Plenty done

Dafydd Vaughan on 13 October 2016

A few weeks ago was my fifth anniversary at the Government Digital Service.

I’ve had the opportunity to work on a huge number of important projects in various roles including software developer, technical lead, product owner, delivery manager, troubleshooter and technical architect.

From building GOV.UK to travelling to DVLA in Swansea every week creating new digital services. From rebuilding a service that takes billions of pounds in payments in just a few weeks to bringing IT back in house after 30 years of outsourcing. From sitting on the technology spend control board to hiring hundreds of skilled people into government.

It’s been a challenging, exhausting and rewarding 5 years. I’ve been lucky to be at the forefront of transforming both the technology and the culture of government. I’ve been able to get into the heart of building new services, developing policy and changing legislation – all fundamental things in making the best use of technology for the benefit of the public.

I’ve worked with an amazing set of people right across government and suppliers, many of whom I hope to work with again.

But the time has come for me to move on from GDS.

Five years is a long time – much longer than I ever expected to stay. It’s time to pass the baton onto the committed and talented people I’m leaving behind both in GDS and elsewhere.

The mission of building services that meet user needs* is incredibly important. Government needs to continue to support this work both to provide services which people can use easily, but also to deal with its crippling legacy technology and to stop this technology debt from ever happening again.

Building services that make people’s lives better, easier and simpler is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. I’m sure I won’t be able to keep away for long.

As a former boss was once famous for saying – onwards.

There’s been plenty done. And lots lots lots more still to do.

* user needs, not government (or customer) needs – Design Principle #1