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Daveslist #22

Hello there!

It’s been far too long. I’m sorry. I’m not even sure if it’s ok to send another email to this list. Is it? I hope you don’t mind. If you do, please unsubscribe so it doesn’t happen again!

So, since I last wrote, I've got a proper job at a local authority and moved myself and my family from Lincolnshire down to the south coast. I think it's working out ok, but it's so hard to tell. I've also had a hair cut.

Last week I went to a conference, DevOps Days London. DevOps is all about bringing two groups of people who are often kept apart together - those who develop software and those who manage the infrastructure it runs on, known as operations. Hence, DevOps.

Quite a techie thing, you'd have thought, but the overwhelming takeaway for me was that it's people, and culture that matter most of all. You have to ensure that both sides understand what the others are doing, what they think is important, and why. The is done by bringing them together into single, multi-disciplinary teams. Get people talking to each other! Yeah, that simple.

There were a couple of talks about ‘bimodal’ IT. This is the idea that you keep your new world, digital technology and people separate from those that might, occasionally, disparagingly, be termed ‘legacy’. Again, the theme was bringing people together, not enforcing silos and forging greater understanding. In other words, bimodal is a Bad Thing. 

Useful for me, because the day job is to deliver a digital programme as well as supporting applications that have been around for a long time, and likely to stick around for a while longer. The event left me all the more committed to not letting two cultures emerge. What do you think?

Some links

Matt Jukes wrote a brilliant thing about preparing presentations: https://goo.gl/BomMLK 

NCVO (notably the rather ace Helen Ridgeway) have published a great toolkit on building a digital workforce: https://goo.gl/uI4BU5 

Ben Thompson's analysis and writing is just so good - I'm more than happy to pay him $10 a month to get more of it. (Oh! To be able to write stuff about technology for a living!) Anyway, this piece on Apple and their organisational design is typically fab: https://goo.gl/7eeVMO

I really enjoyed this podcast from Andreessen Horowitz discussing bots and automation in the light of the recent Facebook announcements: http://goo.gl/juk4HH

I need to have a proper think and write something about Slack - it seems like a product that's in a very interesting space at the moment. In the meantime others are doing a much better job than I could anyway. Try this, on 'curing our Slack addiction' - https://goo.gl/r3fAO4 - or this great podcast that goes into some of Slack's plans for the future (amongst other things) - http://goo.gl/CriYgH

Thanks for reading - and do reply if you have any feedback. It would be lovely to hear from you.

~ Dave

p.s. feel free to forward this on to anybody you think might enjoy it.
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