A year in Bath...

Posted in: Archive

As colleagues are packing up and leaving to start the Christmas break I thought I would reflect on my first year with Web Services at Bath...

In many ways 2008 feels like the year we got our house in order. Two teams merged, one new head, continuing cycle of maintenance and support but plenty of new initiatives and plans.

We've evaluated how we work together, looked at what we can do better, where we have gaps and where we do really well.

Next year will be huge for us as we embark on the development of a new external website for the University. Plans are already underway and we're looking at significant changes with plenty of new initiatives coming to fruition. Alongside this we'll be working in a different way - using agile development methodologies to 'release early and often' - we have ambitious plans in store.

For now though I wanted to focus on 2008, to look at our achievements and reflect on our highs (and lows):

The highs

  • Development of an e-Prospectus; due for launch in January 09 - connecting with our Student Record System and allowing data to be output to create the print prospectus providing a much richer experience for the end user but also improve business processes for the University
  • Moved the majority of our Academic sites into the CMS
  • Brought in a new Web Designer - good to have you on board Liam!
  • Get Creative - it was fun, it brought the team together and it introduced us to FIKA
  • Put together (and had accepted) proposals for a new external website
  • Delivered Web Sessions to the University community
  • Moved from dSpace repository to ePrints (with the Library)
  • (Soft) launched a blogging platform
  • Developed a tinyurl and QR code generating service (with e-Learning)

The lows

  • Sadly one of our colleagues retired in April. Jacki played a key role in the website for many years and it is regrettable she is no longer in the team
  • As a new team we still have some way to go to establish ourselves and our position within the University. We believe the development of the new site will help us strengthen our profile
  • Maintenance and support of the current site has prevented us from moving on as quickly as we'd have hoped but we have new arrangements in place for 2009 to allievate this

From a personal perspective it has been a challenging yet rewarding year. I have great admiration for the team and am confident we can meet and exceed our own expectations in 2009.

To all readers of this blog, best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Posted in: Archive