How the DVLA is playing an active role in the Welsh tech scene

At the DVLA, we’re extremely keen to play an active role in contributing to the growing Welsh tech scene. If you go back to the end of last year, you’ll learn that we launched a partnership with TechHub Swansea. One of the key aims of this partnership is to engage with the local South Wales digital community and universities to help support, foster and grow a vibrant, local digital community.

We want to raise the profile of the DVLA as a provider of world-class digital services and an exciting place to work using modern approaches and technologies. This allows us to attract locally based top talent. In addition, connecting the ecosystem of suppliers, government, universities and the wider TechHub network will benefit the local community by supporting digital entrepreneurs and technology companies.

The location at TechHub Swansea provides us with a secure, open plan collaborative working space for projects and as the venue for an exciting series of events. The following is just an example of the types of activities taking place, each of which could justify their own blog post.

Guest speakers

DVLA runs a series of guest speaker events that brings the local digital community together to learn from industry leaders, all of which are free to attend. In April, the president of Skyscape Cloud Services gave a talk on technology and innovation.

And last month, ThoughtWorks came down to present their Technology Radar, a fascinating view on the technology and trends that are shaping the future. Next month, two of the authors of the critically acclaimed ‘Digitizing Government’ book will give a talk around digital transformation and open innovation.

Projects

DVLA has two projects currently running out of the TechHub.

The first is the Digital Services Platform (DSP). This is developing the technology, processes and capabilities that’ll support and underpin DVLA’s transformation and involves areas such as environment provisioning for build automation and collaboration and development tooling to support more agile ways of working and a DevOps style which involves continuous integration and continuous deployment.

The second is a spike that’s building a working prototype to demonstrate and prove the target technology stack. As we move away from large monolithic legacy systems and move towards smaller distributed components deployed on a cloud, we need to show that our solutions can handle challenges such as instance failures, variable latency and unreliable networks.

Other events

DVLA has started a series of ‘Sandpit’ events in conjunction with Swansea University. The idea is to bring together people from various disciplines and organisations, and provide an environment to share ideas and identify potential collaborative research projects.

Swansea University’s computer science department are ranked 1st in Wales for research excellence, with 60% of their research rated world-leading for impact. This collaboration will allow DVLA to apply the world-leading research expertise of Swansea University to real business problems.

Matt Lewis is a technical architect working within the DVLA Architecture Community, helping to define and build the technology stack to underpin DVLA’s business transformation. He is dad to a toddler with number two on the way, and in his spare time tries to avoid drowning in triathlons.