Sheffield is a fantastically creative city. Just look at the sheer number of artists who have come from Sheffield. The Arctic Monkeys, Cabaret Voltaire, Craine, Def Leppard, Human League, Heaven 17, Richard Hawley, Tony Christie ... I could go on.
Therefore, I think it is fitting that the Home Office have chosen such a creative city to build a new hub dedicated to the endeavour of building software solutions.
A whole office floor has been put aside to house a development team capable of taking problems and ideas and turning them into solutions, supporting these solutions, and more importantly having the capability to iterate these solutions as the needs of the Home Office change.
We have the office, a couple of pathfinder teams and now we need some real talent to come and help form and build a dynamic development hub. We are looking for 'uncommon people'.
The people we are looking for will have the skills but more importantly they will the right attitude. People who want to make a difference, want to develop themselves and others, love exploring technology and having fun.
The right attitude is critical to us because we are not just building software solutions we are also nurturing a culture that will help transform how the Home Office operates.
How the Home Office operates is obviously of critical importance to the UK's security and prosperity so there really is an opportunity to make a massive difference.
So if you join us what will we offer?
A great community
A great community both within and outside the Home Office. We understand the power of networks and actively encourage our people to engage and build relationships with the local technical community and with other digital and business experts in the Home Office.
In our short history we have already hosted an event for Agile Sheffield and will host many more meet ups.
A digital talent base
We also offer opportunities to engage with and encourage the next generation of digital talent. We value the expertise that is being nurtured locally in the colleges and universities and will be building close relationships with them.
Also, we will encourage people to contribute further with extra curricular activities, particularly with the open source community.
Freedom to innovate
There’s also the freedom to innovate. We know that great people value the opportunity to explore new technology and techniques.
To encourage this we don't lock down your machine and restrict your technology choices, our approach is to trust people and to trust them to use their skills and judgement to select the right solution to solve the business problem.
Software development is a creative endeavour so why would we restrict your palate?
Learning is something we believe that people should do throughout their careers. Why stop?
We want to attract people who enjoy and believe in sharing their knowledge with others in the team as well as learning from others.
The right kind of workplace culture
Culture is massively important. Rightly, a lot has been written about culture and the pivotal role the right culture plays in very successful organisations.
We don't have a magic answer for how to build the right culture but we believe that providing an environment that nurtures openness, participation and ownership will certainly set us off in the right direction.
A key component of this nurturing environment is a flat structure so we actively discourage hierarchies or silos.
There’s a great quote I like to share from French philosopher Pierre Bourdieu which I first discovered in the equally great book The Silo Effect:
"Every established order tends to make its own entirely arbitrary system seem entirely natural."
If you can relate to this quote and have the right skills to help break down those arbitrary systems then please come and join us.
Oh, and if you were wondering what the reference to Craine was all about from the start of this post. Good as they are they didn't quite sell enough records for them to give up their day jobs. Their guitarist works in the team as agile coach and scrum master.
If you want to explore the bands and artists of Sheffield more look no further than the website www.uncommonpeople.co.uk.
If you want to read a great essay on the creativity of 'hacking' then I would recommend you have a look at the Paul Graham essay 'Hackers and Painters' http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html
If you want to read a bit more on avoiding silos and the negative impact they have on organisations I can recommend Gillian Tett's book 'The Silo Effect'.