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Showing posts from October, 2013

Growing and changing

I have reorganised Development Services for the new academic year.  Instead of two large teams, one for software development and one for software configuration, we now have five software teams aligned with the main administrative units of the University.  We have also taken on new staff: six new people joined Development Services this month and we have three more on the way.

This is not change for the sake of it, although I do believe in moving people around occasionally.  For one thing, the old structure was becoming too unwieldy, particularly in the student & academic area where we had one dedicated sub-team sharing a manager with the more general configuration team.  To grow the section, we needed more teams and more team leaders.

Another reason for change was to create teams that work closely with particular partners.  The idea is to simplify the scheduling of projects throughout the year, with the team leader and programme leader working together to schedule a steady stream o…

Patterns for service-oriented IT

Last week we attended a workshop that brought together people from universities across the UK who are working on various forms of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to underpin their business IT.  The workshop was organised by Nikki Rogers at the University of Bristol.  Bristol have the the foresight to employ Nikki as a full-time enterprise architect, which they should be congratulated on.  Nikki has written an excellent report of the workshop on her blog.  (Her blog is worth subscribing to, by the way).

What struck me about the day was the variety of architectural patterns that people were pursuing under the general heading of SOA.  This echoed our own situation at Edinburgh, where we have got some traction for the basic ideas of service-orientation and now have to articulate our vision for the next steps. 

Cardiff University, for example, are basically implementing a real-time data warehouse, with web services making the data available to downstream systems.  The data warehouse i…