Technology Industry

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Posted October 17, 2018 | Industry Interviews, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview] Stephen Taylor – Technology Scotland.

Since 2016, Enigma People Solutions has partnered with Technology Scotland to help build strong relationships across the Enabling Technology Sector here in Scotland and further afield. With some truly exciting things happening at the moment across the sector, we thought we would have a chat with Stephen Taylor, CEO of Technology Scotland, to find out more about his career, enabling technology and the role of Technology Scotland within the industry.

Hi Stephen, thanks for chatting with us. Firstly, could you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

My name is Stephen Taylor. I’m the Chief Executive of Technology Scotland.

Technology Scotland is the industry association for enabling technology and smart mobility in Scotland. We’ve built the association from zero members, two or three years ago, to some 114 members today. I’ve been really happy with the development of Technology Scotland and even happier because it’s not just about technology as such; we’ve also created two new networks – and one around a market!

First, I believe we have been successful in getting photonics back onto the agenda within the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise. In particular, I think we’ve been successful in getting the photonics community together again and collaborating more with each other through events and workshops.

Second, there was a small dormant cluster in Scotland around Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and we’ve grown that to some 70 members in the last 18 months, which is an astonishing growth. We believe it to be the biggest mobility cluster in Europe, if not the world. In fact, how we’ve built our MaaS network in Scotland has been recognised by places like Sydney, Quebec and Barcelona, to name a few, and they’re now modelling their own networks on our process. I think that is a great testament to the people who have been involved in MaaS Scotland, and it’s terrific that Scotland is being seen as a leader in the world in that particular market.

We’ve also just recently launched a third cluster – Design Network Scotland. Like Mobility as a Service, there’s a nice concentration of design companies in Scotland and so we’ve launched a network surrounding that and I’m excited to see where that leads us.

How did your career journey lead you to become CEO of Technology Scotland?

That’s an interesting question. I wasn’t particularly looking for a new job at the time but I was approached by a recruitment agency that had looked at my LinkedIn profile, my mix of skills, and saw that I had been involved in semiconductors, manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, photonics, and sales, as well as being involved in global business, managing people, and P&L accountability. They were looking for somebody who had all those skills, and perhaps more.

When they approached me to ask if would I be interested in this role, I thought about it and I decided “you know I really am”. For many years I have been living in Scotland but working mainly abroad. I felt like I had a good mix of skills, and that I could truly put something back into the local economy.

Heading towards the end of my career, I decided I could do without so much international travel, and working locally would be a really interesting thing to do. I concluded this was a really great opportunity, the job spec was terrific, and the chance of using the skills that I’d built up over 30 years or so in business and putting something back into the Scottish/UK economy was something that really appealed.

Technology Scotland was looking for someone with good understanding of enabling technology and what it can do. So with my background in semiconductors, photonics, advanced manufacturing, and my sales and business career, I seemed to be a really good fit for the role.

The job can be fascinating. Just recently, we met with the current Executive Director of Innovate UK, who is relatively new to the role. He was keen to meet with Technology Scotland members, to get feedback on how Innovate UK can help them. Things like that, which pop up are really exciting. We had a terrific, interactive session with some 20 members involved. Innovate UK has a near billion pound a year budget for innovation projects, so the opportunities that can arise are a really exciting thing to be involved in.

Tell us about a defining moment in your career to date?

Within Jabil I progressed from business development and sales, to running a P&L business, which meant I had accountability not only for sales and business development, but also for the manufacture and delivery of products. It was a terrific new challenge for me.

However, the defining moment for me, was when Jabil decided to create a component business because they were looking to become more vertical in their offerings to their end customers. It wasn’t just about making board assemblies any longer, but also making the plastics, metal and the other components involved in supplying an entire product to the end customers.

What were your main responsibilities at Jabil then?

One of the key components that our end customers were looking for was camera modules for mobile phones and other applications. I got involved in building and then running the camera module business which we built from zero. Zero customers, zero suppliers, and very limited capability in terms of manufacturing, apart from what I would call a pre-production line.

We developed a customer base of very large global enterprises (some of which I can’t name!). Let’s just say we were making cameras for mobile phones, for laptops, for hand held barcode scanners, and endoscopes. We ended up going into three or four different markets, including industrial, consumer and medical markets.

The camera module business grew from zero to about 130 employees working for me, with multimillion-dollar annual sales. It was a terrific job. I had sales, design, and manufacturing to look after. It truly was a business within a business. I thoroughly enjoyed growing that business from scratch, and consider it was the best achievement in my career!

What did you take away from your time at Jabil?

Before I worked there, I had a loose understanding of photonics from high school physics, but in my camera module role, I really had to learn about photonics and discovered the importance of photonics in enabling almost every other market and business sector on the planet. It was a terrific learning experience for me.

My boss said to me “go away and learn about photonics”. I understood the basic physics of it, but there were some technical terms that I really had to better understand, and I learned a lot of it on the job. There were some technical terms that I really had to get to grips with, like MTF (modulation transfer function), which is about the quality of a lens / electronic system design, and how good it is at creating an image or transmitting photons.

What I came to realise is that photonics is the technology for the 21st century. If the semiconductor was the technology that drove the 20th century, photonics is what will drive the 21st!

What challenges have you had to overcome in your career?

I’ve had many, many business challenges over the years. However I guess the single biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome in my career was that when I was 26 years old, I was diagnosed with a cancer. It took about a year and a half out of my life going through chemotherapy and recovery. That was 30 odd years ago, so it’s a long time ago, but it’s definitely the biggest challenge I have had to overcome.

Has there been anyone/anything that has influenced your career choices?

I was at a meeting at Philips in Airdrie, when they still had a factory there making phones. I was with my boss and some customer personnel, when I realised I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about. I suddenly realised that I wasn’t selling electronics; I was actually doing business transactions. Although I had a degree in electronics and so on, I realised that I needed to understand business if I was going to be successful.

So I went to my boss and I said I wanted to do an MBA, to learn about business. I spent the next three years doing an MBA part time, while at the same time travelling all across the planet. It was a really significant step in helping me to better understand business transactions, motivation, how people work, organisational behaviour, strategy, finance etc. Doing that MBA was definitely a big influence in my career.

What’s one key piece of advice for people to navigate the industry?

If you want to be successful, you can’t be successful on your own. You need other people around. You need good people to work with you, work for you, and work around you, so networking, talking and collaborating with people is really important. Network actively and often would be my piece of advice.

Can you tell us a bit about Technology Scotland and enabling technology?

 Technology Scotland is an industry association. Our role is to represent our members and promote the industry to local and national governments. It’s about influencing policy, and interfacing to other international stakeholders, like other Photonics or MaaS clusters in other parts of the world. It’s very much about local and international networking. One primary role is to make sure that our members’ voices are heard by local and national government to make sure they are aware of industry challenges, and what the Government needs to do to help support the industry to ensure it stays vibrant in Scotland and the UK.

Another key role we have is to bring the community together through events, workshops, and forums, creating promotional materials, and publishing what the community is doing through roadmaps or whitepapers.

For example, we published a Whitepaper on MaaS earlier this year, which resulted in the announcement of a £2m Maas Innovation Fund in the recent Scottish Programme for Government. This is a great result for our members, and opens an exciting phase for the roll out and upscale of Mobility as a Service in Scotland.

We’re currently working on publishing a Whitepaper about photonics in Scotland which will include analysis on the strengths of, and challenges facing the photonics industry. We aim to consult our members on a strategy and an “ask” of The Scottish government of how to at least treble the photonics market by 2030. We see Whitepapers as one way to get government attention for the industries that we represent.

Regarding enabling technologies, they fundamentally underpin every service and everything that is made. People talk about “The Digital Age”, but the digital age is only possible because of very clever people designing the electronic and photonic subsystems that enable it. The internet itself is what I describe as “a massively interconnected system of electronic and photonic subsystems, connected together by fibre optic cables and laser diodes”. The internet, the “cloud”, the “digital” world, all of these things are underpinned by photonics and electronics – fundamental enabling technologies which are sadly not well understood by the public or politicians alike.

Enabling technologies are what will help governments and businesses solve the grand challenges of the planet – not enough water, not enough food, as well as the transport, energy and pollution challenges. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say enabling technologies are what will help solve those grand challenges. Enabling technologies will drive the future productivity and growth that all governments want. They underpin and enable almost everything else.

What are your views of the enabling technology market in Scotland?

In a Scottish context, the enabling technology market in Scotland is bigger than life sciences, and just as big as the software industry, if not bigger. Enabling technology companies account for 10% of all Scottish exports. However, enabling technology is hidden. People are not aware of it, and one of the challenges we have at Technology Scotland is to try and make people aware of what enabling technology does. Without enabling technology, these grand challenges are going to be really difficult to solve.

What excites you about the enabling technology market at the moment?

I think all of the above! Enabling technologies are going to help us transform the planet. We need these technologies to solve the grand challenges. By the year 2035 or thereabouts, it is forecast there are going to be some 45 trillion devices connected to the internet (almost 6000 per person!) One of the huge problems this will cause is security of data. How do you ensure that your data is safe? Researchers are looking at quantum solutions to solve cyber security matters. Quantum enabled security may be required to keep these 45 trillion devices talking to each other, but only when they’re allowed to.

Quantum technologies are also going to revolutionise the speed at which computers can work. Faster data analytics will help to solve many, many problems.

There’s also quantum photonics, an example of which is going to allow people to look round corners, and we have examples of this already! There are cameras right now being developed, by our friends at QuantIC, which can in fact look round corners and others that can see through surfaces. It’s fascinating stuff.

Enabling tech is what is going to drive productivity and improvements. It’s going to help the world solve the grand challenges and that’s what really excites me about it the most.

What do you think makes a great tech company?

Looking to solve the unsolvable. When I was a global business traveller, I used to run around with a Nokia mobile phone, a Canon camera, a Palm Pilot and of course my Sony Walkman to listen to music. These were products from four different but huge markets, and it took somebody with a great mind, Steve Jobs of course, who said let’s put all these into one little package and then Apple created the iPhone.

Apple destroyed the “Walkman” market by creating the iPhone. This new technology also completely decimated other successful technology markets, like the PDA and the stand-alone digital camera market. Basically, what makes a great tech company is trying something that previously hadn’t been thought possible or doable, and doing it. Actually, Sony who invented the Walkman had themselves created a new market before newer technology replaced it. It’s about looking at what’s not been done before and doing it.

What opportunities do you see for people coming into the enabling technology market: are there more jobs available, is it challenging, is it a good market to be getting into?

There’s a world of opportunities. I was visiting one of our member companies a few months ago. One of their employees had done a PhD in chemistry, and then found himself working at a large multinational electronics company designing security solutions for the biggest brand names on the planet. His job is to design security labels that go on the back of phones, software, laptops and other high tech equipment. He’s got a chemistry degree, yet he travels to Silicon Valley, Korea and Japan visiting household name global electronic giants. He has a fascinating job.

So there’s a world of opportunities in the enabling technology market. There are opportunities in photonics, electronics, advanced manufacturing and more. The careers in these sectors can be really well paid, really challenging, and really exciting for people to get involved in because you’re making a difference. If you’re involved in a business which is somehow going to help to resolve global problems, how better can it be than that?

