David Carboni: Making Government data machine (and human) readable

The way government uses technology to provide services has changed radically in the last five years since the Government Digital Service was founded. Agile, open source and open standards are no-brainers for most of us, but this wasn’t always the case in government. That’s led to big changes, like Gov.uk and, increasingly, opening up data via APIs.

Happily, this also means there’s been rapid progress in the way systems are designed and built - from user research and user experience to rapid iteration and microservices - and Python is a part of that.

I’ve had the privilege of being part of this movement, working with the Office for National Statistics to reinvent the UK’s largest independent statistics website as an open data API, using microservices and AWS, then going on to redesign how the organisation collects the data it uses to produce the statistics. These stats drive economic and social policy across the UK, as well as supporting civil society groups like Full Fact who work tirelessly to, for example, hold politicians to account for the claims they make.

In this talk I’ll share my experiences of redesigning a part of our national infrastructure with the ONS team, as well as deeper learning about technology design and team dynamics. Tech thinkers and doers are reinventing the way people and organisations work and that’s hugely exciting.

You can find the slides from the talk here: slides.

Lightning talks

This month we had two lightning talks. Vincent Knight introduced his new game theory library “NashPy”:

Vincent’s code is available on github.

Martin Chorley spoke about scraping data from the assembly expenses website:

Martin’s code is also available on github.