The value of local developers

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Presentation given at the JISC Conference, 2011 on the value of local developers to the higher education sector

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  • The value of local developers

    1. 1. The value of localdevelopersPaul Walkp.walk@ukoln.ac.uk UKOLN is supported by: www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
    2. 2. questions to think about• stakeholders we surveyed think that local (locally employed) developers are important to H/FEIs • ...but theyre not always entirely sure how....• why are local developers valuable?• What do H/FEIs need to do to ensure that their developers can innovate successfully? 2
    3. 3. local innovation knowledge transferstrategies for recession 3
    4. 4. “successful companiesinnovate in a down market” 4
    5. 5. responsive innovation• agile & embedded • frequent F2F between developers & users - finely tuned & tailored solutions• responsive - perpetual beta • small, responsive incremental changes are possible • “if you want to keep incrementally improving the user experience then you need to retain a local capacity to do this”• gluing - the day job! (AKA enterprise integration) • from gluing locally installed vendor software to gluing SaaS • bespoke interfaces on common platforms• innovation happens in a local context 5
    6. 6. disruptive innovation• “Put the customer, and their important, unsatisfied job-to- be-done at the centre of the innovation equation” • be responsive, know your users!• “Create organisational space for disruptive growth” • invest in capacity to innovate, develop your developers!• “Become world class at testing, iterating & adjusting” • local integration, tweaking SaaS, rapid innovation 6
    7. 7. • building capacity• cost-effective training• local development expertise is a pre-requisite for some funding• peer support• raising the profile of developers within H/FEIs 7
    8. 8. knowledge transfer (KT) 8
    9. 9. local & sector-wide KT• from developer to: • developer (pair-programming as route to continuity) • researcher (data wrangling, computational thinking) • librarian (Mashed Libraries)• developers sometimes end up understanding business processes better than the users because they have to model them• also knowledge retention• internal technical consultants• user groups around products 9
    10. 10. KT beyond the sector• commercial • Transfer Summit (OSSWatch)• commercial developers working with H/FE developers much more closely • testing APIs • challenges • standards development• challenges and hack days 10
    11. 11. • training at dev8D • 80K worth of peer-peer developer training delivered to sector • ticked the difficult ‘staff development’ box• events! • Rapid Innovation; Pair Programming; Developer Challenge at Open Repositories; Developing for mobile devices in education;Reading List Hack Day; Developing for the Mobile Web; Agile Prototyping Techniques; Workflow Tools; Linked Data Hackdays; OER HackDays; Developing Better Software Documentation; Developing Better Software Documentation; Local developers: making your work more visible; Cloud Computing Workshop with Penetration Testing; Epub; Managing local developers better for innovation; Dealing with noise in data; Accessibility Hackday; SOLR; RabbitMQ; More agile methods; Visualisation around Large Data Sets • worked with OSSWatch, SSI, Cetis, commercial vendors, conferences• reached 1000+ people F2F in year 1 11
    12. 12. strategies for recession 12
    13. 13. value from networks• having local/institutional developer resource available is valuable• that local resource, while limited, can be backed-up by a community of peers• a well connected community of developers is greater than the sum of its parts!• developers can empower users 13
    14. 14. the strategic developer Local Systems this is where the developer Technical net works with peers Requirements Peer Developer this is where economies of Organisational End User scale and cost reduction is RequirementsRequirements achieved User/ Remote, Remote Local Domain (commercial) System Developer (SaaS expert Developer } } this is where local innovation happens local context this is where the cost of outsourcing is mitigated remote context 14
    15. 15. discussion 15
    16. 16. • stakeholder survey: • 495 respondents including developers, their managers, IT directors, vendors, funders, users (academics, librarians, researchers) • 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 • 75% agreement that local developers work closely with end users to deliver innovation (more work needed though) • 70% agreement that local developers are undervalued as evidenced by short term contracts, lack of professional development or career opportunities and poor management 16
    17. 17. questions• the stakeholders we surveyed think local developers are important to H/FEIs - but theyre not always entirely sure how.... • why are local developers valuable?• What do H/FEIs need to do to: • develop this capacity to practice innovation locally? • support their developers? • what else needs to be present in an H/FEI to ensure that developers can successfully innovate? http://devcsi.ukoln.ac.uk 17

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