Climbing the ladder in tech

Woman climbing the ladder. Сareer growth, achievement of success in business or study.

Article by Fiona Hobbs, Chief Technology Officer, Opencast Software, the independent enterprise technology consultancy

With over 15 years in the tech industry, Fiona Hobbs discusses her experience so far, tips for anyone developing their career in tech and the lessons she has learnt on her journey to Chief Technology Officer.

Fiona is currently the CTO at Opencast, the independent enterprise technology consultancy headquartered in the North-East, where she works with clients across the financial services, government and health sectors.

Develop your passions

A lot of success in the tech stems from passion. Most people who work in the industry do so because they want to and because it’s a career they enjoy. Some technical roles don’t require you to have a degree, you just need to be able to demonstrate your knowledge and experience in different ways. For example, many developers have begun their careers because they were interested in gaming, and writing code for games allowed them to develop their knowledge to a point where they were qualified for jobs within the software delivery industry. Being passionate about what you do is vital in the tech industry.

For me, I enjoyed IT when I was at college and found I had a flair for coding, and that’s where my career stemmed from. I realised I liked having a job – and still do – where I can see a tangible difference has been made. For example, I get the opportunity to see millions of people using an app I have played a part in developing, or more recently, work that I did for a biotech company years ago – writing code for analysing genetic data – has been used to create the COVID vaccines. For me, that gives my career a real purpose and that pushes me to keep improving.

Secure your base knowledge

If you have the passion, the next step is to secure your base knowledge. In my case, it started by being the first female in my school to take IT at GCSE level, which allowed me to confirm I was good at it. Then, following a couple of unrelated jobs that I didn’t enjoy, I went back to college to do computing for A-Level, and then onto Durham University to complete a BSC in Software Engineering.

However, education is not everything – it gave me an understanding of which elements I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy, but the next most important thing is getting experience. Apply to the jobs you feel will add something to your repertoire, whether this be sector knowledge, or different types of coding and tech. I worked within biotech, pharma, financial services and education before narrowing down what I actually wanted to do. All experience counts if you’re learning along the way.

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Take the right leaps

As you move through different jobs, it becomes clear that sometimes you have to make leaps if you are going to end up where you want. The best thing about tech and IT is the amount of opportunities in the space. It has certainly made it easier in times of difficulty to feel confident that you will be able to secure another job using your skills.

I decided to take a leap when I realised I’d like to work as part of a larger team and practice all the lessons I had learnt around agile delivery. At this point in my career I moved to Sage, the enterprise software company, to work as a Senior Developer, delivering on projects. This eventually allowed me to move to Sage Spain, based in Barcelona, where I ran a global team developing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for their platform.

This experience eventually led me to Opencast, where I have now been for seven years. I have seen the team grow hugely, and it has given me the chance to create the culture I would like to work in, alongside building the right products for our customers. I have worked on clients ranging from the NHS to DWP and Morgan Stanley, looking at their tech landscapes and guiding them down the right path. Working in a consultancy has also allowed me to take on two or three leading edge projects a year, which has given me double the amount of experience you would get as an inhouse CTO.

It’s key to think about what experience you have, what experience you want, and what kind of company you want to be based in. Make sure you’re aligning your values with your work, and you should be on the right path.

Key advice

My advice is: if you have a passion for tech or IT, go for it. Often, the syllabus at school can put people off, but in reality, IT is so much more than that. If you can’t build your knowledge alone, there are now key programmes such as Women Who Code that are encouraging women to get into this space if they have the desire to do so. If you enjoy writing code and being technical, then certainly don’t allow yourself to be pushed into a business focused or project management role. There is huge progression in tech, so stick with it.

Additionally, consider the best environments for learning and developing your skills. Nowadays everyone wants to have Government on their CV because they are working on leading projects and they are accessible. They are focused on making their culture diverse and collaborative, where other sectors may not be as forward thinking. It’s always important to look for the right work environment for you.

Finally, it’s been well acknowledged that women still have to struggle balancing a career and family life and not compromise on either. So it’s key for me to mention that technology is actually a great sector for being able to work remotely or work part time. It may only be a part of the puzzle, but it’s a crucial one for women trying to climb the ladder.


