Week notes #10

Dafydd Vaughan on 6 July 2013

After a couple of very busy weeks things are starting to calm down and return to normal.

I spent more time on Monday with some of the team working on the DVLA IT transformation. We’re looking at ways to strangle down the complex legacy IT estate to make it simpler to maintain and to make it easier build new services. Given how complex and tightly coupled the existing systems are, this isn’t going to be a simple process.

We’re putting together a high-level overview of how we might do it. We’re (quite rightly) leaving the detail to the individual projects that will need to interact with the legacy systems. Our work now will give them a bit of direction and help the ICT contract let team figure out how to split the different bits of the estate up.

Tuesday was another end of sprint for the team working on the IEP service. They’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last sprint working with Puppet to define our infrastructure in code so we can spin up new virtual servers relatively easily. They’ve also spent some time looking at how we’ll be handling the batch updates coming from the legacy databases and putting together the corresponding write API into our database.

On Wednesday I got to speak about Digital by Default at Civil Service Live in Bristol with colleagues from DWP, DVLA and Bristol City Council. A huge number of civil servants attended, many more than we had space to accommodate. The talk seemed to go well and there were lots of questions after. Slides and commentary from my talk are up on my blog.

The rest of the week followed the same general theme. There is lots of work and planning happening around all the projects at DVLA including production of various business cases. This sort of thing will be taking up quite a bit of my time over the next few weeks while we head towards a beta of IEP and the start of work on Vehicles.

There were a couple of interludes though – on Thursday we had our monthly technical architect’s meeting with updates from things happening at the Home Office and CESG. Then on Friday I was filmed for a video that might get shown at the upcoming Sprint Alpha event being run by GDS to showcase the first 100 days of the transformation programme.

Next week I imagine will be more of the same.