A year of work in progress – day 116

Day 116 – 3 July 2014

England is out of the World Cup and Murray is out of Wimbledon but the Tour de France is starting this weekend so there is still hope.

Last night’s Dynamo North East skills and education event at Sage head office was good. It was the first time I’d been to their pyramidal building just north of Newcastle and it was very impressive. Bob from Accenture kicked the evening off with an impassioned introduction about how we can make the good local ICT industry that we have into a great one. He was aiming for three things, general agreement to the development of a regional ICT skills strategy, feedback on the direction from wider industry and volunteers to get involved.

Bob was followed by Alison from Freerthinking who talked about how everyone needs to get involved if we are going to make a difference. After all, this is a long term objective, perhaps a generational one and none of it was about us in the room but rather about the future of our region. Mia from Girl Geeks was up last to talk about the contribution that women need to make in future. She and I are meeting soon.

Judging by the audience reaction there is a great willingness to get behind what is going on and the Dynamo movement is a building force. I wrote to Bob to offer my support.

As for today, I had two presentations, two schools and two conversations. I started this round of presentations to the whole of Durham’s ICT Services at Tanfield. Lee and I were presenting. I talked about the ICT guiderails (we’re up to ‘agree and communicate expectations’) and gave the Sexy ICT presentation that I gave to the tier 4 managers. Lee talked about how the ICT Customer Workshops had gone, including the feedback we had received, as well as progress with Northumberland.

From there I drove over to Easington to visit Glendene School and up to Seaham School of Technology. I took the opportunity to raise the subject of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) just to see if there was any interest but my knowledge of what was involved was soon tested. I need to learn a bit more about them, perhaps Bob can help.

Back in Northumberland I had a couple of short meetings, one to do with broadband and another to do with schools services. At least I ended up close to home at the end of the day.

I’m not in tomorrow as I’m off to Yorkshire to see the start of the Tour.

Learning points for today: It’s going to take a lot of persuading to make me fill in another grant application; I need to speak to more people about Dynamo; never try to fill a glass of water in the dark; my trousers keep trying to ring people and; Seaham has some very picturesque aspects.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – good way to end a short week.

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