International Day of Women and Girls in Science, African female scientist in protective glasses looking and testing tube chemical in laboratory, development for the future.

STEM growth across genders

International Day of Women and Girls in Science, African female scientist in protective glasses looking and testing tube chemical in laboratory, development for the future.

Sandra Mottoh, Regulatory Expert and passionate campaigner for re-addressing workplace gender balance specifically in male dominated sectors such as banking and tech, discusses the importance of encouraging girls studying STEM subjects from an early age.

Historically, we have seen fewer girls than boys studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in school, which over the course of multiple generations has resulted in a noticeable imbalance of women in the workplaces of STEM-related professions.

It is widely acknowledged there are multiple contributing factors but, in my opinion, the key one to identify is the lower number of female role models connected to STEM businesses, in prominent positions of power and in the mainstream media. As a society we must recognise that we have undergone a generation mindset shift, now rightly challenging our perceptions of what female, male and non-binary individuals can achieve. More than ever before, we are conscious to rebalance the gender bias within schools, university admissions, entry-level recruitment processes and ultimately who sits on the top of corporate boards.

We cannot underestimate the fact that some girls have a natural preference towards social sciences and the arts over STEM subjects, but undoubtedly can be successful in either. As a feminist, I believe girls’ preferences should be valued and celebrated. Girls should have equal access to opportunities should they desire to pursue a STEM qualification or not.

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Statistics show that significantly more men than women study the disciplines that most technical positions require, such as computer science or data science at Masters or PhD level. Therefore, in order to bridge the gap, there has been a noticeable trend with women taking up more management or administrative roles within STEM industries as an alternative route in; a strategic move that enables women leverage their (innate or learned) skill set within  STEM sector. My belief is that the technical industries could adopt the ‘innovative hiring process’ by inviting women from other sectors to join as subject matter experts, bringing with them a fresh and balanced perspective to the industry.

Both young girls and women need to see that there are role models in the sector and through their own work they too could be celebrated. These role models are more visible alongside their male counterparts and remain relatable to others – this is crucial for younger girls in particular to see women who look and sounds like them having successful and desirable careers in tech. One such women has carved such a path is Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Meta, formerly Facebook), who oversees the firm’s business operations such as sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications. As the first female on the Board of Directors at Meta, she holds an impressive position of power within a heavily male-dominated work environment that beautifully illuminates to ambitious youngsters what can be achieved with academic application and hard work.

Having learned lessons the hard way through my own personal career, my advice to young girls reading this or those in an educational position supporting the next generation, would be to not let fear get in the way of making a start – this is your first step. I cannot stress how important it is to just make a start and then keep going, as making it in the STEM world will take a concerted level of dedication and determination. Invest in yourself to ensure you acquire the necessary skills and work experience to forge the successful career in tech that you desire and deserve to have. Remember that tech is here stay for decades to come and will constantly be evolving at any increasingly rapid pace, so only those who are prepared will excel.

Sandra MottohAbout the author

Sandra Mottoh, who after working in Regulatory Compliance and Governance in the banking sector for the past 20 years, is now also focussing her social enterprise endeavours (AI White Box) on identifying the compliance gaps in the emerging AI sector. As a black woman, she is passionately campaigning to help more women enter the world of AI, particularly those coming from financially challenged and ethnic minority backgrounds. Her legacy is to model financial empowerment to women in a way that liberates their lives.


woman holding a like a boss mug, kickstart your career

Starting anew in 7 easy steps | Becca Powers

woman holding a like a boss mug, kickstart your career

Have you ever approached a new year really wanting it to be different than the year before?

Then, as you start to imagine yourself implementing these new changes, you get hit with a wave of slight defeat. This troubles you because you feel energized and ready to start anew. But, there is this part of you that already knows you are going to fail. Why? Because this is a not your first time trying to implement lasting change and start your new year off differently.

What if there was a way to start anew, leave last year in rear view mirror, and get the long-term results you are looking for? I’m here to tell you there is! I will be sharing 7 easy steps to start anew and create the lasting change you’ve been looking for. For it to work, it requires an honest self-assessment. Are you ready to get real with yourself? Okay, let’s go!

