The Job

I’ve been working at the university for 15 years now. That’s my longest tenure with any employer. I’ll get my 15 year pin next year (not this year because my first year was on contract).

When I started I was working on the internal financial systems but a few years ago I moved to the newly formed “Content and Collaboration Solutions department” and became a web developer, working on the main university website and all the sub sites. Since then I’ve become a senior web developer.

Back then the website ran on a custom built CMS written in PHP. We still have a few sites running on that old CMS but the vast majority have since been moved to the Drupal platform; still PHP but with a more modern framework. We started on Drupal 6 and have just (almost) finished migrating everything to Drupal 7.

In a way the web group is the black sheep of the IT department. We are the only group to use almost exclusively open source tools and we are were the first group to practice automated deployment and continuous integration. We also have to stay at the head of the curve on the tools we use because the web world moves faster than any other area in IT.

We are also one of only a couple of teams using agile techniques in our work. We organise what we need to do into 3 week iterations and have daily scrum meetings to keep the team up to date on what everyone is doing. Agile isn’t for everyone, but it works really well for us for the most part. The key is to be not too rigid with the rules, or in other words, be agile.

Overall I really enjoy my job. The work is interesting and varied, the team I work with are a great bunch of people, and working for a university means I get a good amount of time off for that precious work/life balance.

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