Critical Update: How to Build a Tech Team Designed to Succeed

Sudtawee Thepsuponkul/

Pro tip: They won't all be coders.

The federal government has a workforce crisis, particularly when it comes to attracting workers with technology skills. But the U.S. Digital Service has a plan: get tech-savvy Americans to come work on a specific, engaging problem, then let them return to the private sector.

The program has expanded since its inception in 2014, and now agencies like the Veterans Affairs Department have their own outposts. VA Digital Service Executive Director Marcy Jacobs joined Nextgov for the fourth episode of Critical Update to talk about recruiting the best people for the job.

Jacobs, who joined the U.S. Digital Service in 2016, offers advice on attracting new recruits to public service, the kind of workers project managers should be looking for and how to build the best team to build and deploy a new technology—spoilers: They’re not all coders and techies.

And while Jacobs and her team haven’t been in government long, their work is paying off—the team is a finalist for a 2018 Sammies award.

Listen to the full interview below or download the podcast from Apple iTunes or Google Play.

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