The Importance Of Being Bernard


Yesterday was the ever-fabulous UK Gov Camp 2017. Just for a change I took a break from sketch noting so I could just absorb the conversations; sometimes it’s nice to sit back and observe, contribute here and there, and not feel the need to capture everything. So the things I did write down are odds and ends on post it notes or in tweets, and rather than try to spin them into a coherent narrative I thought I’d just list them here and see how they work. Here’s what fell out of my notebook this morning:
  • I learned that Terence Eden is working on open standards for GDS, which means that very shortly it will all be sorted and we can all go home.
  • I learned that Andy Mabbett has sketched out a framework for 5 stars of open standards, similar to the Sir Tim Berners-Lee model for open data,  except there are only four stars at present but that’s ok because that seems to be how many there need to be.
  • I heard a lot of people asking how we get things done when we are working alone or in tiny under-resourced teams back at our day jobs, and the answer is ‘through the support and generosity of friends like these’ accompanied by flailing arm gestures taking in the gov camp attendees and the extended network on Slack, Twitter and Basecamp.
  • THERE ARE NO NEW PROBLEMS – maybe this is why we are sometimes accused of having the same conversations at each successive Gov Camp, eh? But some of us haven’t fixed those problems yet, and maybe your solution isn’t feasible for me, and so we still need to talk about it. So there you go.
  • For a whole govcamp session today I became Bernard. Long story, you had to be there. Thanks to the real Bernard Tyers for being cool with the whole assuming-his-identity thing and offering me his name badge to complete the deal.
  • I learned that if you have everyone change ends at half time during a discussion, it can give a whole new perspective of the room, the people and the topics. I’ll be stealing that tactic.

So that’s my collection of thoughts. I didn’t come away with any new ideas for work, or any startling epiphanies on the way we need to change the world, but what I did get was a solid sense that good people are on the case, keeping in touch and helping each other out; and that the work I’ve been doing has been useful to somebody somewhere. And as much as the new technologies and tools are going to help us put things right, it continues to be the people and the human interactions that matter the most to me.

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About jargonaut

Unashamed geek lost in policy land. Frequently required to believe three impossible things before breakfast, and implement them by tea time.
This entry was posted in #ukgcx, The Geek Wonk Interface, Work and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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