Are there lots of jobs currently available in photonics, electronics and advanced manufacturing?

Absolutely, we had another meeting recently with about 12 CEOs in Scotland, all running electronic or photonic businesses. Every single one of those companies was struggling to find enough skilled people to build products, so they all had multiple open job vacancies. They were trying to figure out what that meant in terms of wealth for them. (On average UK businesses generate £118k of revenue per employee with photonics companies even higher at £198k of revenues per employee).

So if you consider that every open job that’s not filled is going to cost your company at least £150k a year in lost revenues and you have 10 jobs you can’t fill, that’s potentially £1.5 million of lost revenue. All of these companies were talking about growth levels in the last year of 80%, 50%, 100% and 70% – so there’s massive growth there, but even with that growth, they still can’t find enough people.

One of the big things that came out of this discussion was that there are not enough women involved in technology. Some 50% of the people on this planet are women, yet a recent SPIE survey suggested only some 21% of those employed in photonics are women. If we get more women involved in technology companies then there’s a good chance we could solve the lack of available labour to design and manufacture these enabling technology products; the photonics, electronics, lasers, new advanced materials, those things that are going to make a difference.

Overall it’s a terrific market to be in. It’s growing enormously, it’s challenging, it’s really exciting thinking about what these technologies can do, and we would absolutely like to encourage more women to get involved in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422/0131 510 8150

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Posted September 24, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Latest Technical Leader Vacancies

Are you a leader?

Enigma People Solutions is recruiting for a number of leadership roles for some of our emerging technology clients. These roles are situated across the central belt of Scotland and each presents really interesting and exciting opportunities for the successful candidates.

Principal Software Development Engineer

Our international client is creating the ticketing solutions of tomorrow for transport, payment and associated sectors. They require two Principal Software Development Engineers, for their growing development team, who will design and implement the architecture of “whole” systems and define tools, frameworks and technology strategy. The successful applicants will be able to understand and communicate the bigger picture and implement best practice and adherence to development and coding standards.

You will be a permanent member of an innovative, open, friendly and collaborative software development team that is enjoying growth, new clients and projects.

Find out more

Technical Lead

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic and experienced Technical Lead to join one of our newest clients. Our client is an industry leader in smart document collaboration software used by over 250,000 customers including industry leaders such as IBM, Deloitte and FedEx.

With four sites worldwide, they are currently looking for new talent to join a growing team of skilled, personable and down to earth engineers that enjoy working in a collaborative and respectful environment and experience great leadership.

Find out more

Lead Hardware Engineer

We have been exclusively retained to recruit a Lead Hardware Engineer for our international technology client. Our client is a well established and well-recognised international technology business, with an established and growing R&D function, based just outside of Edinburgh.

On offer is the opportunity to take on a technical leadership role within an international technology business that is highly respected, treats it’s staff very well and delivers outstanding products into it’s key markets.

Find out more

 


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy, specialising in recruiting technical leaders. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in electronics, photonics, semiconductor and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422/0131 510 8150.

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Posted September 14, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Awards Announcement

Enigma People Solutions is thrilled to be recognised among the very best recruitment consultancies in the UK.

We have been shortlisted as finalists for three categories at the Marketing and Digital Recruitment Awards 2018.

We have been selected as finalists for:

  • Best Marketing Strategy
  • Best Niche Agency
  • Technology and IT Specialist

As a result we have also been nominated for the prestigious “Agency of the Year” award!

As a recruitment consultancy delivering contract and permanent resource to Electronics, Photonics, Semiconductors, IoT and Software R&D clients, we’re thrilled to have been selected as finalists for “Best Niche Agency” and “Technology and IT Specialist”, and recognised for the work we do to support the deep tech and enabling technology sectors across the UK. We’re just as excited to be shortlisted for “Best Marketing Strategy” as we pride ourselves on our quality of service and representation within our market.

Since 2012, Enigma People Solutions has been dedicated to championing diversity and inclusion in the technology industry and so we are proud to also announce that we have been selected as finalists for “Gender Aware Recruiter of the Year” at the Scotland Women in Technology Awards 2018.

The whole team at Enigma People Solutions is extremely proud of their hard work, and we look forward to both award ceremonies later in the year.

 


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422/0131 510 8150

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Posted August 28, 2018 | Electronics, Industry Interviews, Photonics, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview – Part 1] Optical Design – Duncan Walker

It’s often that we only see the surface of what Scotland’s technology industry has to offer. This is especially true of the Enabling Technology sector, which actually boasts 10% of Scotland’s exports.

Shining a light on the deep technology industry, we recently spoke to Duncan Walker, of Walker Optics, to find out more about optoelectronics, globalisation and hidden technology.

Hi Duncan, thanks for chatting with us. Firstly could you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

I am a freelance optical designer and I’ve been doing it for about 10 years now. It basically means that I provide all design services to a whole range of companies and businesses who need it. Usually, I work a mixture between longer term contracts, often with larger organisations, and one off projects with smaller companies that don’t necessarily have the optical expertise in house and don’t have the requirements to have it in full time, so they make use of someone like myself for a project that requires optical design for their systems.

What does an Optical Design Engineer actually do?

Optical design is really about taking the light from a source, whatever that is, to a detector. For example, it covers a whole range of requirements. There’s a whole area of illumination Optics when you’re collecting light from the light source, whether it’s a light bulb, an LCD or a laser and you need to then get that into a certain form, like an angular distribution or a spot at a target plane. At the other end there’s imaging Optics, which is essentially a camera. When you’re trying to take and a get a good quality image of something, you’re using Optics.

Is that similar to Photonics then?

It’s a subset of Photonics, I would say. Photonics in itself is an enabling technology, which most of us are unaware of just how much we are actually using it. Optics is within that, so Photonics covers everything, like how you build a laser, an LED, a light source, a detector, and the Optics within that is how you get the light from one place to another.

That’s pretty cool.

Yes, I mean that’s one of the interesting things about Photonics and Optics to me; it’s very rare that you go out and buy something you can say ‘that’s an optical system’. If you’re buying a camera then yes but most of us don’t even bother buying cameras these days; we’ve got a smartphone and they have cameras built into them and as such, Photonics has become very much a hidden technology. It’s in an awful lot of things that we use; it’s used to manufacture a lot of things that we use on a regular basis but most of us have absolutely no idea just how dependent we are on Optics and Photonics.

What are your views of the Optoelectronics market, in particular in Scotland?

In general, the Optoelectronics market at the moment is strong and growing. It is, as I said earlier, a hidden technology. A lot of people are not aware of just how much we use it and the number of applications and number of ways in which it’s been used is increasing dramatically at the moment. One example that I often quite like to use is that in the banking bust of 2008, everything took a dive. Optics and Photonics was flat, maybe increased a little, and again dropped a little. By and large, it was flat for a couple of years but has since increased at rate of 5% to 10% a year. That’s primarily because people are finding that there’s more and more things that require Optics and Photonics. You just have to look at your mobile phone, for example, the typical mobile phone today has a camera in it. That’s Optics. It’s got a display on it which is basically mediated by Optics. A lot of the processing in your phone is carried out by lasers. The new facial recognition approach that Apple and others have started to adopt are using lasers to do that. Increasingly, your phone is becoming a more and more complex Optics and Photonics device but that’s not something that you and I, on the whole, regard it as but it is.

Do you think that the industry benefits from using ‘hidden technology’ or do you think industry would benefit from being highlighted and more well-known?

That’s a very hot topic within the Optics and Photonics community at the moment for a couple reasons. As an industry, it’s a lot more fragmented than others. For example, Optics and Photonics in the UK brings a similar amount into the UK economy as pharmaceuticals. However, where pharmaceuticals is dominated by a few very large companies, household names that everybody knows, Photonics is a lot more fragmented. There are a lot more small companies doing various bits and pieces around Photonics and Optoelectronics. As previously mentioned, it’s very rare that there’s a product which you could hold up and say this is an Optics product. You build the product and say ‘this is a medical product and but it’s got Optics inside’ or ‘this is a communications product and it has got a lot of Optics inside’. The industry as a whole is struggling with how to make ourselves more visible and make people much more aware of just how fundamental Optics and Photonics are today. We need to be confirming this in conversations with government and others. It’s a very important discussion to have and we do need to be better at as an industry.

I noticed on your website that you worked in Germany for a while, how does the UK market compare to Germany’s?

Certainly in the Optics and the Photonics market, Germany is the biggest contributor in Europe by a distance. I think that follows on from a couple of strengths within the German system. Technically, they tend to be more thorough and they’ll go into things in an awful lot more detail and work it out in advance.  Part of that is because, in Germany, an Engineer is regarded as a highly skilled worker with an equivalent social status in rank to what we would consider the professions in the UK, so like a lawyer or accountant.

In the UK, there is the idea that anybody can call themselves an Engineer, so when you’re trying to encourage people to move into the industry to get involved in design, they perhaps feel like those jobs are not as high status as a career in law or accountancy.

On the flipside, in Germany, they can be a bit more rigid in the way they do things. There’s a lot less challenging from junior Engineers. If you have a certain level of authority or position within a company, junior Engineers tend not to challenge someone superior in the same way that might be encouraged in the UK. So there’s probably more flexibility in the UK but on the whole I would say the disadvantages of the UK approach outweigh the advantages at the moment.

So what in particular excites you about the Optoelectronics market in the UK at the moment?

I think the Optoelectronics market is a global market. I think to just constrain a business to a particular geographic region, in today’s world, is not necessarily a recipe for success. Obviously, if you work in retail you very much have to deal with local markets and local demands but when designing and making products for global distribution, you must think in terms global markets. I think that Optoelectronics is very much that way. Think about some of the major companies like Leonardo or Thales, they are multinational companies with a very strong Scottish presence and they are primarily exporting. In general in the UK, that is true of the Optoelectronics market as a whole, optoelectronic companies are exporting. So to think locally in that respect is a mistake but to think within the local environment, in terms of the availability of expertise, is critical.

One of the nice things about being in Scotland is that there’s a very strong university base. These universities have strong areas of expertise in the broader Optics and Photonics areas and therefore there’s a steady stream of graduates who have those skills and have the potential to move into those markets. It also creates an environment where start-ups are founded and nurtured, continuing to build the environment at university level is critical. I think that’s partly why people and companies come to Scotland. It’s why the likes of Thales and Leonardo have strong bases in Scotland because they have strong links with the universities, graduates and links to the research so that base feeds a level of expertise.

Do you think there’s currently a good flow and a good number of people coming through these courses?

The short answer is no. If you go to any forum where there’s a gathering of project managers from the big companies, the single complaint they always have is there is just not enough expertise around. And that’s partly because again it’s hidden technology. A lot of people applying to university are not aware of the opportunities in Optics and Photonics. It stems from what I was talking about earlier, the problem in the UK that numerous graduates tend to look to the finance market or law, Engineering is the second best idea, which is a UK problem.

When I say there’s a shortage of experts, it’s not just a UK problem; it’s a worldwide problem. You can go to any conference anywhere and you’ll get the industrialists talking about it; they’ll say there’s just not the expertise in the Optics and Photonics area to meet the increasing demand.

So in that respect then what do you think makes a great tech company?

