State of the Unicorn (from Sep to Dec 2015)

Super proud of my husband for getting the job he wanted at the University of Warwick! Congratulations!!!

The previous state of the union post.

I wanted to do more, of these but have I? This is just a post reminding me of various bits I’ve done these past 6 months.

Digital Strategy

  • Unify our custom development endeavors
    • Leading the unification of previous dev work into a team accessible resource
  • Staff training in GIT
  • Staff training in Gitlab
  • Staff training in Gitlab CI
  • Researched, Created and maintaining standards for our dev team to work with (simple stuff docs and processes)
  • Started our “disaster docs” if someone is hit by a bus / wins the lottery
  • Identified need for QA resource
    • Got the QA resource!
  • Roadmap
    • Asked for and took Action to start a “Technology Enhanced Learning Operational Roadmap” aimed at engaging team members with future considerations
    • Actioned the Roadmap meetings and discussions
    • Lead the Roadmap meetings (ongoing)

Human Resourcing

  • Completed the Line Manager Hiring training
  • Completed the Line Manager Ethics and Diversity training
  • Sat on the interview panel for 3 WMG roles
  • Spoke my mind clearly to Head of interview panel
  • Invited to help write job specs for 2 roles
  • Invited to help create job interview tasks

Representation of WMG

  • Invited to the MyDay CollabCo User group to represent WMG & UoW

Agile & Project Management

  • Improved on the Agile workflow I introduced to work better inside the University environment
  • Project problems solver – became the goto person for digital projects going “haywire” and turning them into achieving projects
  • Had our first Agile vs. Culture issue, got knocked, learnt and then spoke with the relevant people to be less knocked next time
  • Ran “Introducing Agile” for more staff again
  • Agile coached 2 Product Owners on their projects and any fails / issues they were experiencing
  • Ran multiple, “introducing Agile courses”

Actual Production

  • Lobbied and received Continuos Integration access from Central IT
  • Setup Gitlab CI to build, test and deploy on master push
  • Changed development method to BDD (Behaviour Driven Development) with Behat
  • Created local, feature, pre-production and production flow
  • Built a Transaction and BDD testing process
  • Built re-usable modules for
    • Continuous Deployment
    • Google Analytics
    • Environment Banner to identify app servers
    • Basic User Role ACL control
    • HTML Helper templating
    • HTML / CSS workflow
    • Model Repository Modules
    • Pulling live DB to local DB for testing
    • Clearing DB automatically
  • Improved my Laravel 5 understanding


  • Maintenance on Biddr (my custom reverse bidding web app)
  • Launch and Maintenance of critical Supervisor & Project matching tool for 1000 users
  • Parachuted in to sort 3 broken projects
    • Applied Trello Story Points
    • Started the team talking again (humour and leadership)
    • Created strategy to bring the external developer more “internal”
      • Skype
      • Daily scrums
      • Internal account from IT
      • VPN access
      • Added to our Gitlab central repo
    • Applied Weekly sprints
  • PM Elective Selector
  • PM MyTime
  • PM Visits
  • Maintenance on Gradr


I’m moving towards more Project Management, so training in that and more experience.

Maybe become a line manager


By Dan Course

Senior Instructional Designer. Partnerships, people, products, delivery, agile tech and online edu. Naturally curious, innovative and willing to challenge the status quo.

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