Nine and a half years

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I'm leaving today, so I thought it would be fun to look back over the nine and a half years I have spent working here.

When I first came to work at the University of Bath in 2002, I worked as an Experimental Officer in the Psychology Department (covering maternity leave). None of my friends were quite sure what an experimental officer was - in fact I was there to build the website and catalogue the extensive library of journal articles and videos.

In 2003, I was recruited by Dave Cunningham to work for Computing Services, building a website called the Research Observatory, which provides an overview of how to get a PhD. The project eventually migrated to the University of the West of England, where it still exists.

The next member of the Web Development Team (as it was then called) was Andrew Male, who was fairly swiftly followed by Andy Savin, who came to work on the Personal Information Portal and the Web of Hope, which was for an external client (in those days we were funded on a project basis).

In 2005, Phil Wilson joined the team to work on a content management system for Oakfield campus, Swindon, and Kelvin Gan joined from the School of Management to work on Moodle and the Learning Materials Filestore. I think I was working on the BUCS website around this time, as well as continuing with work on the Research Observatory.

In 2006, Martin Owen joined to work on an online prospectus and a tool for RAE submission; Tom Natt joined to work on user accounts and Person Finder, we introduced our first wiki using JSPWiki, and Andrew Male became BUCS Web Development Team leader.

In 2007, I worked with Tom Natt on the Holburne Muse project - an online catalogue of the Holburne Museum's collection. Later that year, the BUCS Web Development Team merged with the Marketing and Communications web team, and we became part of Corporate Communications, acquiring three new members.

In 2008, we were renamed Web Services, and Alison Kerwin joined us as head of Web Services. During 2008, we were rolling out our content management system, and I was heavily involved in migrating sites, helping to develop tools (such as a character map and a PersonFinder interface), recruiting and managing students to help with the migration of sites and the editing of content.

Also around this time, Alison introduced GetCreative - a project where the whole team would work on developing something exciting. The first year, we built FlatOut, a web app for finding student accommodation; the second year, we built InPictures, a photo sharing site for the University of Bath.

Around this time, we introduced Scrum, and worked on a huge array of projects in record time. We rolled out various iterations of the Study and Research websites, worked on the ceremonies website. The Scrum methodology was very different to how we had worked before; previously we had worked on individual projects, and now we worked as a team (or as a small team within a team) on bigger projects.

Ultimately Scrum did not work for us because it is designed for teams with fewer and more discrete projects, and we have a lot of stuff to work on, plus covering web support for the University. Interestingly we have now shifted back towards individuals being responsible for specific projects. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, and all that.

I have enjoyed working with my colleagues, who are all very talented people and fun to be with but now I'm off to pastures new!

Posted in: Archive