Hacking The Government With The USDS - Episode 210

Summary

The U.S. government has a vast quantity of software projects across the various agencies, and many of them would benefit from a modern approach to development and deployment. The U.S. Digital Services Agency has been tasked with making that happen. In this episode the current director of engineering for the USDS, David Holmes, explains how the agency operates, how they are using Python in their efforts to provide the greatest good to the largest number of people, and why you might want to get involved. Even if you don’t live in the U.S.A. this conversation is worth listening to so you can see an interesting model of how to improve government services for everyone.

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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing David Holmes about his work at the US Digital Services organization

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what the USDS is and how you got involved with it?
  • The terminology that is used around "Tours of Service" is interesting. Can you explain what that entails?
    • relocation
    • what if you have a house and career?
  • Can you explain the model of how the USDS works?
    • What is involved in staffing a new project?
    • What is your typical toolkit, and how does that vary with the specific departments that you are working with?
  • What are some of the most interesting projects that you and the team at USDS have worked on?
  • What are some of the most challenging projects that you have been involved with?
  • What are some projects that you hope to be asked to work on?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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