In the technology world, as with any product, there is a whole balance of things that need to go into making a successful product. The danger for technology companies is that we’re all technology enthusiasts and we get very excited about what the technology can do or might be able to do it or how far we can push it, that sometimes we lose sight of our goals. What makes a great technology company is probably identifying where the market need is, preferably before anybody else does, and then developing the technology to meet that need and knowing when to stop. I think the trap a lot of start-ups fall into is that they keep fiddling with the product. There are times you just have to stop and say “right this is a product, I’m going to go and sell this for a while. I’ll keep developing the next generation but I don’t need to have different variants for different customers because that way I’m never going to make profit.”

You need to have a product that you can turn out consistently and so good tech companies need to have the flexibility to change direction but they also need to stop in the design process at sensible moments, otherwise the whole the market may move on and you end up missing out.


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422/0131 510 8150

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Posted July 17, 2018 | Career Advice, Recruitment Industry, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Latest Electronics Vacancies

Looking for a new challenge?

Enigma People Solutions is recruiting for a variety of roles for some of our emerging technology clients. These roles are situated across the central belt of Scotland and each presents really interesting and exciting opportunities for the successful candidates.

 

Senior FPGA Engineer

Edinburgh, up to £47,000

We’re looking for a Senior FPGA Engineer for our international technology client. Our client is a well-established and well recognised international technology business with an established and growing R&D function based just outside of Edinburgh.
Objective of this position is to design and develop embedded software/FPGA solutions for new retinal imaging product development and existing retinal imaging product improvement as part of a multi-disciplinary R&D team.

Find out more

Lead Hardware Engineer

Edinburgh, competitive

We have been exclusively retained to recruit a Lead Hardware Engineer for our international technology client. Our client is a well-established and well recognised international technology business with an established and growing R&D function based just outside of Edinburgh.
On offer is the opportunity to take a technical leadership role within an international technology business that is highly respected, treats its staff very well and delivers outstanding products into its key markets.

Find out more

 

Be Part of Something Exceptional!

Join an organisation that is striving for excellence and that suits upbeat and motivated individuals with talent and potential!

We are delighted to have been engaged by the emerging market leader in optical networking equipment used in data centres and telecoms sites. Entering a critical phase of growth and development of its R&D function, this well-funded and high growth business is looking to identify candidates for a number of exciting roles:

 

Optical Development Engineer

West Lothian, Negotiable

We are seeking an Optical Development Engineer to join an existing team that has a track record of delivering breakthrough approaches that change the rules of the marketplace.

Reporting into the optics design team manager you will be responsible for the development and validation of new ideas. Apart from research, modelling and design of new approaches in photonic light circuits, you will spend time in the R&D lab where ideas are tested for their integrated photonic products.

Find out more

Process Engineering Manager

West Lothian, Negotiable

We’re looking for an experienced Process Engineering Manager.
Reporting to the VP of Engineering, this hands-on role, you will be working on managing a team of manufacturing process engineers, spending a significant amount of your time within the ‘cleanroom’ environment. You will also support the day-to-day engineering issues to help production reach the required output while maintaining a high yield.

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Product Engineer – Silicon Chip Products

West Lothian, Negotiable

Enigma is recruiting a Product Engineer to be responsible for ensuring the best possible performance of the company’s silica on silicon Planar Light Circuit (PLC) products is achieved.
Your role will be to continually control and improve the performance of the company’s silicon chip products. Interpretation of test results and liaising with the other engineering groups to maximise the yields is the core part of this role. As such, it is expected that the Product Engineer shall develop a fundamental understanding of the physics of how PLC products work to allow them to perform. This will be achieved through learning and doing, building on your technical and physics background.
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Product and Test Engineer

West Lothian, Negotiable

We’re looking for a Product and Test Engineer to join the existing team.
Reporting to the Test Engineering Manager this important role will help solve complex engineering problems and drive successful and robust solutions. You will be an integral part of the product and test function to support the volume manufacture of leading edge optoelectronic products.
Find out more

Quality Engineer

West Lothian, Negotiable

Enigma is seeking a Quality Engineer to join the existing team. Supporting the Quality Manager your role will include working with the engineering team to test, diagnose and identify cause of failure and more.
On offer is the chance to join a leading company that is growing and winning great clients.
You will receive a competitive salary (based on experience), life cover, pension, cycle to work scheme and generous holidays.

Find out more

Senior Electronics Engineer

West Lothian, c£60,000

We’re seeking a Senior Electronics Engineer to join the existing team that has a track record of delivering breakthrough approaches that change the rules of the marketplace.
Reporting to the Test Engineering Manager this senior role will lead the design, development and prototyping of leading-edge products, and seeing them through to successful mass manufacture as part of the wider team.

Find out more

Senior Optoelectonics Design Engineer

West Lothian, c£60,000

We’re looking for a Senior Optoelectronics Engineer to join the existing team that has a track record of delivering breakthrough approaches that change the rules of the marketplace.
This is a key hire for the business so we are looking for a senior experienced developer with a demonstrable track record of complex product success. The right person will be an excellent cross-disciplinary team player, comfortable doing detailed design one minute, or fixing urgent product issues the next.

Find out more


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Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in electronics, photonics, semiconductor and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

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Posted June 19, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Are Software Developers the Football Stars of the Tech World?

Watching the World Cup? Of course you are. The World Cup kicked off in Russia this week and our office football fans couldn’t help but notice a striking similarity between footballers and software developers; their demand.

Are software developers the football stars of the tech world?

Super-rich football clubs, like Real Madrid, are able to offer players high salaries in order to secure the best talent for their team. Last year, Paris St-Germain paid over £200 million in transfer fees to secure Neymar and pay him over £25 million a year in wages, making him the world’s most expensive football player at the time. Similarly to this, large corporate companies have the funds to be able to offer a premium price for highly sought-after and increasingly scarce talent, like software developers.

The skills gap yet again takes centre stage as the reason for this increase in demand. Companies are faced with taking on talent which has been underinvested in and that requires training and development, just to be able to do their job. Instead, companies attempt to find a quick fix by filling their immediate vacancies with ready-made developers who can come in and immediately perform in their job. It seems in today’s market many businesses would rather recruit talent which has already been trained, rather than invest in the long term development of talent.

Problems arise when talent is pinched from other smaller companies, as it’s very often the largest corporate who can offer the highest salary that tends to win the battle for highly-skilled talent. These large corporates, that can offer large salaries and benefit packages to candidates, can easily afford to promote their company as the place to be for developing careers. Not only this but they have much bigger marketing budgets and are able to advertise their recruitment process and attract candidates – much like the football clubs that can afford to pull in all the best footballers.

BUT

Is biggest always best?

Does the largest business guarantee success and career satisfaction?

Is moving for money always going to be the be-all and end-all?

Does working for the biggest and most well-known company mean that your individual contributions and talents are going to be celebrated and recognised?

Once you’ve ‘signed’ for one of the big ‘clubs’, where do you go from there?

Developers have a choice. Developers who choose to join small start-up teams can benefit in the same way football players can by joining a smaller team. Whilst we can’t necessarily speak for professional footballers, we have found that, for many developers, it isn’t money which drives them to seek new challenges but the opportunity to continue to learn and develop their career. The chance to expand on their experience and the excitement of creating something new and wonderful with code is what really motivates them.

Companies compete for this talent by trying to offer the highest salary but it isn’t always going to be the ‘golden ball’ that keeps developers around for long. Something more needs to be offered and that’s where start-ups come into play.

The opportunity for growth, focussed training and development, the use of newest technologies and the chance to shine can be much greater in the smaller, agile and innovative start-ups. It is in start-ups that career progression can be achieved, learning opportunities are greater and your contributions can really make a difference.

In many of the larger firms we have noticed management struggle to reward and encourage their employees. If they have already paid them a very high salary to begin with, a pay rise is not always going to seem a very significant reward. Large corporations must offer other tangible benefits to entice developers and reinforce employee growth and development, in the same way that start-ups can.

Are you a developer in today’s competitive industry? How do you achieve a balance of finding the right team to play for?

Is it all about money? Or is training, career progression, the quality of project, or something else, the main draw?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what matters most to you when you’re looking for a new role, or what would tempt you.

 


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in software, electronics, semiconductor, and photonics in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

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Posted June 05, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Why Hiring Managers are Responsible for Business Branding

Recruitment is an industry with people at its heart. It’s inherently personal and so it’s really important to treat your candidates well, regardless of the market conditions. That’s why we decided it was time to share this blog with you again.

                                             

How businesses treat their candidates during the recruitment process directly impacts the perception of their brand in the market. The public image of a business doesn’t just stop with the marketing department, it is affected by the way in which businesses treat people – that means potential candidates as well as their customers.

We have seen first-hand how employers have missed out on their ideal new hire purely because they mistreat them during the recruitment process – shooting themselves in the foot!

During the recruitment process, businesses need to ensure candidates walk away with a positive experience of the company, whether they are successful or not. We have repeatedly spoken  about how candidates have more choices in today’s market, and an employer’s reputation plays a major role in this decision making.

Businesses damage their reputation as employers when hiring managers are unprepared for interviews, provide flimsy feedback or take months to arrange follow up interviews (and then expect candidates to still be waiting around).

We have seen businesses changing job specifications and roles halfway through the interview process and failing to communicate, leaving both candidates and recruiters confused. We have seen many reject candidates for fickle reasons, holding out for someone better when it doesn’t exist and wasting candidates, recruiters, and their own time. For candidates, lack of communication on how they have performed and what they can expect following an interview can be extremely frustrating. Some businesses need to remember they are dealing with people and not just a statistic.

For a business, the best form of advertising is word of mouth. It essentially costs the business nothing and for consumers, the opinion of a reliable source factors highly during decision making processes. Research has shown that word of mouth can have an important influence on the perception a job seeker has towards an employer but problems arise when people have a negative experience to share. If a candidate has a poor experience trying to keep in contact with you, interview with you, or get decent feedback they will talk to their friends, family or possibly existing colleagues (which could also be potential future candidates for you!). This negative advertising of your business can make it even harder to attract and hire talent.

Growth does put significant stress on a business at the very point that they are busy and understaffed so it is understandable that sometimes they simply don’t get time to react to candidates quickly enough. Although it isn’t intentional, it does cause them to miss out on potential talent and grow their businesses.

Regardless of the reason, we have seen how a bad candidate experience can lead to a damaged reputation in the market. We’ve seen instances where candidates are apprehensive to interview with a company, believing the business isn’t committed to hiring; it’s more like they are “window shopping” to see what is available in the market.

A perfect example of the possible business ramifications was in a fellow recruiter, Greg Savage’s, blog who shared a letter from a senior candidate:

“Just recently I went for an interview with one of the larger insurance companies… Interview went extremely well (well I thought)… Long story short they never got back to me or returned any calls/emails…

Poor form. So I cancelled all of my 8 policies I had with them…”

In the words of Greg – “If this does not help you understand that poor candidate experience destroys your brand, personal and corporate, then I really don’t know what will.

So what should employers do?

It is difficult enough in today’s market to attract top level talent and businesses need to be doing all they can to continually attract people to them. The link between HR, recruitment and marketing is more important now than ever. Very often hiring managers, especially technical ones, aren’t trained to promote the business and so they need to work with the company to cohesively raise and maintain the brand, in order to attract the best people.

