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The Strategic Developer

Slides for a talk on "The Strategic Developer" given by Paul Walk at UKOLN’s IWMW 2011 event held at the University of Reading on 25-26 July 2011.


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The Strategic Developer

  1. 1. Strategic innovation in a local context
  2. 2. nearly the end of the workshop for this year, and you must be a little tired....
  3. 3. content <ul><li>local innovation in a recession </li></ul><ul><li>DevCSI and the developer community </li></ul><ul><li>the strategic developer </li></ul><ul><li>web-managers and local developers working together </li></ul>
  4. 4. technical innovation
  5. 5. is local IT expertise a sunk cost or an investment ?
  6. 6. cost or investment? <ul><li>IT often regarded as a sunk cost in HEIs.... </li></ul><ul><li>...but a capacity for technical innovation is a strategic resource which needs investment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in the institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in the sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>maintaining the capacity for technical innovation is, itself, an investment </li></ul><ul><li>outsourcing IT has a cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reduced capacity to innovate </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. what do the following have in common? <ul><li>Colgate 1806 </li></ul><ul><li>Lilly 1876 (invented concept of prescription drugs) </li></ul><ul><li>General Electric 1892 </li></ul><ul><li>Hershey’s 1894 </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft 1975 </li></ul><ul><li>3M 1902 </li></ul><ul><li>Black and Decker 1910 </li></ul>
  8. 8. “ successful companies innovate in a down market ”
  9. 9. “ Established companies sometimes perceive disruptive innovation to be risky. But success is possible. In fact, the greater risk comes from assuming that business as usual will allow companies to achieve their strategic aims ....” Scott Anthony, Can Established Companies Disrupt?
  10. 10. innovation happens in a local context
  11. 11. how established orgs innovate <ul><li>“Put the customer , and their important, unsatisfied job-to-be-done at the centre of the innovation equation” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>local context, customer facing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“Embrace simplicity, convenience , and affordability” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>local context, convenience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“Create organisational space for disruptive growth” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>invest locally in capacity to innovate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“Consider innovation levers beyond features & functions” </li></ul><ul><li>“Become world class at testing, iterating & adjusting ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>local integration, tweaking SaaS, rapid innovation </li></ul></ul>Scott Anthony, Can Established Companies Disrupt?
  12. 12. is this possible without a local capacity to do technical innovation? given limited resources, how do we make the most of what local technical expertise we do have?
  13. 14. DevCSI <ul><li>building capacity among HE developers </li></ul><ul><li>cost-effective training </li></ul><ul><li>community-based peer support </li></ul><ul><li>raising the profile of developers within H/FEIs </li></ul><ul><li>showcasing the technical innovation of HE developers </li></ul><ul><li>dev8D - like IWMW for developers :-) </li></ul>
  14. 15. stakeholder survey <ul><li>495 respondents including developers, their managers, IT directors, vendors, funders, users (academics, librarians, researchers) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>75%+ agreement that local developers understand the local context and act as a bridge between remote service providers, open source communities, and local end users, and add value by integrating into local contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75% agreement that local developers work closely with end users to deliver innovation (more work needed though) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>70% agreement that local developers are undervalued as evidenced by short term contracts, lack of professional development or career opportunities and poor management </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. barn-raising
  16. 17. events! engaging developers with open source software developing for the mobile web dev8D pair programming reading list hackday Open Repositories developer challenges developing phone based applications agile prototyping techniques workflow tools OER hackday eBook/ePub Hackday
  17. 18. building stuff together <ul><li>building stuff as free-form R&D </li></ul><ul><li>doing so in a very open environment </li></ul><ul><li>contributing ideas </li></ul>
  18. 19. building capacity
  19. 20. the manager’s view <ul><li>&quot;They gained a huge amount. They came back very enthusiastic and full of good ideas. It did a great deal for morale and motivation…. It's a very powerful thing when your peers say that you are doing something the best,&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>“...decided to use the momentum of Dev8D to move forward with agile working and the List8D project by providing the development team with two very important assets: physical and mental space.” </li></ul>
  20. 21. the power of networks <ul><li>peer-peer training (£85K at one 2 day event!) </li></ul><ul><li>collaborative development </li></ul><ul><li>pooling of expertise </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge-transfer to non-developers (librarians, web managers , researchers) </li></ul>
  21. 22. value for money! <ul><li>having local/institutional developer resource available is valuable </li></ul><ul><li>that local resource, while limited, can be backed-up by a community of peers </li></ul><ul><li>a well connected community of developers is greater than the sum of its parts ! </li></ul><ul><li>developers can empower users </li></ul>
  22. 23. responsive innovation <ul><li>agile & embedded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>frequent F2F between developers & users - finely tuned & tailored solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>responsive - perpetual beta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>small, responsive incremental changes are possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ if you want to keep incrementally improving the user experience then you need to retain a local capacity to do this” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>gluing - the day job! (AKA enterprise integration ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from gluing locally installed vendor software to gluing SaaS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bespoke interfaces on common platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>innovation happens in a local context </li></ul>
  23. 24. strategic developer
  24. 25. case of the missing career path
  25. 26. a strategic role
  26. 27. student as producer? <ul><li>Lincoln University (Mike Neary, Joss Winn) </li></ul><ul><li>Students actively innovating for the University, with official blessing and strategic investment </li></ul>
  27. 28. finally...
  28. 29. web managers and developers, sitting in a tree....?
  29. 30. integration....
  30. 31. ...means the Web
  31. 32. devs & web management <ul><li>URLs have become more important to developers </li></ul><ul><li>good management of URLs is going to become very important </li></ul><ul><li>there is some convergence between CMS and application platform - e.g. Drupal </li></ul><ul><li>tension between the desire to hide complexity from the user (e.g. Google Chrome disguising the ‘location bar’) and good practice on the read/write web - making URLs ‘cool’ and ‘hackable’ </li></ul>
  32. 33. “linking you” <ul><li>Research on how institutions currently arrange their identifiers </li></ul><ul><li>URI 101 </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations & data model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Space-time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>domains and institutional URIs </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. open institutional data <ul><li>Open Data and the Institutional Web at IWMW 2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chris Gutteridge </li></ul></ul>
  34. 35. key information sets <ul><li>together with the general trend towards open data, KIS is likely to drive better information management practice in HEIs </li></ul>
  35. 36. the mobile campus
  36. 37. your local developer might just be a super-hero - get to know them just in case!
  37. 38. thank you [email_address] and thanks to Marieke and Brian!
  38. 39. image credits <ul><li>All images (c) Paul Walk and licensed CC-BY except for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Electric: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colgate: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3M: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Black & Decker: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cook book: </li></ul></ul>