A map of where 18F staffers spoke about our work in 2015 and 2016. A map of where 18F staffers spoke about our work in 2015 and 2016. This map only records one dot per city, so multiple events only appear as a single dot.

One of the benefits of working on a distributed team is having people all over the country to speak about 18F’s mission and work. And they have. Over the past year, members of our distributed team have given talks in more than 30 locations about how we’re changing government digital services. Topics have ranged from how we work to how we help the government build and buy software to how people can join the 18F team. If you weren’t able to attend one of the dozens of events our staff spoke at in the last two years, we’ve got some video highlights below.

How we started

If you’d like to know more about the basics of 18F and how we got started, your first stop should be to watch our co-founders Hillary Hartley and Aaron Snow present to California’s Little Hoover Commission about the ideas that started 18F, the principles that guide us, and the work we do.

Team culture

We’ve also been doing a lot of talking about 18F’s culture and what it’s like to work here. Jennifer Thibault recently spoke at Design Driven NYC about how our design team works while being distributed across the country. Additionally, Nicole Fenton talked about the importance of writing in our design process at the User Experience Lisbon conference.

Building lean

Hillary recently gave an overview of how we built a lean startup inside the government, while Garren Givens — the director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program — talked about using a lean approach to designing the highly-competitive program that brings technologists and innovators into the federal government.

Our agile approach is not limited to software; in this talk, our Talent Director Jen Tress talks about speeding up hiring to grow our team. You can also watch Infrastructure Director Noah Kunin explain the bureaucracy hacking we did to get to cloud.gov, and designer Nick Brethauer discuss how our product teams use lean UX.

Supporting change

While we are very proud of the work we’ve done at 18F, improving the federal government’s digital services is a huge challenge being worked on by numerous organizations. Hartley from 18F recently joined Lisa Gelobter, the chief digital service officer at the Department of Education, and Haley van Dyck and Mikey Dickerson, founding members of the U.S. Digital Service, for a talk about how all of our organizations are improving the government’s online services.

We’ve got many more events lined up for our staff in the coming year. If you have an event that you’d like an 18F staffer to come speak at, you can email us at 18f@gsa.gov with the details, and we can see if we can pair you with a speaker.