Government Digital Service Podcast

Government Digital Service Podcast #21: The DDaT Fast Stream at GDS

July 30, 2020

Vanessa Schneider: 

Hello and welcome to the Government Digital Service Podcast.

 

My name is Vanessa Schneider and I am Senior Channels and Community Manager at GDS. Like last month's episode, this one will also be recorded via Hangouts as we're all remote working right now. We're going to be talking about the Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream experience at GDS. The Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream, also known as the DDaT Fast Stream for short, is one of 15 different schemes on the Civil Service Fast Stream. Applicants can choose up to 4 scheme preferences when they apply. As a DDaT Fast Streamer you're participating in a four year scheme with both six month long and year-long placements.

 

GDS is one of the organisations in which Fast Streamers are placed. So we will be hearing from colleagues across GDS with experience of being on the DDaT scheme.

 

Clare Robinson

I'm Clare Robinson. I'm a Fast Stream Performance Analyst working on GOV.UK. So that means that I look at the performance data that we have available and try to understand what it is that users are trying to do on GOV.UK, where they're going and what it is we need to do to make their journeys better.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you think that the Fast Stream has lived up to what your expectation was before you applied? 

 

Clare Robinson: 

What I've really loved about working for government is the fact that people don't have another option, like there is no, there's nobody else that can give you a passport. We have to do it. And that confers on us a really different expectation because we can't ever decide that something is too hard. We have to do the best we can for everybody. And that was probably the thing that really defied my expectations. I came in thinking that it would be all about implementing government policy. And actually some of that is true. But most of it is about providing citizens with things that they need from government. And that's really a different mindset, perhaps, than I really expected to have. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you mind going a little bit into detail about the different placements that you've had before arriving at GDS?

 

Clare Robinson: 

So I started as a delivery manager in Bristol working on licencing and permitting services. My role was to make sure that we were delivering those projects on time when we needed to. So I learnt a lot from that, I learnt a lot about agile, so how to manage people in a really productive and sort of continuously improving way. And I learnt a lot about myself, like what I how I work, what I like, what I find more challenging. That led me to my next placement where I went to the Department of Transport to be a User Researcher. And that was really great 'cause I was working on a whole just a massive range of projects.

 

And then I got to go on a secondment. So this is sort of an interesting feature of the Fast Stream is that you can go out to, often to charities or other partners. But I actually chose to go out to industry 'cause that was like I really wanted to take that opportunity just to see how digital services work from kind of a more commercial side. And so I got to go and be a Co-creationion Consultant at Fujitsu. And the kind of work I was doing that was really interesting because I was running what are called design-thinking workshops, which are very much, very much in some ways follow some of the user-centred principles that we have in government, and in GDS - it's all about starting like what do users need?

 

It was really interesting to see how a sort of commercial enterprise used user-centred thinking and design-thinking to sort of challenge both themselves, and the customers that they working with to kind of co-create like solutions to complicated business problems. So that was that was really interesting.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

We often hear that GDS has that perception of being different to the other sort of areas of Whitehall. Have you found that to bear out?

 

Clare Robinson: 

I think the biggest difference, I think, is how how much acceptance people have of kind of agile methodologies, and sort of uncertainty. I think we have to embrace the unknowns and we have to embrace the idea that we're not going to get things perfect the first time round.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

I was wondering, is there anything that you would change about your experience so far?

 

Clare Robinson: 

There’s quite an emphasis on leadership and leading teams, but I think that that can sometimes, people who are perhaps more introverted, who perhaps have more technical skills, I think that can leave them behind or leave them with a sense that they're not doing the right thing. I think that I've been really lucky that I've had two really fantastic managers on the Fast Stream who have really helped me understand that that's not the case, and actually that leadership looks really, really different in different places. But I think that sometimes the Fast Stream can put quite a lot of emphasis on showing rather than doing, and I think there are people that are working to change that. 

 

And I think particularly I've been thinking about like what, when we talk about leadership, we often have a model in our mind. And that model is often, often white, it's often male, it's often went to a Russell Group university. And I think that that is a model that we all need to challenge.