Starting Anew in 7 Easy Steps:

1. Assess Your Life – That’s right, I want you to access the different areas of your life and identify what parts are working well and which ones aren’t. I like to break it down into four categories for better clarity:

    1. Personal Relationships
    2. Health & Wellness
    3. Profession & Purpose
    4. Finance & Abundance

2. Admit the Areas That Aren’t Working Well – This is crucial step and one that is typically by-passed. There is a power in admitting that an area isn’t working to yourself and to someone else. This very act invites in possibilities.

3. Grant Yourself Permission – Give yourself permission to have the outcome you desire easily and effortlessly. We all deserve to live a life we love, and it starts with giving ourselves permission to do so!

4. Embrace the Power of Choice – Shame and guilt are energy and goal killers. Where you are now does not define where you are going. Own that you made some choices that may have hurt you and your goals – and let it remain in the past. Starting today, use the power of choice to make choices that help you achieve your goals – feel empowered to choose again and again if you stumble.

5. Connect with Purpose – Purpose gives you fuel. Why do you want to create this change? What pain will you continue to feel if you don’t change? Who are you hurting if you don’t change? What will you gain from this change? How will it impact your life if you successful implement this change? Answering these questions and doing an honest exploration behind the why to this change will give you fuel to keep going!

6. Macro Goal – Now that we have done the prep work, it’s time to get clear on our goals. What is the high-level goal you are looking to achieve? And when are you looking to achieve it by? Ex: I want to lose 30 lbs. by July 1st, 2022. Be as specific as you can here.

7. Micro Goals – To every macro goal, I suggest making three micro goals. This micro goal setting help you get clear on how you are going to reach your macro goal. Ex: track food daily, move my body every day for a minimum of 20 minutes, have a weekly check-in with an accountability partner. These micro goals should be practical and obtainable. The more you achieve them, the more you tell your nervous system that it’s safe to change!

These 7 steps with implemented and revisited help make starting anew easy and sustainable. Come back to this list as much as you need to as you work on creating a live that you love and deserve.

About the author

Becca Powers Becca Powers, based in South Florida in the U.S.A., works as a Fortune 500 Sales Executive in the tech industry by day and coaches women on how to have it all by night. She’s also a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Mother of a blended family of 4 kids, 2 hers and 2 his and Author of Harness Your Inner CEO due out Autumn 2021. Through juggling it all and believing she can have it all – Becca boasts a multiple 6-figure income and being the breadwinner in her house. But Becca wasn’t given any exceptional special privileges which credit her success today. She was a child of working-class parents who battled addictions throughout her childhood. But it was her Grandma who was the dreamer in her family who made her believe you can have whatever you want. Becca’s journey hasn’t however always been straightforward having found herself divorced with 2 children by 28 and a 3-time college drop out. But this didn’t seem to stop her with her life’s motto being “Never lower your net worth for anything or you’re sacrificing your self-worth!”. Becca has recently been featured in the Mail Online a leading career expert. ‘Harness Your Inner CEO’ is due to be published autumn 2021 and tipped to be a best-seller in the female business category. To find out more visit: https://www.beccapowers.com/


Tech Returners & Dae.mn partnership

Where is the tech talent? Tech consultancy company teams up with Tech Returners to bring careers returners back into tech

London based consultancy business, Dae.mn, has partnered with Tech Returners to up-skill and hire twelve career returners to their technical team.

The free 8-week programme is available to the UK and international residents currently living in the UK. They must have at least 2 years left on their working or student visa to be eligible for the ‘Your Return to Tech’, March 2022 programme.

Upon successful completion of the programme, the cohort will have the opportunity to secure life-changing backend software developer jobs with the technical consultancy company.

Tech Returners, the Manchester based company has opened applications for their award-winning ‘Your Return to Tech: March 2022’ programme to recruit, up-skill, and enable experienced software developers in the UK to re-enter the tech industry. Tech Returners works to bridge the tech skills gap and address the lack of diversity within the tech industry. The programme provides tech professionals who have been struggling to return to tech after a career break (including maternity and paternity leave) with technical up-skilling, interview prep, and confidence coaching.

