Weeknotes: One Week In


Terence Eden standing outside Number 10 Downing Street.

I have a new job! Yay and Hurrah! One of the best things about the new team is they have an internal wiki detailing what they do, with comprehensive information for new starters. I can't begin to tell you how useful this was. In my opinion, every team in every workplace should have something like…

Continue reading →

Weeknotes - Lustrum


Terence Eden standing outside Number 10 Downing Street.

lustrum lŭs′trəm A ceremonial purification of the entire ancient Roman population after the census every five years. A period of five years. Five long years ago I quit my job in the mobile industry and started working for the Civil Service. It has been an "interesting" period! On a personal level, I've gone from GDS,…

Continue reading →

Weeknotes: Vaccinated - Part 1


Me holding my NHS vaccination card.

I know exactly what I was doing on 9th April 2020. I was worrying about open-sourcing the NHS Covid Tracing app. I was worrying about tech standards for booking test slots. I was worrying if I'd ever see my family and friends again. I was worrying if the NHS websites would contain enough semantic HTML…

Continue reading →

The unreasonable effectiveness of simple HTML


The HTML5 Logo.

I've told this story at conferences - but due to the general situation I thought I'd retell it here. A few years ago I was doing policy research in a housing benefits office in London. They are singularly unlovely places. The walls are brightened up with posters offering helpful services for people fleeing domestic violence.…

Continue reading →

MSc Notes - 0th Week


I'm doing an MSc Apprenticeship! As part of my desire to work in the open, these are (semi-regular) weeknotes about what I've done / learned / achieved. I tend to be grumpy and curmudgeonly when faced with something I don't understand - or when I suspect I won't be good at an activity. So read…

Continue reading →

Weeknotes: I've hit the wall


I spent the first few months of lockdown in a blur. Working with NHSX, on the national app launch, meant that I didn't have a minute to think about what was going on outside my immediate focus. Then, a few months ago, I switched to a new job in the Data Standards Authority - so…

Continue reading →

Reflections on four years in the Civil Service


Terence Eden standing outside Number 10 Downing Street.

Four years ago today, I turned up in Holborn for my first day at GDS - Government Digital Service. I've now experienced two Prime Ministers (Primes Minister?), two departments, and one pandemic. So I thought I'd take a look back at some highlights and lowlights. I've worked for half-a-dozen brilliant managers, helped create a new…

Continue reading →

All the jobs I failed to get


Terence Eden standing outside Number 10 Downing Street.

A few years ago, Johannes Haushofer published a CV of failures. In it, he lists all the grants he wasn't awarded, positions he didn't get, papers rejected. I think that people need to be more open about failure. None of us are perfect - despite what our social media presence says - and all of…

Continue reading →

Where Everybody Knows Your Name (and other metadata)


A group of people in a video call waving at their cameras. Each has a name under their video.

I've made no secret of rather enjoying this enforced period of remote work. Sure, it has had its challenges - but there have been so many fringe benefits. Less commuting! No crappy-canteen lunches! More time to sleep in! And, today, I was reminded of another benefit. I am terrible at remembering names. Many a time…

Continue reading →

All Good Things


Paul Mcgann as Doctor Who.

Well, that was a whirlwind! After 18-months at NHSX, my 6-month temporary secondment has reached its end. It's always hard when a job finishes. The secondment was twice extended, and that let me carry on defining open technology standards for the NHS. Now it is over and I'm a bit sad. The pandemic seems to…

Continue reading →