 

Jordan Testo: 

Hi. I'm Jordan Testo. I'm a DDaT Fast Streamer currently placed at GDS, working in the EU Transition and Future Relationships Team as the Digital Portfolio Coordination Advisor. Previously I've worked as a, a Product Owner on the tax platform at HMRC. I've worked as a Service Manager at the Home Office and I've been a Programme Delivery Manager at the Ministry of Defence working in Cyber Defence. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

And what caused you to apply to be on the Fast Stream? 

 

Jordan Testo: 

Finishing university, I fancied a challenge. I previously did an industrial placement in the Home Office whilst at university, and I thought, I want to go into the Civil Service. So why not give the Fast Stream a go and develop my leadership skills and see what I can do?

 

So I'm currently coming towards the end of my second year. Currently the DDaT scheme is four years. So I've got another two placements - so the first two years are six month roles, switching every six months, and then the final two years are two year-long posts. So come October, I will be leaving GDS to another department, which as of yet is unknown to me. We find out in about three weeks, four weeks’ time where we'll be moving on to. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: Do you get any choice in that matter or is it very much predetermined?

 

Jordan Testo: 

We get preference forms, so we put in the departments which we want to go to work for, job roles around the DDaT Framework and other areas that we want to develop personally as well. And all those developmental points are looked into as well as what previous job roles I've done. And the matching team then put, match me to a place in which they think benefits me the most in what I want to get out. 

 

Vanessa Schneider:

Is it different working at GDS compared to other departments?  

 

Jordan Testo: 

GDS, it is a total different way of working. It's a lot more accessible, there's a lot more openness in terms of the software we can use, the types of communication methods. But GDS is just, it's such a different place. And what I quite like about it is there's less of a hierarchy as such. Everyone works together to get the job done rather than some of the departments I've been in where it's quite hierarchical. But yeah, I quite enjoy this. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Yeah, so obviously it's great to hear that you're having a positive experience at GDS, and with the fast stream. But are there things that you've sort of found a bit more challenging? 

 

Jordan Testo: 

The challenging element of the Fast Stream is moving around every six months. It's been hard for me to let go of some departments, mainly because of the work I've been working on, and I start, I get to the midpoint where we've got a really important milestone or got to important sprint and then I have to go, and I never see the result and not seeing the fruits of their labour as such. Hence why I’m looking forward to having the year-long posts.

 

And I think if someone asked me, what do you think of the Fast Stream, I say, just do it. Apply. See how it goes, because it's just totally worth it. I think that even if you don't get onto it, the application process is really interesting and a really good experience to do. If you get onto it, the Civil Service and the public sector world is open to you. You have a chance to go around different departments, work on different programmes, work with different people in different subject areas, and you build up such a knowledge of overall government - it's, it's priceless, really.

 

Maxwell Reiss: 

My name is Maxwell Reiss. I'm a Product Manager on the GOV.UK programme, and I'm on the Civil Service Digital Fast Stream.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

So you are currently a Fast Streamer or have you finished the Fast Stream?

 

Maxwell Riess: 

I am still currently a Fast Streamer. But I am, I am very much an outgoing Fast Streamer. I'm in my third year of the programme and I've just recently, within the last couple of weeks, been offered a permanent role at GDS.

 

Vanessa Schneider: Well, congratulations to the job offer. Is it normal for a Fast Streamer to be offered a job before the scheme finishes?

 

Maxwell Riess:

It does happen. It is, it is very, it is normal. Yeah, I'll go as far as to say it's normal. I think of my cohort, there were about 60 of us that started in year one, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed digital Fast Streamers. And I think of that there are probably less than half that are still on the scheme.

 

Vanessa Schneider: Would you mind telling us a little bit about the placements that you had previously? 

 

Maxwell Riess: 

So way back in September of 2000, was it 17, I started my very first placement on the Fast Stream in DWP Digital in the Portfolio Team. And this was a quite surprising placement to get. It actually wasn't what I was expecting at all because I was working in a private office role supporting a Deputy Director of the digital portfolio. I have had roles in HMRC working on digital services for collecting environmental taxes. I had a role working at the Department for International Trade, working in content on their Brexit transition. So, so I worked on, on policies and content for the public at DIT. And I previously had a role at GDS even before this one. I worked at GDS in GOV.UK in a, in another kind of content capacity, working on what we call mainstream, which is the kind of most popular content on GOV.UK itself and then I came back, I came back to GOV.UK after my last one at DIT.

 

Vanessa Schneider: Were you aware of GDS before you joined the DDaT Fast Stream?

