It is an exciting time to be working in digital Government. The influence of GDS can increasingly be seen worldwide and closer to home centres of excellence are moving beyond Holborn to Newcastle, Swansea and beyond.
In the UK Paul Shetler, CDO at the Ministry of Justice, wrote eloquently about why this work is so important and just last week Mikey Dickerson, Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service, wrote a ‘call to arms’ for civic minded technologists on that side of the pond.
Even in the little corner of south-east Wales I am working we are seeing things change.
In recent months ONS has recruited a new CDO (joining from the Met Office) and a CTO (making the long trip from the Intellectual Property Office next door). This week we started the search for a Director of Digital, Technology and Methodology (who will be my boss’s boss and have an amazing opportunity to really influence an important organisation) and a Chief Data Scientist. This is a new role to the organisation and it strikes me as one that must be hugely appealing for anybody interested in the big issues around data today – can’t be many places with so much opportunity in so many aspects of that world (whether it be ‘open’, ‘big’, ‘personal’ or ‘admin’.)
We have also just been advertising for a new Digital Content Services Manager and are now looking for a Data Viz/Interactives Lead who will help run the brilliant new Visual.ONS site (which I can say as I had little to do with it) and are about to start looking for a new Head of Social Media who can build on the amazing work that Andrew and team had done over the last couple of years. Not to mention the two new User Researchers we will be looking for to help us reinforce our commitment to a ‘users first’ approach.
With my main project moving from Alpha to Beta just last week and a whole host of other important projects being undertaken on our ‘digital journey’ there are going to be no shortage of opportunities arising in the months to come.
The work we are doing at the ONS is challenging and genuinely important even if it isn’t exactly what you would call sexy 🙂 Despite my moans about the bureaucracy and the commute I am very proud of the work we have done so far and given that we have barely scratched the surface so far I’d encourage anybody who has been inspired by the work of GDS but aren’t looking to move to London to keep an eye on the ONS jobs pages.