous job searches, as it involved an explicit step into technical leadership, and here I share how I did it and some things I learned.
When I joined the Government Digital Service in April 2012, GOV.UK was just going into public beta. GDS was a completely new organisation, part of the Cabinet Office, with a mission to stop wasting government money on over-complicated and underperforming big IT projects and instead deliver simple, useful services for the public.
Interviews are not a great way to find out how good someone will actually be at the job. They can also make it easy for your unconscious biases to have too much influence. This has led some to suggest that interviews are broken and we need to find other ways; but it is possible to do interviews in a much fairer and more informative way.
Earlier this year I read High Output Management. This is one of the best books I’ve read on leadership, and I really recommend you read it. Some of the things I took from it are here.
I had long been thinking I must move the SPA site to HTTPS. However, everything is difficult when using shared hosting and I wasn’t sure how to do it. So I was delighted when Johan Peeters and Nelis Boucké proposed a session for the 2017 SPA conference called Why SPA should switch to HTTPS and how easy that is.