Think about the recruitment process from the candidate’s point of view. Candidates in this industry often have multiple offers to choose from and an interview is an opportunity for hiring managers to ‘market’ their business as an attractive place for them to work. By being engaging in the recruitment process, promptly organising interviews and providing detailed and constructive feedback, businesses are in a better position to hire the best people. We are lucky to work with some clients who react the same day and will immediately arrange telephone interviews with candidates they are genuinely interested in. They understand the difficulty in today’s market and heed advice on their recruitment processes.

It is refreshing to work with directors of businesses and hiring managers who give prompt, detailed and constructive feedback and who are consistent throughout the process and considerate of everybody’s time. As a result, they have great reputation as employers and have no difficulty finding candidates, who are delighted to interview and work with them.

Businesses must ensure they have a smooth recruitment process in place before they invite candidates and recruiters to take part in it. Be honest. Provide meaningful feedback and do not ignore candidates, even if the job has been put on hold, filled, or they just weren’t right for it. Only then, can the brand of the business attract great people.


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

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Posted June 04, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies: Electronics, Photonics and Semiconductor

Enigma People Solutions is working on a variety of vacancies at the moment for some really interesting and exciting clients. These vacancies are situated throughout the central belt of Scotland and range from a Junior Software Engineer working within automotive, industrial and computing applications to a Lead Hardware Engineer for one of our international technology clients. Have a scroll through to see if we have the perfect role for you.

Junior Embedded Software Engineer

We are seeking an embedded software engineering professional to join our client’s expanding team in Edinburgh. The client is recognised world-wide as providing state-of-the-art motor control integrated circuits for automotive, industrial, commercial and computing applications.

In this position, you will be part of a growing and dynamic team that primarily focuses on developing mixed-signal embedded software in motor control integrated circuits for industry leading customers. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to gain exposure to the latest trends in automotive motors control performance requirements, architectures and implementations.

Systems Engineer

We are on the hunt for an electronic engineering professional to join our client’s expanding systems engineering team in Edinburgh. The client is recognised world-wide as providing state-of-the-art motor control integrated circuits for automotive, industrial, commercial and computing applications.

The successful candidate will support the corporate sales growth objectives by:

  • Performing analysis of new product performance.
  • Providing in-depth, technical analysis reports of new products.
  • Analysing customer issues and influencing technical/engineering decisions, including future product development decisions.
  • Supporting ongoing business.

Digital Design Engineer

We’re also on the lookout for Digital Design Engineer with IP controller experience to join our client in Livingston. You’ll be developing leading edge Interface Design Intellectual Property and supporting a broad range of front end design activities covering IP Controller design, verification and quality assurance flows

Lead Hardware Engineer

We have been exclusively retained to recruit a Lead Hardware Engineer for our international technology client. Our client is a well-established and well recognised international technology business with an established and growing R&D function based just outside of Edinburgh.

On offer is the opportunity to take a technical leadership role within an international technology business that is highly respected, treats its staff very well and delivers outstanding products into its key markets.

RF/Photonic/Electrical Engineers

We require experienced Electronics Engineers to take up senior engineering roles within the expanding R&D team of a market leading optoelectronic equipment company.

This opportunity gives the chance to take on a leading role within the R&D function, which is involved in technically-challenging and high paced development work, that has immediate real world application into many of the data centres for the world’s largest internet companies.

We are delighted to have been retained by our world leading client that is focused on the R&D and manufacture of optoelectronic equipment used within data-communication centers.

Firmware Engineer

Experienced Firmware Engineer required to take up senior engineering roles within the expanding R&D team of a market leading optoelectronic equipment company. We are delighted to have been retained by our world leading client that focuses on the R&D and manufacturing of optoelectronic equipment used within data-communication centers.

This is a leading role within the R&D function, which is involved in technically-challenging and high paced development work that has immediate real world application into many of the data centres for the world’s largest internet companies.

PCB Design Engineer

Enigma People Solutions is recruiting PCB Design Engineer for a market leading client focused on the R&D and manufacture of optoelectronic equipment used within data-communication centers.

On offer is the chance to take on a leading role within the R&D function which is involved in technically-challenging and high paced development work that has immediate real world application into many of the data centres for the world’s largest internet companies.

Enigma People Solutions is delighted to have been retained by our world leading client that is focused on the R&D and manufacture of optoelectronic equipment used within data-communication centers.

 


 Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

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Posted May 29, 2018 | Electronics, Recruitment Advice, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Calming the perfect storm: 6 reasons for exclusivity

In this blog we discuss how to:

  • Make the hiring manager’s life easier
  • Ensure a more thorough screening process
  • Make it easier to recruit from target source companies
  • Improve candidate control

Finding and attracting top-tier technology talent can be fraught with difficulties.

In specialised technology skill areas there can be so few candidates available that organisations just cannot reach and attract the skills they need. Pressure on overworked senior and principal engineers can become unbearable as they juggle their own deliverables alongside training and developing more junior engineers. Add to this the extra burden of time reviewing and interviewing candidates and you have a perfect storm of time pressure that we see all too often with clients that are trying to deliver to customers, develop their products and recruit all at the same time. The immense workload can lead to the risk of flight of existing key employees to less stressful environments.

Many companies feel they increase their chances of finding the right candidate by placing the vacancy with a number of recruitment agencies. This can be a mistake. If the recruitment process is not slick and speedy then by the time you do find the ideal candidate and make an offer, those candidates are often no longer available.

When you have more than one agency competing to get to a finite resource first, the effects on how your vacancy is perceived by the industry and your target candidates can be very damaging for you as an employer. Once a potential candidate has been spoken to more than once about a vacancy, they can get the impression that you are desperate, or that everyone is being spoken to about the same vacancy. This can be highly off-putting especially when the candidate has highly sought after niche skills or expertise. Meanwhile the competing agencies can quickly become disillusioned and drop your vacancy down the priority list and leave you with an unresolved problem.

Companies that use recruiters must now understand that to get commitment, full commitment must be given, and that means working exclusively with one, specialist, high quality recruiter on each assignment.

Here are some great reasons why:

Commitment

Recruiters who work on a contingent basis will work energetically for a short while but as they do not have your full commitment, they may quickly lose interest in a vacancy and move on to the next client whose vacancy is easier to fill. On the other hand, an exclusive recruiter will be fully committed to finding you the right candidate, even if it’s a difficult vacancy to fill. Along with this, exclusive recruiters search for and approach passive candidates that contingent recruiters do not have the time or resources to find.

A more thorough screening process

Due to the full commitment you have from an exclusive recruiter, each candidate on the recruiters shortlist will have been through a more thorough screening process. Working closely with an exclusive recruiter allows the recruiter to gain a better understanding of your business and requirements of the role, meaning that they are able to screen a candidate on not only their experience but also how they would fit within the company culture and more. This screening process takes time but an exclusive recruiter is willing to invest that time to ensure that only candidates who are the best fit make your shortlist.

Makes the hiring manager’s life easier

As a hiring manager, you have to review a multitude of CVs submitted by a number of competing contingent recruiters, meaning you have less time to deal with other work-related responsibilities. Due to the screening process in an executive search, mentioned above, a hiring manager’s workload is reduced as they only have shortlist of qualified CVs to get through.

Confidentiality

Sometimes, it’s important to keep your job opening private for whatever reason, working with one exclusive recruitment agency will better ensure confidentiality.

Easier to recruit from target source companies

In the technology market, it’s not always easy to find the right candidate. A lot of the time, candidates are passive so they’re already content in their jobs and aren’t necessarily looking for a new role. When this happens, it’s sometimes essential to recruit from direct competitors; working with one exclusive recruiter can help you to do this. It takes more time and finesse to reach these passive candidates in a way that avoids gaining a reputation as a poacher; in these scenarios it’s the recruiter’s job to put a buffer between your company and your competitor in order to circumvent such situations.

Improve candidate control – your candidates won’t be submitted to other companies

Not only are you exclusive to your executive recruiter, they’re also exclusive to you! Contingent recruiters will sometimes present their good candidates to numerous clients at once, which can result in a talent bidding war and you losing out on an ideal candidate as a result. Whereas an exclusive recruiter will only submit candidates to your company and work to ensure top talent accept your offer over any others.


Enigma People is an award winning recruitment search consultancy. Did you know:

  • Our average retained search shortlist contains 4 CVs
  • 86% of CVs we send to clients are selected to interview, meaning more than 4 out of 5 of our CVs sent are selected for next-stage interviews
  • 100% of the placements we made in 2017 for our Electronics clients are still in the role we placed them in!

If you would like to work with us on retained search basis, or otherwise, please contact Ben Hanley on 0131 510 8150 or bhanley@enigmapeople.com

 

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Posted May 14, 2018 | Career Advice, Industry Interviews, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview] SCINTILLA – Protecting Innovation

Scotland is well-known as the home to billion pound tech companies, like Skyscanner, but that’s only the start of what Scotland’s tech industry currently has to offer. The country’s strength and depth across software engineering, artificial intelligence, big data and a variety of emerging and enabling technologies is impressive; and it’s being noticed. Scotland’s position within the technology industry is encouraging more and more start-ups to base themselves here. The profusion of skills in Edinburgh, especially, has led to a growth in the number of tech companies in the city. According to last year’s Tech Nation 2017 report, 363 technology start-ups were incorporated in Edinburgh alone in 2017.

With such growth and the huge expanse of innovation happening across Scotland, there has been an upsurge in the need for Patent Attorneys. We spoke to Patent Attorney and Founder, Peter McBride, over at SCINTILLA and asked him all about Patent Attorneys, Intellectual Property and his thoughts on the future of the technology industry in Scotland:

Hi Peter, thanks for chatting to us. Firstly, can you please tell us what a Patent Attorney is and at which stage would you need to approach one? 

“We are specialist legal professionals dealing with protection of innovation.  We obtain patents to protect novel technologies and registered trade marks so that a brand’s reputation is safeguarded.  A Patent Attorney has a technical qualification, which is essential as our work requires deep technical understanding of our clients’ technologies.

Intellectual Property (IP) is a key strategic area for any innovative company and should be considered as early as possible!  It is a vital area to research when you start up a business, and its protection should be an ongoing process that is continuously improved.  Each project should be assessed at an early stage, to make sure you can take advantage of all available options and can implement the right strategy.”

How do you currently view the market for Patent Attorneys?

“There are of course a few uncertainties in the UK and global business environment right now, but I am optimistic about our own business and profession because innovation is such a core aspect of business and its protection is a key strategic necessity.”

Would you advise to use a patent lawyer who has expertise in a specific specialism? Why?

“It’s imperative that your Patent Attorney is able to get to grips with the technology that you are working with.  Having an understanding of the relevant basic technical concepts saves everyone time and results in stronger legal protection, as the patent attorney is able to anticipate “workarounds” and make sure that alternative versions of your products are covered by a patent. Similarly, on the defensive side an understanding of the technology can help identify creative solutions when searching or making objections to third parties’ patents.

However, this technical knowledge does not mean anything without effective communication skills – your Patent Attorney should understand your commercial objectives and be able to “translate” the legal language of patents into something you can understand, so you know exactly what your IP is achieving for you.”

Do you think there any trends in the market?

“Clients are looking for their advisors to be commercially aware and to have a laser focus on adding real value with the services and advice which are provided.  Administrative tasks have become commoditised and fixed fee structures are becoming popular.”