The March 2022 returner programme is funded by Dae.mn and is open to applicants across the UK who are looking to return to a career in software development with previous mid-level experience.

Dae.mn has committed to hire sixteen backend software developers upon completion of the programme and successful job interviews. Tech

Returners is anticipating a high volume of applications for the March 2022 programme due to Dae.mn’s inclusive and flexible working culture. Dae.mn is offering fully remote roles for successful candidates located anyway in the UK.

Beckie TaylorSpeaking about the new partnership, Tech Returners’ CEO & co- founder, Beckie Taylor said, “We’re excited to partner with Dae.mn for this new programme! Now more than ever, is it important for businesses to shake up how they recruit talent. As most people have seen on the news, there continues to be reports of people struggling to return to their careers after having a career break. And this is especially difficult in the fast-moving sector that is technology. So, we’re proud to provide the opportunity for talented individuals in the UK to not only up-skill on our remote programme, but also the opportunity to secure employment with Dae.mn”.

Dae.mn is one of the latest organisations alongside The Guardian to partner with Tech Returners, who since 2017, has empowered more than 123 careers into technical careers. Dae.mn will join other businesses such as, BBC, Auto Trader, Nando’s, Booking.com, AO.com, Eigen Technologies, Xero, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, and much more companies in empowering career returners.

Applications for the ’Your Return to Tech: March 2022’ programme are open until 23:59 GMT on Monday 7 March 2022.

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woman coding on laptop, Code First Girls

How to transition into a career in tech

woman coding on laptop, Code First Girls

Have you ever read about the tech sector’s latest success and wondered how you can be part of it too?

This is a question that many smart professionals ask themselves today.

The tech sector is booming

The pandemic hit many sectors of the economy, but it has been fertile ground for tech. Revenues at the tech giants,  Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, grew by 40% on average compared with the same period a year ago and profits soared by 90%. In every minute of the first three months of 2021, these companies made $88 bn profits before tax. This is more than $1bn of profit for every working day!

While local businesses shut down, tech companies went on a hiring spree. But, if you have never worked in a digital environment, it is easy to assume that they would never hire you.

In 2021, I taught MBA students and executives at London Business School and Oxford University’s Said School of Business. Most of my students, while very smart and capable, do not have backgrounds in computer science, and have not worked in tech.

In my courses students learn technology concepts for non-technical professionals. We cover what role design plays in technology, the difference between a back end and a front end, how to use APIs to scale audience, and so on.

This knowledge is the foundation for the students’ bigger goal: a transition into a career in tech.

Some of them want to start tech enabled businesses, others want to become tech investors, yet others aspire to corporate leadership roles.

Whether you want to transition into tech as a founder, an investor or an employee, I have found that there are core strategies that lead to success.

Capitalise on your experience as a user

My former student, Juliet Eysenck, had no intention of working in tech when she started her career as a journalist. Juliet was a news reporter at The Telegraph.

At the Telegraph, like at any other publication, journalists have their own portal to upload news stories. After using the journalist app to upload her news stories, Juliet began giving feedback about this product to the team in charge. She shared her insights as a user, to make life easier for herself and her journalist colleagues.

As she did this, Juliet realised that product management appealed to her more than breaking the news. In turn, the product team got to know her and found her user insights valuable. So, when a job opening for a product manager came up, the team asked Juliet to apply. She did and she got the job.

Juliet transitioned into a career in tech because she had a unique user perspective. She became a product manager for a product made for journalists.

Whatever you do today, you have a unique user perspective. Your insights as a user can be the thing that gets you into tech.

What apps and sites do you use to do your job? How would you make them better?

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Get involved while doing your day job

Oksana Stowe began her career in investment banking but wanted to swap death defying hours and corporate culture for life in venture capital. Sadly, many investment bankers have the same idea, and competition is fierce.

To transition into a career in tech investing, Oksana started making angel investments with her own money. This helped her learn about start-ups and technology, and to widen her network.

Since 80% of jobs do not get advertised according to some estimates, having a network and being known for your expertise is vital in a career transition into tech.

This strategy worked for Oksana and she is a successful venture capital investor, investing in retail tech and consumer technologies today.

