Giving Thanks


I’m not American and I am certainly well aware there is a lot of dubious history associated with the Thanksgiving holiday but something about it has also struck a chord with me.

The parade, the sports, the food!

More than anything though I like the tradition of giving thanks in front of your people.

I have a lot to be thankful for (this is my professional edition — friends and family I am grateful for all of you!) so in no particular order →

I am thankful to Vincent and Tim and all their less acclaimed colleagues for giving us the internet and the world wide web which gave me a career I love, friends I adore and a place to write nonsense like this 🙂

I am thankful to Laura Dewis— an amazing friend and brilliant boss who championed my ideas at ONS way past the point of trust and more into the realm of pure faith. She remains an inspiration to me long after we stopped working together.

I am thankful I got the opportunity to work with Pete Ferne before he passed away. He remains the smartest guy I’ve ever met and I learned so much from him and his principled approach to this internet-era of ours. Almost a decade later I still often ask myself what would Pete think when I am a bit stuck. He is missed.

I am thankful to the Govcamp community and especially to Jeremy, Steph, Dave, James and Baskers for all their work over the years making it a reality. You would be hard pressed to find a more generous, courageous, welcoming, eccentric and brilliant group anywhere. #loyaltothenetwork

I am thankful to Robert and Louisa who saw something in me at JISC that I absolutely did not see in myself and pushed me into a management role and helped me become a leader at a challenging time at a great organisation. Given my career now essentially amounts to helping people get better at running teams I owe them an enormous amount.

I am thankful to the community that has grown up around #weeknotes. I had no expectation anybody would ever read my notes let alone they would help kick start such an amazing community of brilliant people. I’m proud to know all of them.

I am thankful to Martha, Mike, Tom and everybody who made GDS a reality. I haven’t always agreed with all they have done but there is no doubt they have been a massive force for good in UK public service and beyond and totally selfishly they totally reinvigorated my career without my ever having joined them (despite what some people seem to think!)

I am thankful to the amazing team I had at ONS. Every single one of them went above and beyond — civil servants, contractors, temps — it wasn’t always easy and god knows it took its toll but I am not sure I would change a thing….ok maybe a couple of things.

I am thankful to James and Sacha for taking a punt on me at Notbinary before they were really looking to hire anybody new and to then let me really contribute to the direction of the company. It is exciting and not something I ever saw for myself.

I am thankful to all 710 subscribers to my weekly jobs newsletter. It started off as a bit of a weird experiment and now I suspect it will be the thing that I end up being most associated with.

I am thankful to the librarians at the UWE School of Education who saw a geeky looking guy in his 20’s and decided he *must* understand this new fangled web thing and asked me to build them a website and train students in searching the web. I had no idea but I worked in a library so I found a book and learned 😉

And thanks for reading — I am especially thankful for you.

So thanks. All of you.

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