 

Maxwell Riess: 

I, I was, actually. Yeah, I am. I tragically was a bit of a fan of.

 

Vanessa Schneider:

Oh! Don't apologise. 

 

Maxwell Riess: 

GOV.UK and of, of, of GDS. I just, you know, kind of struck me as a great a great thing, a good website, a place - and I worked, I did work in digital before joining the Civil Service in the private sector. And it always struck me, guess partly call it good storytelling, branding, propaganda, that that GDS was somewhere that was doing digital and agile well, you know, that it was, that this is where one could go to actually experience these techniques put into action in an effective way. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you mind telling me a little bit about what led you to applying to the DDaT Fast Stream?

 

Maxwell Riess: 

For me, it was very, very directly about wanting to work in the public sector for the public good. I got into technology because I was interested in, I guess, the power of new tools to like shape society and and create the modern world. So I knew I wanted to work in that area. And having had time in the private sector, I became more and more interested in devoting my efforts to something that was going to be for everyone's benefit. And because of the, because of the good that I think can be done there, but also because of the risk as well. I think you know government services still in so many places have a reputation for not being as good. And I think in order to build public trust in our society, we need to have services that people feel like are really high quality. And yeah, I wanted to, to lend my effort to do that. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

So you've obviously had a really good experience in the Fast Stream and at GDS, but were there some challenges that you faced? 

 

Maxwell Riess: 

I've said this to other people who are thinking about the Fast Stream and people who are in it who are struggling, by far, the best thing about the Fast Stream is its variability. The amount of different roles you can kind of gain experience in the different interactions you can get, the different circumstances and problems, spaces you'll get exposed to. That's all incredibly beneficial. But also it comes with a huge amount of variance and risk. And so I think that the challenges are all around whether or not you can deal with a slightly, ultimately, you can do you can do anything for six months. I think. And and really, it's about it's temporary. So it's about what you're going to get out of it. And if you think you can get something really valuable out of it, then it's worth sticking with. If not, then you need to be able to be a squeaky wheel and complain and kick up a fuss. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

That sounds like a lot of food for thought, then would you change anything if you had the opportunity to do what you wanted?

 

Maxwell Riess: 

I mean, the Fast Stream itself is constantly changing like it is, it is really, you know because Fast Streamers are young and, and they've got ideas. They’re constantly giving feedback on the programme. And I think it can and should change. 

 

Daniel Owens: 

My name is Daniel Owens and I work as a Corporate Insight Lead at GDS.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Did you always know you wanted to apply to the DDaT Fast Stream, or where did that decision come from for you?

 

Daniel Owens: 

Well, I think I think I'm quite an unusual case in the sense that I'm probably a fair bit older than a lot of the other Fast Streamers. I know that the Fast Stream is becoming, it was originally created as a graduate scheme but increasingly it's becoming more of a developmental scheme. I decided to change careers and I was particularly interested in the tech sector. I thought that that is the most exciting and innovative area going forward. But also, I wanted to have meaningful and purposeful for work and feel that I was contributing to something rather than just the bottom line. And I've been particularly happy that I've been placed at GDS, the Government Digital Service, because of their excellent reputation. I have friends in the private sector and they all know about GDS. They know GOV.UK has a very good reputation around the world and in the private sector in terms of producing quality products. So I was quite excited to get this placement. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

So knowing what you know now, what kind of advice do you have to somebody who's considering applying to the DDaT Scheme?

 

Daniel Owens: 

It's a tough question. In answering that, I would say, I think that my trajectory as an older, older starter is I would give different advice for an older person compared to a younger person. Because I think if you're straight out of uni or, you know, got just a couple of years of work experience, you're you're still sort of learning the world of work and like learning how to interact in that in that environment and what works for you and what doesn't. So, your sort of, your approach, I think, would be a bit different.

For the son-if, for someone who's older, starting on the DDaT scheme, I would say first things first would be to work out what the key trajectories are, where the key roles are that you could go into, and from day one start thinking about to what extent they fit what you want to do and testing it all the time, like kind of, almost kind of like an agile approach, like a prototype, like going and meeting people.

Vanessa Schneider: 

And is there anything you would change about your experience? 