However, most people do not have the funds to make angel investments to pivot their careers. But you can use the same principle, without spending your hard cash.

You can get involved as an organiser at an angel investment network. This will give you exposure to start-ups and investors, show you how tech investment decisions get made, and ensure that when there’s a job opening in a VC fund, you’re the first to know about it.

Where can you volunteer that gives you exposure to tech? I am positive that there are plenty of opportunities that you could get involved in right now.

Transition into tech via your clients

Ronan Walsh runs a marketing agency called Digital Trawler. While his core competency is marketing, he participates in the tech boom via his clients: his agency only works with software as a service businesses.

If you are a professional services expert, like a lawyer, an accountant, an advertiser or a PR, you could pivot into tech by working with clients in this lucrative sector.

To attract and retain tech clients, you do need to know the basics of what they do. If you’re pitching your services to a tech company and you don’t know the back end from the front end, you are probably not going to win the client.

You need to know the core concepts of technology, rather than retraining as a coder. If you know how to connect technology concepts to business outcomes and user needs, you are well equipped to be a strategic advisor to a tech business. This is not hard to learn and is exactly what I teach my students.

Transitioning into a career in tech for non-technical professionals is not only possible, but that there are many more ways to do it than you probably think. Juliet, Oksana and Ronan are just three examples, but there are many more.

Would you like to become one of them too?

Sophia MatveevaAbout the author

Sophia Matveeva MBA is the founder of Tech for Non-Techies, an education company and consultancy (with a very useful podcast).


OneTechWorld featured

WeAreTechWomen are proud to announce the most exciting virtual women in tech conference for 2022

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ONE TECH WORLD | 01 APRIL 2022

WeAreTechWomen invite you to attend the most exciting virtual women in tech conference in 2022!

We have been hosting our women in tech conference for over six years. In fact, we have welcomed over 5,000 women through our doors since 2015.

We are not a large media company, we are an organisation that has been championing women in tech for the past 13 years. To us, its personal. 21 per cent of women in the industry is not just not enough, it needs to change.

Each year, we work with our community at WeAreTechWomen to identify what tech innovations and topics you would like us to cover as part of our annual conference. We build our agenda around that feedback – giving you what you want to not just accelerate your careers, but to understand about the wider world of tech, and how this will affect the future world of work.

This year, we are going to be bringing you the very best global virtual learning experience on a state-of-the-art conferencing platform. Our conference will provide ample opportunities to learn about emerging technologies and what is innovating and disrupting the industry. We are blessed to be given time from some of the world’s finest speakers who will be joining us to share their wisdom and knowledge. We will deliver innovative sessions on a variety of different areas of tech, with a side order of career development, fireside chats and ample networking opportunities, both on the day and through our global virtual networking world.

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Hear from some of the greatest names in tech

On our stages are some of the greatest names in tech such as Ortis Deley, TV Presenter, DJ & Actor; Briony Chappell, Head of Digital, KISS FM; Vicki Lau, Visual Effects (VFX) Artist/Generalist, Virtual Reality (VR) Developer, TEDx speaker, Entrepreneur & Educator; Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter; Harriet Minter, Journalist, Speaker & Director, The HVM Group; Vanessa Sanyauke, Founder & CEO, Girls Talk London; Avye Couloute, Maker, Coder, Tech Advocate, Social Entrepreneur & Founder, Girls Into Coding; Ann Hiatt, Leadership Strategist & Author of Bet On Yourself, to name a few.

VIEW OUR SPEAKERS
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Everything tech

We will be sharing insights and covering everything from Future World of Work, Technology Trends, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cyber Security, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, The Future of Data, What’s New For Wearables, Data Science, The Future of Drones, FinTech, The Rise of Robots, Cloud Technologies, Quantum Computing, Coding, Innovation in Health Tech, The Rise of Drones, Transformation & Change, Ethics in Tech, Green Tech/ Net Zero, DevOps, Agile, FemTech, Blockchain, CryptoAssets, Tokenisation, De-Si, Collaboration Tools, Cyber Crime, Space Tech, 5G and Beyond, Special Effects, UI Development, The Importance of UX.

