Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Quick Note on a Public Service Highlight

by Kent Aitken RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Kent Aitkentwitter / kentdaitkengovloop / KentAitken

For my first four years in the public service, I worked for what is known as a Common Service Organization: a government department that provides services to other government departments. It has only been in the last approximately 18 months that I've held a position with public-facing elements.

Over the weekend I traveled to Vancouver for the CODE Hackathon, a competition based on the creative use of Government of Canada open data. We logged the better part of a week's work from Friday night to Sunday night, supporting participants and learning from them. It was fantastic. 

A while back I wrote that "Ottawa, the concept, needs to spend more time out of Ottawa, the city", an idea reinforced by every opportunity to do so. I went from reading daily media monitoring reports to a room seemingly exempt from politics. I realized that participants were downright excited that the Government of Canada, of all entities, would be interested in the works that they accomplished. And I got to see, firsthand, what many public servants' hard work meant for people on the ground.

A post like this would, stylistically, merit a pithy observation at this point. Something like "We need more of that/X". But my purpose for sharing is stylistically boring, as a combination of many things: a reminder that the cynics about the public service are louder than those content with it, a note that government does interesting things, and an expression of appreciation for being a part of them.

Unrelated: hackathons are basically Mac advertisements.

Note that while we work as public servants this is entirely our own initiative and what we post here does not necessarily reflect the view of the government, our offices or our positions there in.

Notez bien que nous travaillons commes functionnaires, ceci est entièrement notre propre initiative et ce que nous publions sur ce site ne reflète pas nécessairement le point de vue du gouvernement, de nos organisations ou de nos postes.