It is my first week in my new job as “Web Systems and Data Manager” or Dave Chalis Mk2, according to the office door. So far most things seem to be HTTP 1.1/200 Ok. I have been learning about the systems which Web Team run and maintain. It seems to be no small part of the reason this academic unit is so effective is the incredible suite of monitor tools which we have available. I can reports on loads of stuff very easily. It is a good feeling to know about problems before the users do. The downside is there is a reasonably long list of administrative niggles with my name on them. At the moment I am quite enjoying just working my way through the list but I suspect that it will quickly become part of the humdrum of the day to day work in the office.
From what I can tell from various people I have spoken to my new role has three strands.
- Keep all the plates spinning. That is mainly what I have been doing the last few days, making sure all of the server info is up to date, everything is running and has an owner. That includes provisioning new websites, wikis, blogs and so on.
- Clearing out the clutter. Web Team’s position in the University has changed with the restructuring. As a result some things are becoming our responsibility and there things which we giving up responsibility for. Some things we run simply are not used enough to keep them running. These sort of things need to gradually retired to try and keep our workload balanced.
- Systems innovation. The bulk of our job is to innovate new systems for use around the University that makes it easier for staff to do their job effectively. This is complete end to end systems, while this often means technical systems it also means the processes that make up those systems and cutting back on stuff we are doing unnecessarily. This is the really fun stuff, from what I can tell there are quite a few systems we would like to build and things like Data Southampton which need “productizing”.
For people who do not know me, my name is Patrick, I enjoy loads of stuff, we probably have something in common. I can not stand the tele and anything else which serves only as a barrier to getting things done. My previous work can mainly be seen on the OneShare blog or on my portfolio, most people around still think of me as “the EdShare guy” but I have done a fair bit of other stuff since then. Hopefully I’ll do more stuff here