Given current market trends, what do you predict for the market over the next 12-24 months? 

“The focus on adding value will continue and the firms which embrace the change will be the ones who are successful.”

What does SCINTILLA do that is different?

“We have a special niche because, as a small firm we have chosen to “go deep” into the fields of electronics and software rather then “go wide” and cover everything.  So, while we are a small team, our common technical focus means we can in fact match the capabilities of much larger firms. Having big-firm professionalism together with small-firm flexibility and friendliness seems to be a winning combination!”

Where do you expect SCINTILLA to be in 12 month’s time? Do you have plans for growth?

“We are celebrating five years in business, but there’s a sense in which we are just getting started.  Growth is a decision and a mindset and we have plans to build on the solid foundation which has been established.

In due course we will look at adding to our team and expanding into other technical areas, so in 12 months’ time we hope to have added some more colleagues and some great new clients.”

How does SCINTILLA enable growth within the tech industry?

“As a service provider, we are in tune with our clients’ needs and our flexible and creative approach helps our clients optimise scope of protection and cost.

Beyond this, however, we are committed to the startup and tech communities.  We get involved with education and we sponsor Startup Grind, which builds communities and connections for start-up founders.”

Where do you think Scotland and the UK fit within the Tech market?

“Scotland has everything it needs to be a global player in the tech market. There are good Universities which punch above their weight, an active community of software and hardware companies and a vibrant support network of government and early stage investment organisations.  Also having fantastic culture and art scenes makes Scotland a great place for business and pleasure.”

Do you think there are there any barriers to entry for tech start-ups? 

“Funding and talent are the biggest barriers, as is the case across the globe. In Scotland, while initial funding is relatively plentiful it can be harder to secure larger funding rounds. Luckily there is a strong international mindset amongst the tech community and there are many examples of companies who have succeeded by focusing on the US or other overseas markets.”

And finally, do you think being able to acquire IP protection is part of what determines success for these companies?

“Companies who invest in IP protection tend to be more successful. Everyone needs to get to grips with the basics of IP, and in many cases registration of IP through patents, trade marks or designs is crucial to safeguard competitive advantage.  So, I would agree that an ability to secure effective IP protection is a vital component of success.”

Thanks, Peter! 

Intrigued by intellectual property and patents following our chat with Peter, we scoured the web to find out more and stumbled across some interesting and fun facts about patents.

Check them out before you go:

  • The inventor of the Laser, Gordon Gould, fought with Laser manufacturers and the US patent office for 38 years before finally achieving the right to equally obtain and enforce patents covering the Laser technology he had invented
  • WD-40 is not patent protected, in so doing it has completely avoided disclosing its ingredients, making it harder for any other companies to mimic
  • While working at Raytheon in 1945, Percy Spencer a radar engineer, stepped in front of a magnetron, a device that powers radars. He realised a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. Later that same year, he filed a patent for the first microwave oven.
  • Amazon recently acquired a patent for a modular super drone that could potentially carry lots of weight, enabling them to be more efficient and capable of transporting and delivering greater loads than just one singular, powerful drone
  • There is a patent for a surgical procedure to implant semiconductors into eyes to give humans night vision like Riddick.

 


 

SCINTILLA is a European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney firm specialising in the fields of electronics, software, energy and mechanical engineering.  They work with international clients as well as serving the vibrant start-up and SME scene in Scotland. They provide frank and practical advice about what is best for your business. Find out more about SCINTILLA: https://www.scintilla-ip.com/

 


 

Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in electronics, photonics and semiconductors in Scotland. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0131 810 510

Follow us on TwitterLinkedin and Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted April 23, 2018 | Electronics, Industry Interviews, Recruitment Industry, Scotland, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Business Confidence Survey Results 2018

Following the success of our Business Sentiment Survey in 2017, this year brought us another fantastic opportunity to learn about what’s currently going on the technology sector.

Our Business Confidence Survey 2018, in conjunction with TechWorks Hub, intended to find out how businesses, within the UK, presently view the electronics industry and what they predict for 2018. We wanted to know which challenges businesses were currently facing and your responses certainly didn’t disappoint.

After collecting and analysing the wide range of information we received back from our participants, we were really intrigued by the data we collected. We have collated this data into an infographic for easy interpretation, which can be found below:

Download Infographic
The results

Enigma People Solutions Director, Ben Hanley, gives us a run down on the most surprising and interesting data we collected, sharing his own opinions and predictions about the electronics industry.

Expectations

“12% are very pessimistic about the next 12 months. What’s interesting about this figure, is that 100% of the businesses that participated reported an increase in sales in 2017. Whilst you would assume that an increase in sales would indicate industry optimism, it is clear that a significant number of respondents are pessimistic. This could be owing to Brexit and the current talent shortage within the electronics industry. It’s very interesting to see that companies in the UK are not feeling as optimistic as we thought.

44% of respondents are pessimistic about the next 12 months. I suspect, partly, that this figure, again, plays into the Brexit conversations that people are currently having and the fact that people just don’t yet know how Brexit is going to fully impact us.  I’d really need to do a more in depth study in this area, so that we can assess the needs of the industry to overcome such pessimism.”

Recruitment

“71% are likely to hire graduates. This figure appears to confirm what we thought we knew; it seems to suggest that there is going to be a lot of pressure on recruitment over the next year or so, not that we’re complaining! It’s really fantastic to see such high percentage of businesses looking to recruit within the next 12 months. I think that it’s great that as many as 71% are likely to hire graduates. In the past, when I have spoken to our clients and attended industry events, I have been informed that there is already a real struggle to find graduates. In recent years, we have found that University students are already snapped up by the time they are entering 4th year, due to their 3rd year projects, which involve working at a company, so from these courses very few graduates are available. We’ve even seen instances where employers have hired university students in 3rd year, before they’ve even graduated. If this is consistent across the graduate sphere for our market, it’s going to be extremely important that we continue to encourage people into the courses and make sure that those courses are fit for purpose, in order to deliver properly qualified graduates to the market. As well as this, we need to ensure that these graduates come from the UK, or at the moment EU. Having really highly skilled international graduates from UK universities are no longer an option, as Highly Skilled Migrant Worker visas no longer exist; which is a significant contributing factor towards the current talent shortage.

73% of respondents said they were likely to hire mid career professionals, 57% likely to hire senior managers, 46% likely to middle management. There is a clear pressure to hire experienced people. Unfortunately, if there are no new incoming experienced individuals, there will be a tightening in the market. This means businesses will need to turn to recruiters in order to meet demand, which is good for Enigma People in one sense but it does highlight talent shortage as a clear challenge within the industry.”

“61% of respondents expect employee numbers to increase in 2018. Again, I find this a little contradictory. I believe that businesses now recognise that there’s going to be a struggle and a lot of their time and effort will have to go into recruitment. At this stage, it’s really important for companies to present their culture and their values, as well as the work they do in a consistent, favourable light in order to attract top talent.”

“62% of respondents are predicting that there will be a significant increase in demand for Design Engineers. This is consistent with what we have seen over the last little while but it highlights a big problem. Design Engineers are arguably key to what many of these companies do, and if they do not have the option to build up their R&D teams across the UK, due to talent shortages, they will most likely build them up somewhere else; which will have a massive effect on the electronics industry within the UK. Being able to solve these issues is critical to the industry.

The fact that 44% predict an increase in demand for Validation and Characterisation Engineers over the next 12-24 months, suggests to me that new products are being developed, new systems and new designs being implemented, which need to be validated and characterised. This usually ties in, in terms of economics of scale, with the recruitment of new employees and also project life cycles, so that could be really important. It may suggest that we’re likely to see an uplift in contract opportunities for people with this, and similar, skill sets. The number of Embedded Software Engineers is also predicted to increase over the next 12-24 months, with 1 out of every 2 of our participants suggest that there’s going to be an increase here. This, again, points towards an increase in projects and design.”

Challenges to overcome

“The challenge for us as a recruitment business and the challenge for our market is finding those talented, highly-skilled candidates; because I’m sure if businesses were able to find the talent they require, then they would be much more optimistic.

Certainly from some of the events I have attended and been involved with, it’s been clear that there are a number of challenges within the industry. Brexit and the lack of knowledge of how that’s going to play out, potentially plays a role in the pessimism we have observed around the industry. Many in the industry point to the visa system, in Germany, as a model to consider. It would allow companies much more freedom to attract and hire international talent. I, for one, would like to see a return to the highly skilled migrant visa and certainly much more availability of visas for those with the technical skills, to help make the UK’s companies competitive on an international and global scale. Being able to find talent for these businesses is going to be key and critical to the continued success of the electronics industry, within the UK.”

Join our specialist InElectronics group on LinkedIn and don’t forget to download your copy of our Business Confidence Survey 2018 infographic:

Download Infographic

 


 

Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,  Linkedin and Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted April 02, 2018 | Feature Friday, Holidays, Technology Industry | No Comments »

April Fool’s Day 2018: top tech pranks

This weekend saw the return of April Fool’s Day, bringing with it a flood of bad jokes and misguided pranks, but also some really cool concept products. Many major tech companies, including google, got involved with teasing new products, services and concepts that you could quite easily believe. Whilst traditional April Fool’s Day jokes can be somewhat terrible, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite and best tech company pranks of 2018.

 

Lexus and 23andMe

Knowing which car is right for you can be tricky business, but no more! Lexus have teamed up with 23andMe, using your DNA to accurately find out which Lexus is the best for you. Their “Genetic Select” chooses you a vehicle based on your specific chromosomes, matching you with the ‘car of your genes!’.

Google

Google are crowd favourites for tech innovation, which is why people blindly fell for some of its pranks over the weekend. Our favourite prank was Google Cloud Hummus API, their answer to the problematic decision that is picking the best hummus. Google is here to fix this major issue by rolling out a new API that’s based on a ‘quick lick test’.

Nintendo

Pokemon returned to mainstream media last year when Niantic released the hugely successful Pokemon Go app. There were so many downloads of this game that it became outstanding in the mobile gaming world. Nintendo has now said that it will be releasing new cutting-edge 8-bit graphics for it’s augmented reality game. Unfortunately for some users, Nintendo has said that not everyone will be able to play this game due to the really powerful and efficient hardware required.

 

LEGO

LEGO’s fake concept product this year is something that we think should really be more than a concept: a vacuum cleaner that not only picks up your bricks, but also stores them by size and colour. We’re sure anyone who’s ever stepped on a piece of LEGO will attest to this fantastic idea!

Snapchat

Snapchat threw major shade at Facebook, this April Fools’, by creating a filter that makes it look like Russian bots are liking your posts. First reported by The Verge, the new Snapchat filter places a Facebook UI on top of your picture with Cryllic script-looking text, which is an apparent dig towards Facebook, and the news that tens of thousands of bots, with links to the Russian government, were used on Facebook to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Honda

If cars have sensors for avoiding collisions, why don’t pedestrians who are distracted by their mobile phones? Cue the Sixth Sense app from Honda. It has “sidewalk departure warning” that will alert you when you’re close to veering off the pavement, pretty smart. The ultimate feature has to be the “personal avoidance system” though, which lets you know of people you don’t want to bump into and reroutes you. An ideal app for recluses!