Career based sessions

We have heaps of sessions and panels with inspirational tech leaders to help advance your careers, including Returning to a Tech Career, Dealing with Burnout, Transitioning into a Technology Role, Hybrid Working, Being the Best Remote Leader, Saying No and the Art of Assertiveness, Mentors, Sponsors, Balancing your Virtual and Physical World, Re-Inventing Yourself, How to be an Introverted Leader, How to Become a Speaking Sensation, How to Remain Visible when Working from Home, Dealing with Difficult People, Imposter Syndrome, Free Training Courses, Acing your First Leadership Role, Personal BrandTransition In To The Tech Industry, The Importance of Mentors and Sponsor, The Legal Journey for Female Founders, Start-Up Stories.

Inclusion & Diversity

Promoting and encouraging inclusion and diversity is at the heart of everything we do – and our conference is no different. We’re covering everything from Addressing the Gender Gap in Tech, Disability and Tech Innovation, Fostering Neurodiverse Talent, Is Menopause Draining the Tech Talent Pool, Wellbeing, TechSheCan – Supporting the Next Generation, Black Women in Tech, The Untapped Talent Pool, How to Eliminate Bias, Ageism in Tech, Building your own Women in Tech Network, The Importance of Male Allies.

SEE OUR AGENDA

Thanks to the financial support of our amazing sponsors, we are able to offer you one incredible day of learning for our early bird price of just £70.00 plus VAT.

The early bird offer is valid until 31st January, when tickets will increase to just £115.00 plus VAT.

Given our extensive agenda, we know that some of you won’t be able to attend every session available on the day. Not to worry, as your ticket also includes a 30 Day platform content licence which will enable you to watch all of the sessions up until 01 May 2022.

By attending you will also be helping others. For every ticket bought, we will gift a ticket to an individual out of work, a returner to the industry or a youngster studying for a tech career.

If you are an individual in this position, please email us here (tickets are not guaranteed and offered on a first come, first served basis). We are actively encouraging corporate organisations to fund groups of tickets to continue to develop their teams during this time. To encourage organisations, we have special offers for corporates who wish to book 10 or more tickets. If you are interested in bulk bookings, contact us on [email protected].

So what are you waiting for?

If you are keen to learn, be inspired and expand your knowledge of tech, then join us, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

This invitation is open to all.

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women in tech, soft skills featured

New year, new you? Try sharpening the tools you already have

women in tech, soft skills

The New Year often carries with it promises to make vast changes in our professional and personal lives, with January heralding calls of ‘this will be my year!’.

But, rather than trying to completely reinvent yourself, it’s often better to work with the skills you’ve already got within your midst.

Take Q2Q IT as an example. Managing director, Lorna Stellakis, is a strong advocate for optimising the infrastructure you already have at your disposal – be it tech or talent – and here, she explains how you can too.

Resolutions and rituals are often set with the best of intentions but can often be broken should the implementation not be ‘easy’. While making a change will always cause some disruption to the norm, in many cases a grand shift isn’t the answer.

Often, simply exploring the capabilities of something you already have – or pay for – can revolutionise your life. And, in terms of tech, this could be extracting every ounce of value from a product or service, by understanding all of its respective ‘bells and whistles’.

When purchasing, you might plump for an ‘add on’ service – a relatively small extra investment which could result in considerably more value to the system or equipment.

And, as a very people-focused business leader, I believe this also applies to colleagues.

With the exception of our admin staff, the team at Q2Q are all highly skilled techies, and the main purpose of their day-to-day role is creating solutions for clients, as well as solving any IT-related issues which crop up.

However, if we stuck to the stereotypical techie role profile, you could stop there and generalise their work as simply ‘doing technical stuff’. And I am sure the company owners reading this will identify with such a sentiment.

When I took over the reins of the Q2Q ship in 2018, I made it my mission to delve further into each one of my colleagues – their skillsets, motivations for coming to work, and what they see as ‘a job well done’.

By understanding what makes them tick – their preferred ways of working, and what they’re passionate about – I could quickly see they were each capable of adding additional value to the business, that wasn’t already being utilised.

In fact, we all have skills beyond those required in our basic job description.

