The Strategic Developer: How Local Developers Can Make A Difference

May 17, 2011 by

In a recent blog post about the value of local developers, Paul Walk introduced the idea of the Strategic Developer, which he describes as: “a developer who has both technical and domain experience, and who can contribute to strategic planning and decision making.”

He went on to observe that:

“Establishing such a role may take time but, as technology is undoubtedly going to play an increasingly important role in the future of further and higher education, so must we ensure that the people who understand the technology stick around long enough to be able to contribute at this level.”

As part of our work on the DevCSI project, we are focussing on creating a collection of case studies and resources to explore this idea further. Our aim is to investigate the sorts of conditions that help institutions to foster innovative, strategic developers to deliver the best value. We will be using the results to generate best practice advice for managers to help them make the most of their local developers and for developers to focus on maximising their skills for the institutions they work for.

Local Developers Make A Difference

Over the coming weeks, we will be publishing a series of case studies focussing on specific software development work from the Universities of Kent, Cambridge, Exeter, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, British Antarctic Survey, Swansea University, University of Lincoln and many more . In each of these cases, local developers have made a tangible difference to their institutions by saving time, effort and money. Their work has made a direct impact by improving the quality of service delivered to students and academics, whilst also improving internal efficiencies. We want to understand the ingredients that made this possible and highlight these so that educational institutions can make the most of the valuable resource they have invested in.

Watch out for the first of these case studies here on the DevCSI blog over the next few days.

If you are inspired by what you read or have your own positive local developer story, please contact Mahendra Mahey to share your experiences and insights. We know that developer impact and innovation is often under reported, so we are very keen to hear how you have made a difference and what kind of cultural environment enabled you to do so.

Further Information

Paul Walk and Mahendra Mahey recently presented a session at the JISC11 conference, in which they introduced many of these ideas. The materials from this session are available as a virtual goody bag at the JISC website.

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