Blog

Our thoughts on technology and design

In this episode, I'm joined by my colleague, Oliver Cronk, and Chris Booth from NatWest for a lively discussion about the much-hyped ChatGPT – covering its origins and recent advances, the new discipline of prompt engineering, and some practical applications and limitations of this technology.
Newcomer desktop-web framework Tauri has quickly attracted the interest of developers looking to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies. Promises of smaller and faster applications certainly appeal to those using Electron. In this post, I’ll take a look at what’s new in this space, what distinguishes them, and why WebView2 doesn’t solve everything.
The pandemic response required a remarkable level of collaboration between and beyond government departments. In this blog post, I’m going to look at the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People Service, outlining the different areas of collaboration upon which the service depended, and reflecting on the lessons that government can take forward to achieve its vision of a responsible, efficient and effective data ecosystem.
Late last year I attended DevTernity, an all-remote generalist software development conference. In this post I'll cover off some points of interest from some of the talks I chose to attend, and reflect on the remote conference experience.
Data-literate leadership underpinned the most successful pandemic-response programmes. In this post, I explore what data-literate leadership looks like, drawing on examples from the roundtables on data sharing in government that the Institute for Government ran in partnership with Scott Logic.
Here are five books that influenced my coding style and working practices early in my career. A top list of anything is deeply personal, so I’ve tried to select books I found both inspirational and informative, with an equal focus on technical and non-technical skills.
In this episode, I’m joined by colleagues Oliver Cronk, Peter Chamberlin and Chris Price for a lively discussion about blockchain, including the mechanics of bitcoin, the proof of work consensus, and technologies which are blockchain-like, but prefer not to use that term. Finally, we ask ourselves the question, is blockchain just hype?
When people came to meet us at the Scott Logic stand at Women of Silicon Roundabout, we took the opportunity to ask them “What would make somewhere a most loved workplace for you?” We received over 200 responses and I reflect on the results in this post.
A Vim clutch is typically a repurposed keyboard/guitar pedal that enters insert mode when you press down on it and leaves it when you release it. This can and has been accomplished in a great many weird and wonderful ways. This post adds yet another to that list.
A brief overview of the creation, workings and application of the markup language Markdown
A few years ago while working on a digital product in a government department, my team learnt a valuable lesson: rules can help you go faster. In this post, I explain the positive difference that regulatory and legislative frameworks can make to the design and delivery of digital services, with some examples from the government's response to the pandemic.
Last week I attended 'Women of Silicon Roundabout' - the UK's largest tech event for women. Jess McEvoy and I delivered a workshop on 'How to build a business case for your next promotion'. I wanted to share some of the content more widely, including a Career Canvas tool for mapping out your goals and motivations, and to help you build your business case.
Over the summer, in partnership with Scott Logic, the Institute for Government (IfG) ran a series of roundtable discussions with senior civil servants and government experts on the topic of Data Sharing in Government. This is the first in a series of blog posts in which I'll share some reflections on key themes that arose.
After the recent acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, you may have heard someone mentioning Mastodon. Alongside other open source and decentralised social platforms, it is built on the top of ActivityPub specification. In this post I give an overview of ActivityPub, explain the idea of fediverse and share my personal experience as a participant.
Performance improvements can be a daunting task. This post looks at some of the methods and tools available in GCP to help report the performance of your cloud application, how this can help communicate with the client and how it can enable you to narrow down performance issues in a pipeline made up of multiple services.
EDGY is a new graphical design language for visualising enterprises. This new open source design language shows great promise as a tool to bridge across siloed teams. This post explores the preview edition at a high level.
In this episode Colin, Ollie, Johanna and Lily hold a lively conversation that dives into Web3 and the Metaverse. We ask the question “what is Web3.0”, and explore what it means to be a decentralised technology. We discuss the Metaverse, Roblox and other virtual environments, and very briefly touch on NFTs. But for the most part, we talk about exploration and innovation.
A 2021 study revealed that the average professional spends an average of 21.5 hours in meetings every week. So meetings must be worth having right? In this blog post I share a number of tips on how to ensure meetings provide maximum value.
There are a growing number of voices heralding Web3 as the future of the internet, and this technology (concept?) is receiving considerable coverage at conferences, in the technology press, and internet forums. I decided it was time to put Web3 to the test and see how it fares against the contemporary approach to building apps - the public cloud. Unfortunately I found Web3 to be very lacking.
A look at how building an automated regression test suite in the early days of a project will provide benefits further down the line.