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,  LinkedIn or Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted March 06, 2018 | Digital Media, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Digital Touch

The future calls for a Digital world and we are embracing the idea every day.

But what does it really mean to become digital, or better, to BE digital? (more…)

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Posted February 26, 2018 | Enigma News, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Were you born Brave?

‘Were you born brave?’ These were the words of Joy Lewis during an exciting event last week hosted by Startup Grind at Code Base in Edinburgh. Joy is the voice behind Adopt an Intern (AAI), a project that earned the ‘Customer Focus’ Award sponsored by RBS at the Scottish Business Awards in November 2015. The organisation was born in late 2009, encouraged by her colleagues at the Centre for Scottish Public Policy (CSPP), and has since placed over 1420 graduates and returners from all social backgrounds into valuable paid work, becoming an important reference for empowering start ups, charities and social enterprises across Scotland.

 In photo: Joy LewisLisa Thomson 

Her question threw the audience into a spiral of emotions, right back to those scary memories of some work experiences and the struggle of fighting for professional fairness, when we still live in a world where interns, graduates, or professionals with disadvantaged backgrounds are still asked to work for free. ‘Were you born brave?’ Definitely not – we all agreed. Joy shared with us an insightful ‘confidence building’ journey through her international academic experiences and professional challenges she would often come across, and how stepping out of her comfort zone made her develop new skillsets and realise the opportunities ahead. ‘I love a challenge!’ – Joy explained us with enthusiasm how she realised the importance of all her experiences, the crucial moments when she had the opportunity to learn from mentors and people around her, and how she’s passionate in sharing this knowledge with everyone willing to learn and develop their businesses and careers. ‘It’s a learning curve’.

Growing a team in a start up business can require a lot of courage and can be an intimidating prospect. She continuously highlighted the importance of creating mentoring opportunities for professional development and how vital it is to be a ‘Value-led’ business. ‘Employers should understand the difference between volunteering and not be able to afford free work’. She encouraged us to have an entrepreneurial spirit and that rules are there to be broken. ‘Set expectations, focus on people, draw a line through those wavy curves, be brave!’

Here at Enigma People Solutions we also encourage you to be brave! The UK is Europe’s leading Tech Hub and we are seeing high demand for skills and numerous and exciting developments in the sector. These are some of the reasons why we enjoy attending events that highlight the employer branding focus and business culture. We are specialists in what we do and we are confident that our experience and expertise subscribe to a culture that is customer-centric and valued-led. This is the vital base of our consultancy approach and how we work as a Recruitment Consultancy, and it was great to share the same mindset and professional views with Joy.

 In photo: Lisa Thomson 

Indeed an inspirational event with an outstanding speaker. A special thank you to the organisation team, Lisa and Marlene for such exceptional job. Enigma People was happy to be there and we will surely come back for more insightful Startup Grind events.

 

Learn more about us and feel free to contact us or leave any feedback.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 20, 2018 | Enigma News, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Trust Dynamics

Talk to lots of people every day and be nice! – an old adage about how to be successful in sales. It may seem quite apt and simple advice to recruiters, however possibly the smarter thing to do is to listen to what our market is telling us!

One of the greatest changes in the technology recruitment industry is how to engage with and contact our candidate market. 20 years ago emails were just coming online, very few people had mobile phones, so it was common to call somebody at their desk at work, and more often than not we would call candidates in the evening at home. Neither of these are activities that candidates are as comfortable with these days, certainly not as a first form of contact.

The Technology sector is a market where professionals are clearly detail-focused and in turn this requires us to pay critical attention to the needs and wants of candidates regarding a job role, meaning it is very important to us to get to know our candidates professional and personal aspirations. Relationship building is key for us, we earn our credibility through working hard and striving to ensure that our clients and candidates fit well together.

So how do we get to know our candidates?
Candidates want more control and a less intrusive form of contact. Typically these days email is king, along with connecting through social networking. What I love about this is it means when candidates do contact us they are more likely to be more committed to the process of looking for a job.

The real question is how do we reach you and what platforms and communication style?

Things we learned to do

  1. We only send relevant information to our candidates – we scrutinise all our vacancy requirements and confirm this with our client, in order to make sure we know exactly what and who we are looking for and direct the right relevant information to the appropriate contacts;
  2. We are clear and honest about the role requirements and the company culture – if you take the time to visit our Job Search on the website, you might notice that we try to translate the client’s wants, not only in terms of skills and responsibilities but also considering the type of working environment you can expect;
  3. We only contact you over the phone once you have invited us to do so as a potential candidate – we consider your time valuable so we take the time to analyse your CV in detail, this way when we contact you we are properly aware of your qualifications, expertise and experience, which helps us prepare a tailored interview to make sure you are a strong candidate for the position;
  4. We advise and guide you throughout the hiring process – once we have interviewed and analysed your potential, it is important to us that you feel comfortable and confident to demonstrate your potential to our clients, meaning that we are always open to enquiries and will always try to assist you in terms of self-marketing and attitude. Our goal is not only to satisfy clients, but also to help you shine!

Help us improve

We are passionate about recruiting and we are always eager to improve and optimise our operations in order to be worthy of your trust, and to achieve that we take into consideration and care about your opinion. Please help us gather more information regarding the best communication and platforms to reach you on. Our intention is always to avoid the feeling of intrusion. Our mission is to provide you with a good opportunity and fill the position with the best candidate possible. The talent we are looking for might be you! So please let us know which platforms you prefer, or share with us any feedback that you might find relevant here.

 

We dedicate a section on our website to Electronics, Software Development and Digital Media. If you are interested please visit us online and learn about our new opportunities!

 

Learn more about us and feel free to contact us or leave any feedback.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 14, 2018 | Enigma News, Recruitment Advice, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Recruitment, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

It is easy for us recruiters to get absorbed with work and so obsessed with Key Performance Indicators, that it may seem all we care about is closing the deal! Now, it is important to stress that whilst tracking performance and profit is key in business, the definition of a good recruitment business is way more complex than simply watching those roles getting filled.

A good recruiter can easily be compared to an amazing match-maker. This means the recruiter will work hard, not to simply fill the positions, but most importantly to find the “right person” for the job.

This process takes a lot of research, a great strategy and a human touch! We understand the importance of culture, motivational skills, clarity and respect. According to the CareerBuilder Survey, 75% of job seekers hadn’t heard back after application and 60% never heard back after an interview. This illustrates the amount of work and pressure a recruiter can be under, but also demonstrates a need for change and improvement. It is a person on the other side of the computer or phone. It is a relationship! Communication is key and you will be surprised how positive it is to just ‘take care’ and be clear to a candidate. It is a matter of attitude and values, which consequently will also transmit nicely to employers as well.

Take your relationship to the next level

We understand one fundamental thing about our relationship with candidates: expectations should be clear, deceptions will always poison one’s relationship. Loyalty, commitment, professionalism and good values are a must! This means that it is crucial for us to take in both what the client and the candidate’s needs and wants are. The job descriptions should be detailed and translate the company’s culture, and if they are not a match, well, it is our job to be professional and nicely inform the candidate of that. The candidate should have a sense of what the client is looking for, honesty and transparency are two essential elements for getting the best result!

Why time is important in relationships

It is all about time management. Interview rounds, phone calls, emails, etc. The hiring process can be long and stressful, for both sides. So even if the candidate is not a good final fit for the role, they must be left with a feeling that their time mattered and the whole thing was a valuable experience. This can be accomplished when we value the candidates and also take the time to send a simple invitation to connect on LinkedIn, to deliver advice and constructive feedback, and avoid ambiguity.

Connect, communicate, and be attentive

We continuously check our website, job descriptions and communication style. This is our business card, our match-making profile photo, you must impress!

We try to make it easier for our candidates and simplify the application process by having an organised portal and a clear idea of the roles available. And we don’t forget that human touch, we are not machines and in order to work more efficiently we need to identify with the company’s values and feel comfortable in the workplace. Again, there is no point in filling that vacancy just to get the job done and then have to be in the middle of a dramatic love triangle that is doomed from the beginning. Listen! Understand the wants, match the cultures and let the magic happen.

We believe in setting the stage for a successful relationship right from the start!

Happy Valentine’s day!

Learn more about our culture here and also feel free to contact us or leave any feedback.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 12, 2018 | Software, Technology Industry | No Comments »

PHP Frameworks: Why complicate?

In recent weeks we at Enigma People Solutions have noticed an increasing demand for PHP developers which prompted some research into the topic.  We came across this great blog from opensource.com written by Dr. Michael J. Garbade, who holds a PhD in Finance and is the founder and CEO of San Francisco based LiveEdu Inc. (Livecoding.tv). He explains the benefits of using a PHP Framework in order to enable implementation of more effective solutions. We thought this might interest you developers out there, we hope you enjoy.

How to choose a PHP framework

By Dr. Michael J. Garbade

Image by : opensource.com

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages around the world, and the recent PHP 7 release made this server-side programming language better and more stable than ever.

PHP is widely used in major projects. Facebook, for example, utilizes PHP for maintaining and creating their internal systems. WordPress uses PHP to power its internals, which in return is powering more than 26% of the web. Currently, PHP powers more than 82% of websites (whose server-side programming languages the Web Technology Surveys site is able to track).

In this article, we’ll look at three of the most popular PHP frameworks: Symfony, Laravel, and Yii.

Why pick a PHP framework?

The below benefits are too significant to be ignored. Even though raw PHP can be used to create any application, the current development standards require tools and time-management skills to meet the market demand.

How to choose a PHP framework

Answering a few questions can help you choose a framework:

  1. What are the features and functionality of the framework? (Does it offer what I need?)
  2. What is the learning curve of the framework?
  3. How scalable is the framework?
  4. Is the framework actively developed and maintained by the core team?
  5. Does the framework provide long-term support (LTS support)?
  6. Does the framework have a strong community support?

 Framework differences

Every framework is created differently. Symfony works on reusable components and provides the best modularity. Symfony also utilizes the model and controller for developing a web application, which may look rusty for many new developers, but it works. Also, Symfony is a good example of the modular framework. You can use the 30 components provided by Symfony in your project in a modular fashion.

Yii uses an MVC framework. (Symfony does provide support for MVC, which is discussed in more detail in Is Symfony2 a MVC framework on the blog.sznapka.pl site.)

Symfony can be used for rapid development and complex projects. Even though there is a debate on which framework is better for complex projects, Symfony does showcase brilliant complexity handling compared to other frameworks. Yii also utilizes components, but is not as modular as Symfony. Laravel doesn’t provide a modular approach as sharp as the other two frameworks.

If you are looking for a modular framework, go for Symfony. Otherwise, Laravel and Yii are both great choices.

Rapid development

From the perspective of the company or the client, quickly getting the application to the market to meet consumer demand and beat competitors is important. Symfony stands out for being a robust framework with a strong community standing behind it. Laravel is growing rapidly, but still has a way to go before being considered the de facto choice for PHP development. On the other hand, if you have no knowledge of any PHP frameworks and want to get started as quickly as possible, consider Laravel. Laravel has an easy learning curve, and you’ll find lots of tutorials online to help get you started. Yii takes performance to the next level, and provides code scaffolding for faster code generation and development.

Performance

The performance of any application only matters if it is a real-time application using critical data. How many web-based applications depend on high performance? Not many, but the performance of frameworks can play a crucial role in many projects.

