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I use the excellent Pocket (on both my Android device and in Google Chrome) to capture articles that I want to read later. The trouble is then finding a suitable later to actually read them. I made a start this lunchtime, however, and second up was this excellent article by Andy Clarke published on Smashing Magazine last month: A modern designer’s canvas.

It’s a really honest and encouraging read, one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long while, to be honest. It is quite long, but I encourage you to read it. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

This one sentence stuck out for me, however, on yet another day that I’m working in the office on my own:

People can feel isolated, starved of inspiration, even when working alongside others, if the organization’s structure and environment make it hard to keep ideas flowing.

This is definitely something that I know our team struggles with. With such a volume of both support calls and project work we more often work on our own than collaboratively.

And yet, whenever we work together—whether pair programming or designing, or simply in splitting work between us and working on it collegiately—we always say how much we enjoyed it and how much we ought to do it more often.

Last week we got the go-ahead from the University’s ICT strategy group to work on a new web strategy, to review our structures, environment and culture and challenge the ways that we are going about ‘how we do web’.

This thumbs-up has given us a feeling of hope and excitement about the future. Time to be like children again and keep asking ‘why?’ Time to create an environment where people don’t feel isolated, or starved of inspiration, and where the flow of ideas will be encouraged.

I don’t suppose we’ll get it right first time, but the desire is certainly there to make things better for us all: the web team, the wider university, our various audiences and website users.

Now is an exciting time to be in the web team. And remember, we currently have a vacancy for a PHP/JavaScript developer. Come join us.

This entry was posted in General by Gareth J M Saunders. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gareth J M Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Scrum master at Vision Ltd, Dundee. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Enneagram type FOUR and introvert, I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, write, draw and laugh… a lot.

1 thought on “Isolation

  1. Pingback: Web strategy workshop | University of St Andrews web team

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