52: Week Nine

Tonight I renewed my season ticket for the second time so that makes it two full months. Time flies. It really has been one hell of an induction so far. The people are great, the challenges are pretty immense and the spotlight is intimidating.

This week was the first proper ONS week that my more veteran colleagues had told me about. It was quite the roller-coaster.

Monday I started the week by launching the ONS digital team blog. I’ve posted about this elsewhere but suffice to say it seemed to go down pretty well.

Tuesday I met up with Bristol tech luminaries Joe Leech and Rick Hurst to pick their brains a little. Rick is one of the few people I know who has a deep understanding of content management systems without a strong allegiance to a particular product and Joe is the go to guy on user research and strategic thinking for digital. Their counsel was greatly appreciated and helpful.

Wednesday and Thursday were weird and somewhat stressful days. There were issues around infographics, datasets, phantom successes and other bits and pieces that kept everyone on their toes and gave me my first real taste of the pressure end of the team.

During all of that we did have a really useful and productive meeting about our plans to further investigate Solr as a search solution. Fixing search is a major priority that we are approaching from a technical and a more business process & content point of view at the moment. It is something I am really enjoying being involved in even if it is meaning I’m needing to brush up on my knowledge.

I am hopeful that I will finally get some key vacancies out in to the world next week – they should show up on the Guardian by mid week at the latest. I’ll blog about them when that happens but I think they are properly interesting jobs so I hope a lot of people will be interested.

Today I had a somewhat unique experience in my career to date – I was in a meeting with the very top of the business (the attendees included the National Statistician, our Director General, the CIO and a couple of Executive Directors) where the topic was web and digital strategy and everyone was genuinely informed, involved and engaged. I’ve never felt that kind of support for digital and it has allowed me to finish the week feeling incredibly positive.

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