2 Comments

Gwen van der Velden
Interesting post, thanks Paul.

The idea of strategic developers struck me because in my world (learning and teaching development and strategy) there are similar patterns to be discerned. The lack of career progression for developers (in our case educational developers, staff developers or more recently organisational developers) is as much of an issue as it is in your more technically related world, it seems. The idea of strategic developers has been mooted in my field as well, but has been superseded by that of organisational developers. I'll come back to that.

I guess what I've noticed is that new roles don't develop because the people who would be ready for such a role can see the opportunity and the need for it, they develop instead because the organisation needs such a role. It then helps a great deal if the community of professionals ready for making that next step is ready with a good working solution like you suggest, but creating it from the bottom up is going to be a hard slog. Or it certainly was in our experience.

This is also where the role of organisational developers is interesting. By and large (there are different types) these roles occur when an organisation decides at some point to undergo substantial change. Often it starts with big restructuring or a new direction for the institution altogether. What the senior, central team then needs is people who can be allocated and trusted to sort out the operational implementation and specifically, develop staff and processes for adjustment. In essence they help develop staff and systems for effectiveness in the new organisational structure or direction. Fascinating jobs and the content of the organisational change they support, can differ tremendously between 'projects'.

Oddly though, these jobs tend to be at a similar level as educational, staff or indeed technical developers.
I guess it is still the case that if you move into a role where you're taking a lead on change (whether it is people, technical or organisational), you are effectively becoming a manager. Maybe it just says something about our concepts of what it is that managers do in the UK HE sector, that we tend not to think of it that way....
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Jigar
Here's a challenge for you:Counting the nubmer or proportion of full text items (or equivalent) in ANY repository.It's something people keep on asking for, but the software providers have tended not to provide the necessary tools for generating or harvesting the statistics. OAI-PMH cannot be relied on for this information either. (I can't comment on ORE.) We therefore ideally need a tool or application that is independent of both.Those pesky metadata-only repositories skew the profile of open access resources, so this tool would a great help in advocacy and in prioritising harvesting operations.Entries could be judged on speed (how many repositories they can gather statistics for in a set period, or how long it takes to process a given sample collection), and on accuracy (assuming we can find a list of repositories with known data).It may not seem very sexy, but it would be damned useful.Peter
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