Local Dev Impact


As part of our work on the DevCSI project, we are creating a collection of case studies and resources to explore the idea of the Strategic Developer. 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.

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.

Metrics-Based Case Studies

Libraries@Cambridge: University of Cambridge
A detailed metrics-based report by Cottage Labs, examining the impact of a local developer at the University of Cambridge, who worked with library staff to improve reporting systems by creating a web-based service to deliver the most frequently requested reports. Further details about this work can be found in our developer success story report about the project.


Case Studies


List8D: University of Kent
Developers from the University of Kent describe their prize-winning Dev8D project: a web 2.0-friendly reading list system with software that makes it easy for academics to create reading lists, libraries to manage stock and students to access the lists on a variety of devices.

My Mobile Bristol: University of Bristol
Developers at the University of Bristol realise the potential value of developing a mobile phone application that supports a ‘just in time’ and ‘on the move’ experience for students and staff, whilst building stronger ties with the local community.

Module Reading List System: University of Leeds
A developer working in the university library realises that significant amounts of time could be saved, and a more efficient service to students and academics provided, if there were a consistent and accessible online system for recording, reviewing and transmitting reading list information to the library. So he builds one.

LEAPS Online Database: University of Edinburgh
Developers forge links with a local equal access organisation to create an online, accessible database system to replace their paper-based data management system which not only improves efficiency, but also opens other possibilities for enhancing business processes.

SOUTH Travel Database: British Antarctic Survey
Local developer uses trust to overcome a requirements disconnect, creating a new integrated web-based system for managing and tracking staff movements on Antarctic expeditions, which helps staff to make smarter decisions.

Libraries@Cambridge: University of Cambridge
A local developer works with library staff to improve reporting systems by creating a web-based service to deliver the most frequently requested reports, thus releasing two members of library staff to develop new services to add value to the library as a whole.

Student Ambassador System: University of Exeter
Local developer works with the university’s student ambassador development officer to develop an online system to manage and allocate student ambassadors, doubling the efficiency of the department and enabling more students to get involved in ambassadorial roles.

Custom Multi-Institutional VuFind Implementation: The South-West Wales HE Partnership
Developers at SWWHEP provide a uniquely customised implementation of the open source tool VuFind to provide integrated search functionality across three partner institutions, complete with the Talis Library Management System.

Moodle PLP Module: MidKent College
Local developers adapt a Moodle Module to create an integrated personal development planning solution relevant to staff, students and managers.

Student as Producer: University of Lincoln
Student developers demonstrate how deep integration with the rest of the university is one of the real benefits of a local developer.



  1. Plenary 8: The Strategic Developer | IWMW 2011 blog - [...] More information about the work of the DevCSI project in this area, including the case studies Paul cited during ...
  2. IWMW11 Plenary 8: The Strategic Developer « Amplified Event Back Up Blog - [...] Further Information Paul’s slides from this presentation are available in PDF form at the IWMW webpage for his ...

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