Outdated Advice For Job Applicants

by @edent | , , | 3 comments | Read ~185 times.

A golden envelope.

I was recently asked to look at some advice for new graduates entering the workforce. It was the usual mix of helpful, obvious, and trite. You know the sort - tailor your application to the job specification, make sure your CV is spelled correctly, don't give up, etc. In the middle of it, was this…

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The unreasonable effectiveness of simple HTML

by @edent | , , , | 46 comments | Read ~57,314 times.

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.…

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All Good Things

by @edent | , , , | 14 comments | Read ~1,378 times.

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…

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A holiday is a great way to prevent a messiah complex

by @edent | , | 3 comments | Read ~187 times.

Last Monday was a Bank Holiday in the UK. The Tuesday was a "Privilege Day" - a day off for Civil Servants for the Queen's birthday. Thursday was my wife's birthday - which I had booked off ages ago. So I decided to cash in my TOIL and take Wednesday and Friday as holidays as…

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When part of your job is *not* caring

by @edent | , , | 7 comments | Read ~788 times.

Many years ago, when I worked at Vodafone, we had a senior network engineer give us a talk about keeping the network stable in the hours after the 7/7 bombings. He was completely dispassionate. He spoke about analysing network traffic, predicting demand spikes, routing around damage, physically securing sites, supporting the emergency services - and…

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My WFH Set Up

by @edent | , , | 3 comments | Read ~1,173 times.

A corner desk, laptop, chair, vertical monitor and assorted junk.

Inspired by my friend Meri's WFH Setup Tips, I thought I'd share my home-working setup. We've moved house recently, so I'm still finding my feet - but as I work from home fairly often, and have a bit of RSI, I thought I'd show you what I've got and how I use it. The desk…

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Common CV mistakes made by Senior Leaders

by @edent | , | 9 comments | Read ~837 times.

Skills with arbitrary scores on them.

I hate writing CVs. But I love reading them. I recently had the chance to review applications for some fairly senior positions at work. I'd like to talk about some of the common - and downright weird - mistakes people make on them. I promise you these are all real - only lightly adjusted for…

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Designing for people who don't want to use your service

by @edent | , | 5 comments | Read ~358 times.

A government website.

I've been building digital products and services since the dial-up era. I spent many years working in the private sector. Good design is seen as a necessity. Customers will switch to another service which is easier to use, has a better app, or offers a nicer experience. I now work in the public sector, where…

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Manual Of Me

by @edent | , | Read ~193 times.

Some crappy hand drawings.

At a recent Staff Away-Day, we were encouraged to write a "Manual of Me". A quick summary of the general ways that you like to work. I don't spend much time on introspection and I found it disturbingly personal. So here's mine for you to enjoy! Excuse my crappy drawing and even crappier spelling. Here's…

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Week Notes - COVID19

by @edent | , , , | 2 comments | Read ~262 times.

Teamwork makes the dream work. A shoal of fish have formed into the shape of a large shark.

What started as a fairly ordinary week, quickly transformed into something extraordinary. Large swathes of NHSX were suddenly told to de-prioritise their day-to-day work and focus on COVID19 response. I probably can't talk specifically on what I've been working on, but it has been one of the most intense working weeks of my life. As…

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