Two things I’ve learned in my first year at dxw

It’s been a fun, exciting and eye-opening twelve months since I joined dxw. So as I approach my first anniversary of working here I thought now would be a good time to reflect on what I’ve learnt over the last twelve months.

Working in a small team is awesome

Before joining dxw I had mostly worked in very large organisations, the sort of places where you could go months without meeting certain colleagues and you would never really know everyone’s name. Joining dxw as its fourteenth employee was a very different experience, sitting opposite the MD in a small and lively office was nothing like any of my previous roles.

The first month was quite intense, the change of pace, a gruelling commute and a healthy dose of imposter syndrome made me question more than once if I could do the role. Fortunately the team were (and are) amazing, they helped me find my way through the acronyms, terminology and the somewhat complicated network that makes up the public sector.

Working at dxw has been an eye-opening experience in the power of small nimble teams. Beyond the job titles that each of us have everyone at dxw wears multiple hats (sometimes literally).

Philip, one of our awesome Rails devs, wearing ALL the hats
Philip, one of our awesome Rails devs, wearing ALL the hats

Having a background in front-end development and graphic design I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in things that a marketing department would generally do. I’ve been to hacks and jams where I’ve been able to code prototypes, I’ve designed business cards and as a small team we are all able to input on the direction of various internal and external projects.

This was exemplified last summer when the entire team went away to Brighton for a couple of days to reflect on where dxw is and where we’re going. During the day we went sea kayaking and completed a scavenger hunt around the town, in the evenings we worked together to come up with a shared list of values for the company.

The result of all of this is that with everyone being involved in so much of the business we all feel truly engaged which makes dxw and everything we do a team effort.

The public sector is full of passionate engaged people trying to do things better

Not long after I started at dxw I was introduced to teacamp, a monthly meetup for government and non-government digital folk to share experiences and best practices. The talks and the discussions afterwards in the pub gave me an invaluable understanding of the sector. I’m now developing a new site for teacamp as well as helping to organise future events to give back to the community.

Along with teacamp I’ve had the opportunity to attend and be involved with a whole bunch of other events in the last year. Having never even heard of an unconference before joining dxw, I’ve now been to LocalGovCamp, CommsCamp, HousingCamp, GovCamp Cymru and UKGovCamp.

To say I had been nervous about attending my first unconference would be quite an understatement. The concept of going to an event full of people with tons of experience set my imposter syndrome a-tingling. However the warmth and shared passion of the community was infectious. At each unconference I attended I felt more comfortable sharing my thoughts and eventually co-pitched a session at this years UKGovCamp. All of the unconferences have been excellent opportunities to learn, share and meet with interesting and engaged people across the sector and I hope to make it to them all again this year.

New year, new role

It’s certainly been a busy year, as well as starting a new job, I’ve just about caught my breath from planning a wedding, getting married and moving to London. Now I’m really looking forward to transitioning into my new role as a Delivery Manager over the coming months.

I’ve enjoyed my role as Account Manager but I’ve learned that my passion lies more in building and delivering better digital services than it does in helping those projects to get off the ground in the first place. Sadly, the great work being done across the public sector at the moment is often not matched by the procurement process that goes before it.

I’m looking forward to being involved over the whole lifecycle of projects from now on and I can’t wait to get started. Here’s to the next twelve months!