Social networks are prime example of real-time events and one of our star streamers, jadson, built a mobile social network using Yii2. When it comes to choosing the best framework for coding a high-performance application, Yii stands out as the fastest PHP framework in our lot.

Laravel performance is highly debatable. It is slowest, but does that matter? You’ll find online resources for speeding up performance, including a guide on GitHub for making your Laravel application faster.

Conclusion

In the battle of Symfony vs. Laravel vs. Yii, all three PHP frameworks are excellent options that provide a full-stack development environment for developers. For me, Laravel is a winner that is emerging as a star with no sign of stopping.

Still, Symfony and Yii are both excellent frameworks. Symfony is well-established and with a bigger, more mature community. Yii is a unique framework that is robust, secure, and gets the job done.

 

Find out more about our development vacancies here.

Learn more about us and feel free to contact us or leave any feedback.

 


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 10, 2018 | Electronics, Scotland, Technology Industry | No Comments »

10 On The 10th – Top 10 Electronics Vacancies

Enigma People Solutions is proud to be a key supplier to many of the leading Electronics, Photonics and Semiconductor companies in the UK.

The UK’s electronics industry contributes £80 billion to the economy and is the bedrock of the UK’s Tech Sector.

We are seeing high demand for skills and numerous and exciting developments in the sector.

Don’t miss out on the brilliant opportunities we have got for you!

Here is our top 10 vacancies:

 

See all of our latest electronic vacancies here.

Learn more about us and feel free to contact us or leave any feedback.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 08, 2018 | Contracting, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Contracting, a case of success

Background 

Throughout the years, we have worked with many successful clients. One in a particular a Scottish smart card technology business, has been through periods of significant growth in recent years. This has included in-house team expansions and even mergers. In 2016, this business was acquired by an American tech company that creates innovative semiconductor and IP products, ranging from security, smart sensors and lighting to memory and interfaces. The acquisition lead to a need for a number of contractors in order to ramp up project delivery and product integration of the two businesses. Enigma People was entrusted with a number of project pieces specifically to recruit; an Embedded Software Engineer, a Database Developer, a Support Analyst, two Software Developers and a Technical Project Manager as short term contact roles.

Our Strategy

The recent merger was a major factor that contributed to the construction of our strategy; now a combination and integration of two companies, it was essential for prospect candidates to understand fully when applying and, if suitable for the role, when undertaking the interview process.

At Enigma People, company culture and fit is of vital importance when we are working with our clients and candidates. Holding an understanding of both the client and the candidate is vital to a successful recruitment process, as the end goal is to find the right candidate to fit both the client and the role.

Enigma used the acquisition as a unique selling point because it brought with it a substantial amount of investment, which contributed towards growth and bolstering business confidence. The acquisition also highlighted the recognition and success that our client had achieved, presenting these new roles as a great opportunity to work with innovative and creative technology. Further, it provided an opportunity to work within a well-regarded and expanding business at the heart of the smart ticketing systems industry.

The time frame we had agreed with our client proved highly important over the course of these projects. Quick turnarounds allowed us to solve their recruitment problems without impacting on their ability to deliver projects, something which would have had repercussions throughout the business. Understanding the needs of our client’s business alongside their recruitment needs enabled us to see the full 360 view and present our client with the right candidates for the roles.

Market Understanding

The integration of the two companies also impacted on the type and length of role that this project involved; compared to our previous work with the business premerger, our latest projects involved identifying and hiring short term contractors to fulfil their needs. Taking into account the various roles and length for which these were required, we had to ensure that each role was approached on an individual basis; tailoring our process in order to ensure we successfully sourced and placed each candidate within our allocated timeframe.

As some of the technical contracts were quite short-term, initially it was likely that these would be most of interest to relatively local candidates. However, the market we were operating in was one of low candidate availability and high candidate demand meaning that prospect candidates for the roles had choice and would go off the market quickly. 

In consulting with the business on this matter, we were able to advise the client of the importance of prioritising speed of turnaround in the recruitment process. This conversation enabled us to agree a turnaround of CVs to review of inside 24 hours in most cases and interviews within days of CV submission, meaning that the client was more likely to retain the attention of the candidates they were interested in. 

The Challenges 

Success

Keeping in mind the combination and integration of two businesses which arose from the recent merger, Enigma People harnessed our strong relationship with our Scottish client and our new understanding of the American company to successfully source and place six new candidates into various roles throughout the business over a 9 month period. 

Taking each role on an individual basis allowed us to work smartly and identify the parameters and specifics to ascertain:

  1. where to find prospect candidates
  2. what type of candidate would be suitable for the role and
  3. how we can work with the time frame we had agreed 

This approach proved extremely successful, enabling us to tackle challenging roles head on and provide the niche candidates that our client needed to build their teams.

We felt that working exclusively with Enigma meant that the newly merged company was able to focus on responding quickly to one supplier, rather than being distracted by multiple suppliers. Our combined efficient, streamlined and trusted relationship gave our client competitive advantage in securing the contractors they were looking for.

If you have any questions about Enigma People’s contract recruitment offering, whether you are looking for that elusive contractor or if indeed you are a contractor, please get in touch and we would love to discuss how we can help you.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 06, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Why You Can’t Fill Your Developer Roles


Now firmly into 2018, I thought it would be interesting to look at the market trends in Digital that we are seeing.

In our first month back we contacted over a thousand developer candidates to see how they were (no, really!) and get a feel for how active the market was going to be. In summary, we found a really tight market; many are happy and settled, in good environments, continuing to learn and develop their skills. A proportion have been tempted by offers of contract gigs and a similar proportion are currently contracting and seriously considering going back to permanent roles but the over-riding statistic is a distinct lack of people, who would be interested in changing jobs in the foreseeable future … and that sentiment is backed up when we’re going through job board databases only to find fewer and fewer candidates with the skills our clients want …

Why?

As predicted 4 years ago in one of our blogs there’s a market shift to front-end development from back-end; it’s quicker, often more gratifying and there’s a massive demand.

More clients are seeking contractors to fill the gaps where they can’t find employees – and the day rates for those most sought after development skills continue to climb (although money isn’t everything!).

Increased benefits (most commonly flexibly working) from a market that has reacted to losing its development talent, meaning that people are happier in their current roles, means less movement in the marketplace.

Lack of investment in developing talent through the recession year’s, means we have far more developers working in the gig economy – with their own businesses or freelance

Immigration – with the tightening of immigration rules into the UK (almost to the point of strangulation!) we can no longer rely on a stream of highly educated, highly talented developers from overseas – even if they have studied here!

Help!

Don’t worry, there are developers out there if you look hard enough and in the right places.

BUT you need to embrace the old adage: hire for culture, train for skills.

The reality is that there are far fewer “corporate” candidates out there. Development has changed and grown so much even over the last few years that good developers have regularly upskilled …. So that candidate with 5 years of solid development in C# .NET – guess what? They’ve been upskilling in Vue.js for the last year …..

The positive thing is that the continued advancement in development skills has created many more polyglots and a developer landscape that has a much broader skills base.

Yes please! Can I speak to these people?

Job boards, advertising and apps continue to innovate but this is a transient marketplace – candidates generally are only interacting with adverts if they are actively looking for new role – and that limits your set of applicants.

This is where a good agency can help .The first question though is “does this agency understand my company culture – can they explain and/ or evangelist it?”

We operate a recruitment model that embraces this. Basically, one person deals with the clients, one with candidates. The candidate facing consultant has no hidden agenda or vested interest so their conversation with a candidate is entirely altruistic – around environment, culture, team size and other preferences to find the right fit. Our client facing consultants then has an easier job and when we talk to candidates about roles they are inevitably a good match – we can’t normally tick all the boxes but it does mean we have a high success rate – last year we placed more people than ever before.

Go ask your agency what your company culture is and why they matched a particular candidate against your role … if they can’t explain it to you, how can they explain it to prospective candidates …

Then come talk to us!

See our latest vacancies here.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted January 30, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Art of Possible: Rise of the Robots

This past Thursday 25th, Enigma People Solutions was proudly supporting Technology Scotland at their event the ‘Art of Possible’. An incredible event that gathered together a wide range of talent, professionals and specialists in psychology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and other relevant fields of research.

The event was brilliantly hosted by Dr Susie Mitchell and offered insightful presentations led by experts, such as Dr Rachael Jack and Dr Frank Broz, who explained their researches on facial recognition within cultural interpretation and socially competent robots, correspondingly.

Technology Scotland did a terrific job in integrating different dynamics within the event. After the presentations, the event allowed the attendees to interact, network and converse through participation in workshops about the topics discussed.

The Art of Possible programme is driving awareness of the importance of open innovation and collaborative efforts towards progression and development of the technology industry.

Once again, well done to Technology Scotland and the alliance between Glasgow City Council, The Lighthouse, Glasgow City of Science & Innovation and Cultural Enterprise Office, for such exceptional initiative.

See here for more information on upcoming Technology Scotland Events.

Enigma People Solutions recommends that you get out there and engage with these and we hope to see you at them soon.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted January 15, 2018 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

An industry that needs to shout more!

One of the overriding impressions I often have when talking to people outside of the Tech Industry in the UK is how little people know about the companies’ right next door to them.

For some reason other than smart phones and app’s people just do not seem to know what most of the Tech companies in the UK do. Possibly this is because very few of them deliver branded consumer products but to my mind that is all the more reason to educate people in their communities. Engineers in general are a fairly modest and understated breed. One of the elements I really like about the people I meet in the Tech industry is that they are usually pretty genuine, down to earth and quite humble but conversely this is also a massive source of frustration.

TechWorks is an industry body supported by 350 technology companies in the UK. This is the industry body for Electronic Engineering companies or the Deep Tech industry that develops the technologies that make devices work. This industry develops: healthcare and scanning technologies, creates the “Internet of Things” such as smart meters for controlling homes and offices, develops high performance computing to make our technologies more powerful and energy efficient, designs robots to help industry become more capable and to allow it to go where it is unsafe for humans (such as deep oceans or volcanic landscapes) and last, but by no means least, they include the technologies that make our cars smarter, safer and soon driverless!

Why do we not shout from the rooftops that we genuinely have world leading companies in all of these areas?

There are huge issues though. To build these companies and to make them successful requires a mix of great entrepreneurs, billions of pounds in investment capital and talented and motivated people.

In the UK we fund our companies less than Israel does and significantly less than South Korea does.

We are facing significant challenges in terms of staffing these companies, almost a perfect storm! We don’t have enough University students studying Electronic Engineering, so we are not developing enough future professionals; we have a more restrictive visa system than many of our European competitors, therefore cannot attract enough international engineers to our companies (so the jobs just go elsewhere) and Brexit has made many European nationals feel unwanted or at least uncertain enough to choose to work back in mainland Europe rather than in the UK.

Our previous strengths of great education, collaborative R&D from Universities and great lifestyle and living standards, now are not enough to compete for the talent we need to staff this industry…..

I do feel there is cause for optimism.
I feel many in the industry are missing the point.
If we care about the Tech Industry in the UK, then we must make people in the UK care about it.

I urge the industry bodies to not simply lobby government ministers, but to lobby your wider communities. More needs to be done to raise the profile of the industry in the UK. To make it something that we are truly proud of! Then people will care that the current work visa systems are holding the industry back.

