Chris Lowis by Chris Lowis

Week 448

On Monday James was travelling back from visiting family on the Isle of Wight while I took the day off to go and watch Dunkirk with my son and several other crying babies at the rather lovely Lexi cinema. Meanwhile Chris recreated the nginx environment that the Asset Manager app uses on our AWS account so that he could rapidly iterate and debug our approach to proxying asset requests to S3.

We spent the day working on client work at TOG Bloomsbury on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we all got together at the new co-working space in Islington that has been set up by our friends at Outlandish. We carried on getting the nginx configuration and associated changes to the controller action in the Asset Manager Rails application ready to deploy. We broke for lunch at the Jeremy Corbyn-themed falafal house Gadz Cafe with the current members of the co-working space to discuss some ideas for how it can be self-managing and to try and come up with a name. We agreed to take responsibility for setting up a mailing list and simple website for the space.

On Thursday we worked from the Government Digital Service’s new headquarters in Whitechapel. As well as meeting Daniel and Antonia who we are working with on the asset migration to AWS project, we also caught up with Neil Williams who Go Free Range worked with on the Inside Government project several years ago. Neil told us about some of the big projects that are underway including One Team Gov which aims to create truly multi-disciplinary teams across government to deliver services and Quarterly missions a new way of structuring and delivering work.

I really enjoyed this conversation - I hadn’t spent much time talking to Neil before but I knew James and Chris had worked closely with him. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the context and strategy behind the work that goes on at GOV.UK - something that’s quite hard to see sometimes when we’re working on a fairly low-level part of the infrastructure. I could also see Chris and James getting excited about some of the ideas Neil has for the future and the impact it can have on peoples lives. A good reminder for me about why we enjoy working on this stuff.

We had our regular retrospective and company catchup at the end of the day on Thursday aware that Chris would be busy today (Friday) moving his houseboat Odin back to her mooring following some fairly major work at the boat yard. James and I are spending the day today at the Outlandish co-working space (we really need to decide on that name!) catching up on admin and doing some writing.

Have a great weekend!

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