 

Daniel Owens: 

I think, one thing that and this is advice I've got from a lot of Fast Streamers who are further along, is if the postings not working for you or you don't feel like you're doing the kind of work that is going to develop you, then you should push back and you should you should try and own the role and make the role. I mean, you know, there's going to be some mundane work that you're gonna have to do. It's inevitable. But you should also try and search for opportunities to do innovative, interesting things. And don't be afraid to approach people about that. 

 

James Lovatt

Hi, I'm James Lovatt. I'm one of the Assistant Private Secretaries in the Director General's Private Office at GDS. And I'm on the Fast Stream. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

To start us off. It'd be great to learn from you why you thought you wanted to apply to the DDaT Fast Stream. 

 

James Lovatt: 

So I applied for Fast Stream. I think ultimately for my own personal development. I found the previously I spent eight years working in the NGO sector. But I was really struggling to break through those digital marketing roles into more leadership positions. So I wanted to see how the Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream could open up that world a bit wider for me, to, to see how the other ways of using digital technology to make an impact in the world.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

So your placement at GDS, what stage are you at in your placements? 

 

James Lovatt: 

So I've been on the Fast Stream for two years now. I've been in London for the last 12 months and with GDS for the last six months specifically. This is my fourth posting. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you mind sharing what you've been doing in the Fast Stream so far, what your previous placements were about? 

 

James Lovatt: 

Yes, sure. So I joined two years ago. I started off with HMRC in a very technical team as a DevOps Product Team Lead. It's one of those where you kind of just get thrown in the deep end and you figure it out as you go along. But there was some really good people around me who helped in that journey. And then I moved up to Edinburgh to work in Scottish government as a Business Analyst where we were trying to onboard, or starting the process of onboarding, Office 365 to that 15,000 odd users. And then I moved down to London to work with DEFRA in a more data focussed role. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

And your role right now is as Assistant Private Secretary, you mentioned, right?

 

James Lovatt: 

Correct. Yes. So I'm an APS in a team of about four people for Alison Pritchard. There's two APS's and then there's a private secretary and the head of private office. For me, this is has been the posting which has been most well suited to my career aspirations. I think I came in March just as the budget was being considered. And then within a couple of weeks, COVID also hit. So it also was a very insightful way to see how rapidly government can respond to a crisis, and how many services that GDS personally stood up as well to to make that an effective response. I'm fortunate that I've just found out that it's being extended. So I will be staying here for probably another 12 months as my third year posting as well. So it should hopefully give me some depth into what Private Offices can do. I enjoy seeing how senior leaders make their decisions and the influence and the end result of of that. So within six months, I've started to see the start of that process. But hopefully now I'll start to see the middle and end of some of those processes which I've been privy to so far.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

I'm so pleased to hear that that got extended. I was wondering if there was anything you would change about your Fast Stream experience or about the Fast Stream in general if there’s something you've noticed that could be improved?

 

James Lovatt: 

I have had a good experience, but a lot of it's been in hindsight. At the time, it never necessarily felt that every posting was enjoyable for different reasons. But I think that's, because they were challenging me. So it meant that I was going through that growth, which was what I was initially seeking when I came on to the Fast Stream. I would poss-possibly change just how big sometimes the leap is between those and particularly with a six month postings, they don't let you get too grounded.

 

I think the thing that I would change about it is, is some of the changes are already happening around diversity and inclusion. So I think my scheme intake in 2018 is reported on in media as not being very diverse. And that's something which I'm not particularly proud to be a part of that statistic. But it is something that drives the work that I do. So even working with Alison in Private Office, it, it's, it's been interesting to see how we can influence the future of the Fast Stream. And particularly in the last couple of years, a lot of those areas have been improving anyway, but I think there's always a lot further to go in there. There'll be unknowns as well in the future that we're not even thinking about right now. So trying to be ahead of a curve in that respect, in terms of inclusion and diversity rather than just catching up is what I'd like to change about the scheme.

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

Hi, I'm Jenny Sleeman and I'm a Delivery Manager for the GOV.UK PaaS Team in GDS. So PaaS is Platform as a Service. So we are part of TechOps and Reliability Engineering. So our, our team has a platform that then other government services can host their services on our platform. And we look after kind of the security and the management of that platform, kind of providing backend services for all of our tenants. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

As this is our Fast Stream episode, are you doing this role as part of a Fast Stream placement or are you now a graduate of this Fast Stream?

