The United States Digital Service

(music playing) Mikey Dickerson:
These tours of duty that we set people up
with, like, these are things that
they’re going to be telling their
grandkids about. Like, there was that
time when I worked for the White House. And here’s what I did
at the White House. And it was more
meaningful than anything I’ve done before
or since. Kathy Pham:
In tech, I think a lot of us — we just love
solving really big, complex, difficult problems
and thinking, all right, there is this
crazy problem. I know software, I know
technology, so how do I use that
knowledge to fix it? Like, just any
big problem. Eric Maland:
Yeah. I never, ever pictured
myself doing this until I saw someone
else doing it and thought,
that’s awesome. I finally get to use my
skills to actually make a difference in people’s
lives — and I think a long-term
difference. Megan Smith:
The United States Digital Service is the Americans
who have tech skills come into government and helping
do what we need to do from D.C. and across
this country. Rachel Harrison-Gordon:
Well, I never expected to be here. And I realize that
that’s something I said with each step forward
that I’ve taken so far. Hillary Hartley:
Right now it’s just a really critical time to
get technologists into the government because there
is — there is a huge desire and need. Ann Mei Chang:
The skills that we have as technologists in the
private sector are still quite rare in
government. And whether it’s for a
year, or six months, or two months, or even
for a couple weeks, the time that you
spend in U.S. government can make
a dramatic impact. Haley Van Dyck: Figuring
out how we can use technology better
to help lives of American people is
not a new challenge for the federal
government. This is something that
we’ve been working on since day one of
the Administration. And Administrations before us
have tried to solve as well. Eric Maland:
I have explained to people how broken
things are. And a lot of them have
asked me, “Why would you walk into that?” And the answer is,
because it matters. Kathy Pham:
You know, I thought about this and I just
remember thinking, wow, I know
technology. This is how I’ll
serve my country. Mikey Dickerson:
In many cases we’re addressing the needs of the people
who are most in need, for whatever definition
you want to use, least able to
help themselves. And that’s a real
difference between the kind of stuff
that we typically did in Silicon Valley. Sarah Allen:
We shifted how people are working, facilitated
by technology, and those shifts will outlast
the specific technical solutions that
we build. And that opportunity
is unparalleled. Rachel Harrison-Gordon:
At times I’m not sure if I’ll finish my term with
a concrete deliverable. But I know that the
culture is shifting, and that has to
start some time. Megan Smith:
Some people are hands-on keyboard coders. There’s also
amazing designers. There’s amazing design
thinking people. There’s product
managers. There’s people who really
know that subject matter or that user who are, you
know, scrubbed in together on these fabulous
cross-functional teams. So you may not think
you belong in the United States Digital
Service, but we want you.

Stephen Childs

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