I often get asked what it’s like being a technical architect at DWP Digital and what sort of projects I’m involved in.
Big challenges and big opportunities
It’s certainly an interesting and challenging environment. We offer a wide range of opportunities for technical architects, irrespective of background or specialist domain.
It’s hard to imagine any other private or public sector organisation that has an IT estate as diverse and technically complex as DWP. Couple that with the digital transformation of services while maintaining the stability of legacy benefit paying applications, and it becomes an exciting place to work. And, we’re recruiting now!
Using technology and innovation to tackle complex problems
Most projects within DWP Digital use an agile approach with co-located multi-disciplinary teams. These usually include a technical architect from the very beginning at the discovery stage.
We produce ‘just enough’ documentation to define the architecture design, initially for a minimum viable product (MVP). This gets iterated as the project moves through alpha, private beta and public beta under the governance of the Digital Design Authority (DDA).
We have digital blueprints, patterns and standards defined by our domain architects. These are continually evolved, also under the governance of the DDA, and all architects within the community are encouraged to contribute.
I lead the architecture function within our Citizen Information Product Delivery Unit and work with senior architects within my team across a range of projects.
We’ve recently developed a citizen information strategy and defined a conceptual event driven architecture for how we manage citizen information in the future.
We’re now starting to design MVPs for core components, including a legacy bridge, that decouples new digital services from our legacy IT estate and manages data integration between the ‘old world’ and ‘new world’.
Improving services to help society
Our strategy also includes exploiting new data sources from across government and making better use of existing data to deliver operational efficiencies. This also helps us reduce fraud and error, enable straight through processing within our digital services, and ultimately provides improved citizen journeys. We have architects working within a number of projects at various stages delivering these new data services.
In November 2017 we remediated DWP’s Customer Information System (CIS) and migrated it from supplier data centres to on premise hosting data centres. Since then we’ve been running a Technical Improvement Programme that’s introduced enhanced application performance monitoring, improved levels of automation for build, test and deploy and migrated our development and test environments into the Cloud.
The Technical Improvement Programme has been driven forward by technical architects who are passionate about continually enhancing the security and reliability posture of this critical national infrastructure service.
These are just some of the projects that architects working in the Citizen Information Product Delivery Unit are involved in and there’s lots more here, and across wider DWP Digital.
If you’re an experienced architect, looking for new challenges, and like the sound of what we’re doing at DWP then take a look at the senior technical architect roles that we’re currently advertising on our Careers website.