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

I'm a graduate of the Fast Stream. So I graduated from the Fast Stream a couple of years ago. My my last Fast Stream posting was actually at GDS. So I have been a Fast Streamer at GDS as well. But I'm now back at GDS. So yeah, seen it from both sides really. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you mind telling us about your choice to apply for the DDaT Fast Stream?

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

So I applied because I, I suppose I thought it was the most kind of interesting Fast Stream scheme. I was quite keen to pursue a career in the civil service. And I was I was interested in the digital side of things. I was working at Department for Education at the time and kind of we were having a think about some digital projects. So I was I was quite keen to sort of learn more really and try all the different postings.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you mind taking us through the postings that you went through?

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

So my first posting was with Ministry of Defence and I worked for the Navy in Portsmouth. So that was that was very, very different from kind of any of the jobs I'd had before that point. So I started my Fast Stream journey in MOD. And then I also had a posting in HMRC, a secondment out to the NHS, which was brilliant. And then also a six month posting at the Home Office. And then for the one year long postings, I worked for BEIS for one year and then GDS for my final year on the scheme. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

So you've been on a secondment. Do you mind telling me what that was like, whether there was a discernible difference to working for a civil service organisation compared to the NHS?

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

Yeah, it was brilliant. In some ways, it was, it was probably the most interesting posting I had because it was so different to what I'd known in the civil service.

 

It, it, I suppose it felt a lot more operational to some of the civil service postings I'd had because we were literally based in, in some offices in a hospital in London. So, you know, you were I felt so much closer to that kind of frontline, frontline workers, and your day to day activities could vary so much from kind of things that would be more similar to my role now kind of, you know, reporting in business cases, but then you could also find yourself actually going into one of the wards in the hospital and speaking to the family of patient, for example, if their surgery had had to be cancelled at short notice and kind of really trying to kind of reassure that that patient's family and the patient themselves. I have the utmost respect for people that work for the NHS because, yeah, it is it is a tough job, I think. Very tough. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Are you still in touch with other members of your cohort?

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

Yes, I am. Again, that's one that's one of the really, really nice things about the Fast Stream that you you start it with this cohort. And you're obviously always at the same point as them. So kind of when you rotate from one posting to another, you kind of have, you know, all of the chat about how has your first week gone? How are you finding things? Yeah, kind of that support was really important throughout the Fast Stream. And it's just really nice to see that the direction that different people have gone off in and kind of obviously some have stayed in government, some work outside government now. But yeah, it's really nice to have that group of people.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

And do you think that you had a different experience going into the Fast Stream because you were already an employee of the civil service? 

 

Jenny Sleeman: 

Possibly. I think I suppose the benefit to me was that I had a year of I suppose understanding how government worked a little bit from working for Department for Education. So I had some kind of prior experience. But as I say, because some of the postings are just so different, you kind of you know, you can work in one department and and working for another department is very, very different. So, yeah, I think if you already work for the civil service, there can be some benefits. But yeah, there's, there's, there's also no problem going in when you haven't worked for the civil service before. 

 

Lewis Dunne: 

Hi everyone. So my name is Lewis Dunne. I'm a Senior Technology Policy Adviser here at GDS. I sit within the Technology Policy Team and my role is focussed on researching, advising, briefing and producing guidance on ways to improve cross-government use of tech. And on top of that, I'm also a former DDaT Fast Streamer. I’m a bit fresh off the scheme, so I left and starting work at GDS in mid-March of this year - I was in the third year of the scheme when I left.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

So if you don't mind us casting back your mind to the beginnings of the GDS Fast Stream. I know it's not as long ago as some people who've completed the scheme, but I was wondering if you could share with us why you considered applying.

 

Lewis Dunne: 

Yeah. So that there were a couple of different reasons. I applied in October 2016. At the time I was studying for a diploma in legal practise up in Scotland. I'd most enjoyed working on things that were linked to like public and administrative law, and I think I saw the Fast Stream as a better way of offering a route to be able to work in that broader area of public services a lot more. And certainly the idea of being able to contribute to improving public services felt far more real and more interesting to me than a lot of the more dry stuff that I was studying at the time.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

The law to data, digital and technology, that seems like a bit of a jump. Was there anything that had prepared you for that?