We need to make it a much more inclusive, whilst still meritocratic. If you have a staffing problem but have some of the lowest representation of women in your industry of any developed nation, solve that issue and you will access talent from 50% of your own existing population.

I am sure most people walking past most of our technology companies don’t have a clue what they do. Possibly the technical explanation is too challenging to break through and engage with, but the highlight conceptual presentation of “we make cars safer” or “we make it easier to control your living spaces” is certainly not.

It is possible this is the disconnect from engineers who spend their time figuring out how things work rather than promoting the fact that they do work.

I am excited by our Tech industry in the UK.

It has significant challenges, but time and time again British Engineering has shown that one thing it does best is solve challenges, so my challenge to the tech industry is this…

To our brilliant technologists, to our highly valuable and specialist companies and to our industry bodies – shout out loud and proud about what you do and about how great this industry is.

Get more active in your communities to encourage boys and girls in all sections of society to get into our technology courses at University and to encourage them that there is a brilliant and rewarding career out there for them.

Companies, part of your social responsibility is to make sure that the people in your communities know and appreciate what you do and are inspired by this.

I have two simple questions to ask you
What do you do that changes the world and how does this help people?

If we all do more to raise the profile of our technology industry we can help to lift it.

 


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted December 05, 2017 | Electronics, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Does Brexit mean Texit?

Recently industry leaders from many of the key technology companies in the UK gathered to debate this topic “Does Brexit mean Texit?”

It is fair to say that this is certainly a hot topic in the industry at the moment, caused by the uncertainty of not actually knowing what Brexit will mean for our technology industry. The threats seem quite clear: reduction of international or foreign investment into the industry (at least until the picture is more certain), lower availability of the people needed to staff our technology firms, reduced opportunity for collaboration between our university R&D functions and European counterparts, to name a handful of the threats highlighted.

But wait! Education, funding and talent pipeline have long been challenges for the UK tech industry. What has people most perplexed is that Brexit makes the landscape even harder just at the point that many feel the UK industry was getting on top of, or at least making ground in all three of these areas.

What concerned me more than these issues was the seeming reluctance to think beyond Europe and to think beyond some of the short term pain. There are numerous issues faced by the tech industry that it can continue to resolve whilst Brexit unravels, gender imbalance would be a clear obvious one. The UK has a terribly low representation of women in the industry compared to many other countries. Education would be another, as we have far too few home grown students being attracted into Electronic Engineering. Expanding our horizons further afield may be the biggest opportunity open to our industry in the UK.

The tech industry is a global industry and we in the UK often voice concerns that we are outplayed by others. Look at Israel, a country that has forged strong links with Silicon Valley in the US and been very tactical about the technology it invests into. Or South Korea that has an infinitely higher level of investment into its Technology Industry than the UK does, even though South Korea and the UK are similar sized countries.

In truth businesses are and will just get on with what they have to do to react to the issues they face, whether that is Brexit or some other global or local issue, simply because they have to in order to survive. Business is often about survival of the most adaptable and I have hopes that the brilliant tech companies and tech community in Britain can and will adapt.

This industry matters! There are over 1 million people employed in the Electronic Engineering industries in the UK throughout over 45,000 companies. These jobs and companies are high value and pay good tax to the UK government.

It is not all bad though. The weak pound has helped companies that are exporting to look more attractive and it has encouraged companies to take a more global view rather than just focus on Europe as a market, and let’s face it the tech industry really is a global industry. Some argue that membership of the EU has stunted UK tech industry’s growth, as rules on State Aid to industry limit government intervention, whereas this is not the case in other parts of the world. Whilst there is uncertainty relating to one market there are plenty of other opportunities to hunt for. Some are quick to point out that we don’t have to give up Europe to work with the world and that doing both is still possible, even that taking a more global outlook could be positive for the long term future of the tech industry in the UK.

Regardless of Brexit the industry still faces challenges of overcoming issues around education, funding and talent pool. The real challenge is working out how to resolve these and become even more competitive in the global market. TechWorks stated mission is to “strengthen the UK’s Deep Tech capabilities as a global leader of future technologies”. The route to this has definitely become more challenging with Brexit but I have high hopes that the brilliant minds and businesses we have growing here in the UK can look beyond Brexit to thrive and prosper. I sincerely hope that Brexit does not mean Texit rather it is forcing the opportunity to reinvent and rethink our industry and to truly position our tech industry as a global player.

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our electronics job search page here

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Posted November 07, 2017 | Enigma News, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Looking Back Before Moving Forward: My Career Journey

It’s something that happens every day across the world. It’s certainly something we see on a daily basis here at Enigma People. One person bows out and moves on, and another steps in to continue and develop the role that has been left for them. The length of time businesses can expect to retain their employees has changed considerably over the last few decades and a fluidity within the job market is almost expected in certain sectors.

Are you wondering why I’m talking about this yet, or have you guessed it?

Yes, my time has come with Enigma People Solutions and it’s now my turn to bow out and move onto another role and continue to further my knowledge and experience within marketing.

Throughout the 11 months I’ve been with Enigma People, I’ve worked on many exciting projects and have had various opportunities to learn, develop and hone my skills. This is something which I have always been very appreciative of since joining Enigma People, especially considering the fact that around 18 months ago I had only just graduated from University!

Coming from a fashion-marketing background with a little freelance social media experience – joining Enigma People Solutions and the niche technology recruitment sector – was definitely a different experience than anything I had been used to. However, this was exactly what I was looking for. The role was wide, something which suited me perfectly and being the only marketer within the business was, of course, a little daunting, but exciting at the same time. I had been given an opportunity to take this role and run with it, and that, I feel, is exactly what I did.

From bringing on new partnerships to developing our marketing strategy and even taking the lead on our website redevelopment; I was free to explore marketing and really understand where my strengths were and in which areas I needed to pay more attention. By dedicating a single hour every couple of days across the week – I enabled self-learning to become a task I looked forward to, instead of it being a challenge – and actually managed to complete Google’s Digital Garage certification, an SEO course and an advanced Google Analytics course along with understanding various software programmes I hadn’t encountered in my previous roles.

Reading this, it might sound like my time at Enigma People was all “work, work, work” and, don’t get me wrong, it was! But for a lot of the time, it didn’t feel that way; it felt comfortable, interesting and fun. Amongst the blog writing and host of other day-to-day tasks, I was lucky enough to represent Enigma People at the DIBI conference, be part of The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards, attend Venturefest 2017 and meet some of the great partners we have been working with. To add to this, we were Highly Commended at the Recruitment Business Awards and are finalists at the Marketing & Digital Recruitment Awards in our category, Best Regional Agency, so wish us luck!

  

With so many great things that have happened in my time at Enigma People Solutions and so many more to come, I would like to say thank you to both directors, Ben Hanley and David Mains for giving me an opportunity to flourish, to really put my skills and knowledge to the test and to take control of my career path. Also, a big shout out to the team – who have been extremely welcoming, helpful and generally just lovely!

All that’s left for me to say is best of luck to Enigma People Solutions and I look forward to seeing what they can achieve in 2018 and once more, thank you.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted November 03, 2017 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies Throughout the UK (03/11/17)

Enigma People Solutions is working on a variety of brilliant and interesting vacancies at the moment! These vacancies are situated throughout the UK and range from a Semiconductor Test Engineer with our brilliant clients based in Bristol to a Front End Developer an award-winning eCommerce platform provider based in Glasgow. Take a look below and find out if we have the role for you…

 

icon-electronics Hardware Team Leader

We have an immediate vacancy for a Hardware Team Lead engineer, for an outstanding Edinburgh-based electronics client working at the forefront of their field in the development of new and innovative technology. We are seeking an experienced product development engineer to work within the Hardware development team as a leader.  You should have experience of working in data communications systems from the telecommunications market in either FMCG or the industrial marketplace. Sounds interesting? Click above for full details and to apply.

 

icon-electronics Front End Developer

Enigma People Solutions are recruiting a Front End Developer for an award-winning eCommerce platform provider who provides software and services that are used by fashion/apparel retailers. Our client works with large global clients, using the pick of modern technologies. As a Front End Developer, your main responsibility will be the production, modification and maintenance of websites UI. If this sounds like it could the role for you, click the link above to find out the full details.

 

icon-electronics Semiconductor Test Engineer
We’re looking for a Semiconductor Test Engineer to join our client based in the heart of Bristol. This is your opportunity to join a business that is led by experienced business executives with a vision to build technology that is genuinely useful, solves real problems and that makes a positive economic and social impact. Our client supports innovators to help create new breakthroughs by creating available, accessible and easily modifiable technology. The main focus of this role includes but is not limited to the setup, debug and optimisation of automatic semiconductor test equipment systems. Find out more by clicking the link above.

 

icon-electronics Senior iOS Developer

We’re looking for passionate Senior iOS Software Engineers with demonstrable experience in developing quality high performing mobile applications, utilising agile methodologies, latest techniques and best practices. Our client is an award-winning mobile app and digital solutions agency based in Edinburgh city centre. With a team of 30+ mobile specialists, developing native and Xamarin based mobile products along with web-based backend systems for enterprise clients internationally. You should be confident in leading and promoting good software development practices within cross-functional delivery teams. Click the link above to find out the full details.

 

icon-electronics Product Engineer – CMOS semiconductor manufacturing

Enigma People Solutions is recruiting a Product Engineer to join our client based in the heart of Bristol. You will be joining a company that believes creativity and innovation come from a combination of hard work and collaborating with a diverse group of smart people who challenge each other and who are allowed to be themselves. The main focus of this role includes but is not limited to: the setup, management and maintenance of product manufacturing processes that contribute to order fulfilment and outgoing quality. Click above to find out all the details and how to apply.

 

icon-electronics Applications Engineer

Enigma People Solutions is now recruiting for an Applications Engineer. On offer is a chance to be part of a dynamic and diverse team working at the forefront of Time of Flight ranging solutions. The position is an exciting opportunity to be part of a dynamic team working with leading-edge technology in the growing image sensor market. The role is within the Application Development & Support team, forming part of the Imaging R&D team in Edinburgh which includes all disciplines required in the design and support of full custom image and photonic sensor systems. In addition to the challenges of supporting complex imaging products, application engineers are exposed to many disciplines within the product cycle development. Find out more by clicking above.

icon-electronics Systems Engineer

Enigma People Solutions is seeking an electronic engineering professional to join our client’s expanding systems engineering team in Edinburgh. The client is recognised worldwide as providing state-of-the-art motor control integrated circuits for automotive, industrial, commercial and computing applications. The successful candidate will become part of the product development team to support on-going developments in and expansion of this product family and will help develop next-generation integrated circuit motor control products particularly for the automotive market. Sounds interesting? Click the link above to find out the full details.

 

icon-electronics Mechanical Engineer (contract)

Enigma People Solutions has a new contract position with our client who is a world leading IST Imaging company.
This position is for a Mechanical/Mechatronics Engineer to work as part of the overall Hardware Engineering team to design, develop and document precision mechanical parts and systems as well as interfacing with suppliers and subcontractors. These designs need to take into consideration the integration of the optical requirements and the usage environment i.e if it’s for development, manufacturing or demonstration purposes. Click the link above for full details.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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