Cori Zarek Profile picture
25 Jan, 11 tweets, 5 min read
I spent 8 years as a civil servant in the U.S. federal government including helping to stand up and support tech teams such as @18F, @USDS, @PIFgov. A short thread on how we can better support tech careers in the federal government... 1/
Agencies are thinking differently about how they buy, build, and implement tech tools - which starts and ends with civil servants. But gov still hires civil servants for tech jobs of 20 years ago vs for the skills of today (the IT jobs classification was last updated in 2001) 2/
Or, gov hires techies for short-term “tours of duty” into short-term appointments. Some people want this - that’s great! But others want set up for careers - for them, not so great! 3/
The Biden Administration should establish civil service career paths for the tech workforce we need which includes service designers, product managers, user researchers + more. 4/
New efforts like @USDS and @USOPM's data science effort are one way to do this ... but/and we need more of this across all sorts of skills… 5/
Formal civil service classifications bring recognition of the specialized skills people bring to their work and also ensure workers get the training, career development and other professional support that comes with civil service jobs. 6/
Demand for these jobs is only growing. Universities like @Georgetown and others in the Public Interest Tech University Network (#PITUN) are training up the next wave of #PublicInterestTech #CivicTech and #DigitalGov workers, but there are few pathways for employment. 7/
Only something like 3% of federal tech workers are under 30! And yet, with ~50% of the federal tech workforce at or nearing retirement age, we're about to have a whole bunch of opportunities to hire up and we need these early-career workers in government more than ever. 8/
(Plus, lots of not-so-early-career workers who might want to make a career in federal public service with their data, tech, and design skills! We need them too!) 9/
It's an opportunity to reimagine the 20-year-old tech job classifications and design for the workforce we need in all federal agencies. We can look to folks like the Tech Talent Project and @publicservice who've put a lot of thought into this too… 10/
Let's set up our federal government for investment over the long term to include tech jobs and skills to fully deliver services and carry out missions on behalf of all Americans:… /end

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