A year of work in progress – day 134

Day 134 – 31 July 2014

Mobile phones seem to have been the theme for today. They were a key component of my one to one with Don first thing and I had two meetings with separate mobile providers later on in the morning.

We’ve managed over the last eighteen months to consolidate all of our handsets into one smartphone and one basic (classic?) device but this hasn’t been without its issues. Questions of coverage and ease of use have arisen and we need to find a way to overcome them. As a congenital button presser though I find it hard to understand why people struggle with new technology sometimes. One of humankind’s greatest virtues is to be inquisitive and questions such as ‘what is over this hill?’ and ‘what does this taste like?’ have driven our evolution. For me the modern day equivalent is ‘I wonder what this does?’ or ‘I wonder what will happen if I press this button?’ but it would appear that I am in the minority.

Where we have got to with our handset policy has served us well but all decisions should be reviewed. Every dog has its day and it is time to have another look at what we are doing. SLT suggested yesterday that we should try and wrap this up with an approach to bring your own device (BYOD) which has been problematical with Public Services Network (PSN) compliance. People are more used to their own technology (or are they? – see mobile phones above) and this needs to be reflected in the way they can operate at work.

I also got the chance to meet up with Mia from Girl Geeks. We’ve had to rearrange a couple of times but I was keen to get her involvement in helping to improve our focus on women into ICT. I’ve been thinking about an event in the spring and we talked about a few ideas. I would like to involve role models who can show that there are interesting, varied and rewarding jobs to be had in technology, not Chief Executives or Cabinet Ministers who may be beyond the reach of most but rather people doing day-in day-out jobs that they enjoy. We need to focus on people (children) who are at the start of their learning and work with those who can help shape their futures. We need to influence the influencers.

Over lunch we agreed the new look and feel for our catalogues and brochures. We just need to get formal sign off and Bob is our uncle. We have to write the copy as well.

Learning points for today: You can add notes electronically to a PDF document, you just need to persevere until you find out how; there is a wedding season but not a closed season; you can’t get a string vest on an octopus so don’t even try and; people can see bad news in anything.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – some good, some less so.

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