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Talent within the team

Take our technical consultant Damien Gelder as an example. He is a whiz at coming up with analogies that perfectly explain a complex issue in an easy-to-understand way. He uses this talent in all sorts of situations too, and we see it called upon on a daily basis – particularly when trying to introduce a new product to a client that we believe will make their lives easier, or giving a non-technical demonstrations of a service to a prospect.

On the other hand, Ash Williams, our technical support engineer, has an obsessive attention to detail and is extremely methodical in the way he works. So, if we need a complex project scoping out, we call on his expertise to ensure all the steps are ticked off and there are no stages missed.

Phil Irwin, another of our technical support engineers, has strong people skills and is great at seeing a variety of perspectives in any given situation, which translates perfectly into relating to our clients. That’s why he’s our ‘customer excellence champion’ and, if we’re looking to alter any of our processes, he’s our ‘go to’ when it comes to sense-checking changes.

Then, regarding seeing themes in IT-related situations, technical support engineer Harrison Burke comes into his own during our team meetings! We rely on him to highlight where there is a recurring pattern and offer solutions to nip this in the bud, by rolling out new internal processes to all customers.

In fact, all the of the team now have a specialism that is predominantly non-technical!

Not only does this add something extra to the firm’s dynamic – by playing to everyone’s strengths – but it adds value to the service we offer and gives everyone a sense of purpose beyond just doing their job.

So, while I’m not sure that I could get away with describing the Q2Q crew as: “tools that previously needed sharpening,”, that’s essentially what we’ve done!

Making the most of what you have is not only a cost-effective and time-efficient way of making sure you’re getting the maximum out of existing investments, but also identifying where you may need to plug any gaps.

That’s why, it’s worth having an IT reassessment, or audit, every year – or six months if you’re growing rapidly – to make sure it’s continuing to do what you need it to.

If you’d like to chat to us about any of the additional services mentioned above – or you have any other questions about what’s possible from your IT setup – give us a call on 01524 581690, or drop us a direct message!

About the author

Lorna Stellakis, MD of Q2Q ITMy role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team are heading, setting the overall business strategy and financial budgeting. Whilst always having been involved with systems implementation throughout my career, I have an operational background and no specific IT experience. However, if anything, I believe this makes me more qualified to ensure the team deliver great service, drawing from my operations experience, and having been on the wrong side of poor IT support in the past. I can relate to how crippling this can be to a business, making it paramount that we ensure that IT issues are as invisible as possible, leaving the customers to get on with running their businesses smoothly.


She Talks Tech - Health tech apps- how do we know what’s real?' with Liz Ashall-Payne, ORCHA, 800x600 NEW

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Health tech apps: how do we know what’s real?' with Liz Ashall-Payne, ORCHA

She Talks Tech - Health tech apps- how do we know what’s real?' with Liz Ashall-Payne, ORCHA

Today we hear from Liz Ashall-Payne, Co-Founder and CEO of ORCHA, the world’s leading provider of digital health accreditation and disribution services.

Liz discusses the importance of health app evaluation and accreditation, including the most important factors to consider when developing your own health app.

Liz will also share some of her founding story, including how ORCHA came to be and her journey growing the business.

If you want to find out more about Liz, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2021.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 17 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.

Discover more from our
She Talks Tech podcast

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Get to Know Apple

Bring what you love to what you do | Get to know Apple

Get to Know Apple

What are you passionate about? Music? Art? Photography? Fitness? Games?

Whatever it is, bring it to the Apple Store in London and share what you love through Apple products. If you have people skills we’ll show you the rest.

Working part-time or full-time, you’ll get special Apple training and the world’s best prices on the world’s best products.

At Apple, we know diversity includes and inclusion empowers. That’s why we’re continually strengthening our long-standing commitment to making our company more inclusive and the world more just.

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As part of a team that delivers great customer experiences, you’ll introduce people to the Apple products that help them do what they love in new ways. Working up front or backstage, you’ll have the chance to make a big difference every day.

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When a customer becomes an owner, it’s the beginning of a relationship. And this team helps make sure that relationship thrives. Have a talent for hands-on problem solving? You can address customers’ technical issues to reconnect them with the Apple experience they love.