 

Lewis Dunne: 

Yeah. No, it's a good point. So bit of context as well - I do come from a bit of a techie background: as a child, I was very into building websites, continued that at uni. My dad is a telecoms engineer. His dad helped build planes. And just before applying really in the year before my studies, I'd also been working on a research project that was trying to build a database of sort of peace agreements to allow them to be compared. And that was a really interesting use of what was a really interesting ability to actually see a digital system in a different way, helping to analyse a real world problem. So, so my head was very much still in that space.

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you mind telling me about your first placements? 

 

Lewis Dunne: 

So I've worked in a number of different places. So five placements in total. They've all actually had a bit of an international flavour, I suppose. I started off at Department for International Trade, working as a content designer on an export licencing programme. I then moved over to the Foreign Office where I was a product owner for their telecom system. I worked at the Department for Transport as a cyber security policy analyst, then back to GDS as a tech policy analyst. And then finally, just before this, I was working at the Department for International Development up in East Kilbride as a product owner, helping with their development data publishing. To some extent of a lot of my roles have been because I've been quite willing just to get my hands dirty and get involved in a lot of different things and also being willing just to be moved around a bit. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

You brought the scheme to an early end by accepting a job offer. Was there anything that you sort of feel like you've missed out on because you've exited the scheme early?

 

Lewis Dunne: 

I mean, the whole thing about the scheme is that it is designed to get people to a stage of feeling like they are empowered and that they can go and make decisions and and lead, because I guess primarily as a leadership scheme, it's about getting, building us up as people. And when I compare where I am now and how I feel and how I act, everything like that to the to the timid, shy guy that walks into DIT back in I guess, like mid 2017, I have I had developed a lot as a person by the time I applied for this role at GDS, so I felt ready in that regard.

 

Vanessa Schneider: Do you wish that you'd changed anything about your experience in the Fast Stream? I know, for instance, some people have gone on secondments to other public sector organisations or charities or even private sector companies.

 

Lewis Dunne: 

I don't think there's any of my experiences on the Fast Stream that I'd want to give up or trade in for something else. I don't feel like any of the things was like a needless waste of time or anything or like not a waste of time, but, you know, was could be swapped out. So it's difficult to look back. And I think in terms of thinking about how we change things over the course of the Fast Stream, there's just a big angle about, you know, you develop so much as a person over those several years of being put into all of these different positions that if I was in different roles, I probably would have handled problems differently, and people acted with people differently in some areas. But I guess that's just part of, you know, learning and growing as a person more generally. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Gosh, that got very philosophical.

 

Lewis Dunne: 

I remember my cohort leader asking me about that. And she had suggested that I go on a secondment and that would have been, I guess, in place of my time at GDS, and I think actually my time I spent GDS helped me identify an organisation that I really I really liked, I really liked the culture and that I wanted to work in more. So if I've had lost that, I guess I would have gained something different. But I think it's, it's helped me get to where I am now. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Do you think that it was good coming into the Fast Stream out of academia, or do you think that it makes a difference? Or is it just such a scheme that it doesn't matter what your previous knowledge is, you kind of start from ground zero? 

 

Lewis Dunne: 

It's, it's is a really interesting point, because I guess one of the things that I've developed a lot over the last couple years, but I think part of that has just been all these like different experiences, because it's it's kind of like how you imagined the people in Love Island must feel, you know. For you looking in, it looks like it's only a week but I think for them it feels like a year kind of thing. And I think a lot of postings feel a bit like that. You're only there for several months, but it can feel like a very long period of time for you. 

 

And so it does help you build up a lot of experiences and to help me build up a lot of experiences and get a lot of different. It's almost equivalent of doing, you know, like five different mini jobs in the space of, like a couple of years. And I think all of those contributions helped me develop. So I guess if maybe if I'd come into a bit like older and stuff than I might have had a bit more of like a solid base to start with. So, yeah, I, I think it is one of these things where by just so it can be both useful coming from academia and you know, it's also very useful to come in with a broader knowledge of it. I'm sure that will give you a huge leg up. And if people are thinking about like a change of role or a change of like career and things, I think, you know, in terms of getting like a crash course in digital in government, the Fast Stream is a great way of getting that. 

 

Vanessa Schneider: 

Thank you so much to all of our guests for coming on today. You can listen to all the episodes of the Government Digital Service podcast on Apple Music, Spotify and all other major podcast platforms. And the transcripts are available on Podbean. Goodbye.

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