We’re getting a little bit political on the show today with Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.
TLA is an influential group of over 3000 technology entrepreneurs, established digital giants, journalists, government figures and vital suppliers to the tech industry. They’re all working together to champion and support London’s tech sector.
Previously, Russ was the chairman of the Marketing Group of Great Britain, vice president & general manager at Skype, and global innovation director at Telefonica.
We talked about:
• The 3 things Sadiq Khan needs to do to keep London innovating (and what he’s already done);
• The cost of working in London’s ‘tech areas’ and where people are starting to move;
• London Technology Week which is happening at the end of June;
• Brexit, and how it might affect the tech scene in London;
• Tech’s skills shortage and how Government can affect it;
• And Russ’ thoughts about women in the industry.
Talent shortage and how the government is helping:
Not enough coders, not enough programmers, not enough senior developers, not enough data scientists. So, that’s clearly an issue… I think the first thing that’s been very good, is that the ICT curriculum in secondary schools now includes coding, so that’s great… There are some real gestures, and initiatives underway, to get younger people to code, to play with gadgets, to really understand and appreciate tech.
Brexit and the cost to the tech market:
There’s 30,000 software developer and IT job vacancies in London, so even if we increase the number (of graduates) tenfold, twentyfold, which we need to do, it is not going to be enough to fill the number of vacancies that we have out there. Which is why immigration is important… we cannot afford to cut off the tech talent pipeline from the EU.
Women in tech:
We need women from all backgrounds to go into the sector… Because our sector will lose by not having more diversity in that regard. And, not just women in tech, minorities in tech, LGBT in tech, disability in tech.