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As an Apple leader, you’ll do more than manage employees. You’ll lead through inspiration, and you’ll help build and develop diverse, highly collaborative teams that deliver the amazing customer experiences people expect from Apple.

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Returning to WFH: Three things companies can do to make hybrid work a success in 2022

Virtual interview, Remote interview, Zoom call

Article by Helena Nimmo, Chief Information Officer at Endava

Many organisations were forced to remodel their operations as a result of the pandemic, and CIOs like myself were tasked with leading the shift of employees from on-site to remote work, all within days.

The immediate priority for many businesses was to implement new digital solutions that would allow employees to communicate and complete their work remotely, which prompted many organisations to completely rethink their operations. And now, with uncertainty lingering amid the spread of new variants and changing government guidelines, enabling employees to work from anywhere continues to pose a critical challenge for business leaders.

And as we emerge from our next wave of mandated work-from-home, the hybrid work model will only continue to gain popularity due to the flexibility it offers employees. So how can businesses address these challenges while empowering employees to work successfully from anywhere, regardless of what’s happening in the world? It boils down to three distinct themes: balancing the digital user experience, guaranteeing security, and embracing continuous change.

The user is the key

The importance of user-centricity cannot be overstated. Companies must consider who their staff are when selecting the tech, they’ll be using on a day-to-day basis. This is a hugely underestimated step but think about it: people’s working styles are shaped by their ever-changing personal circumstances. A parent, for example, will have significantly different work schedule than a new graduate living in a flat share. People’s ability to quickly adapt to new technology will also vary depending on their previous experience with the technology in issue, and businesses must take this into account in order to successfully assist the adoption of new technologies.

Ensure a secure environment

Security is top-of-mind for businesses. And because of that, they must alter their compliance operations while staff work from home, co-working spaces, or coffee shops as offices shut due to Plan B.

Most compliance standards assume that most workers will be based in the office full-time, which means that businesses have their work cut out for them in making employees’ home offices compliant with stringent regulatory requirements. These seemingly out-dated procedures will need to be updated, and new rules and technologies will need to be introduced to adapt to the realities of hybrid work as we re-enter and exit WFH mandates.

But employers aren’t alone; employees also have a part to play in this process and need to be educated about cybersecurity dangers like phishing e-mails to keep themselves and their companies safe-at-home.

Embrace change

Ultimately the key to successful digital working, whether from home, hybrid, or in office, is continuous technological development.

While the pandemic pushed many enterprises to update their technology almost immediately in order to adapt to new circumstances, the path forward should be one of continuous innovation. Instead of seeking to achieve a certain – and oftentimes unattainable – end-goal, businesses’ digital journeys should be ongoing and use what I call “digital acceleration” rather than a drastic one-time transformation. Thus, upgrades and enhancements are introduced in much smaller steps, avoiding a complete overhaul and overburdening staff and IT systems. As a result, employees are the focus of the digital strategy, ensuring that new technology is actually beneficial to them, and businesses can examine and upgrade their tech stack according to their needs on a regular basis.

With the spread of Omicron and the newly implemented work from home order in the UK, uncertainty around work will likely continue well into 2022 as regulations remain in flux. Being proactive and implementing hybrid work policies that are adaptable for all employees will simplify the pivot for businesses in case of guideline changes, allowing them to accelerate or decelerate as needed. Enterprises should take inventory to determine where they are on their digital journey, assess what works and what doesn’t, and adjust course accordingly, as changes implemented at the beginning of the pandemic now need further refinement.

Ultimately, business leaders will be able to determine how to best support each employee in a hybrid environment according to their needs. From there, companies can work out how to build a strong infrastructure that suits their business needs and employees.

Helena NimmoAbout the author

Before embarking on her tech journey, Helena studied Business, Economics and Marketing. She got her start in tech when she joined Nokia in the 1990s and has since worked in customer facing and internal technology functions at Cancer Research UK, Fujitsu, and Thomson Reuters. Most recently, she took up the position of CIO at Endava, the global technology company delivering digital evolution, agile transformation, and automation solutions where she holds global responsibility for Internal Tech across the Endava Group and focuses on re-imagining the relationship between technology and people.