Technology Industry

74 posts

Posted August 10, 2017 | Contracting, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview] From the Perspective of a Contractor – Q&A

Contractors play a very important role within the technology industry, especially within specialist sectors. The demand for contractors within the technology sector can be a good indicator of the health of the industry; as investment in innovation continues to increase and strengthen the economy, there becomes a greater need for specialist skills, which results in a higher demand for contractors.

Contractors are often vital to successful project delivery they bring with them a unique set of skills and experience, sometimes so niche that they might be one of only a few in the UK who holds that particular skill set. Arguably a contractors’ key skill is to be able to slot into any project with ease and complete the tasks in hand without too much hassle for either themselves or the company they have the contract with. Something which we have had extensive experience dealing with as part of our contract recruitment service. 

There is a balancing act for a contractor between work – life ratio, ensuring they find suitable work and that they cover themselves when they’re not working; it’s clear to see that contracting is a different ball game from a permanent role. The biggest challenge for a contractor, and one that is frequently overlooked, is the fact that they have to constantly self-market in order to win contracts. Highlighting skills, experience, previous projects and personality to potential new contract opportunities whilst undertaking a running contract are just a few considerations a contractor must make on a daily basis.

As the dust settles after the General Election, Brexit and the changes to the IR35 tax regulations, we chat to a few of the contractors we have successfully placed to find out what their experiences of contracting have been like, what they think about the recent political changes and how it might affect them:

Michael

Hi Michael, thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a bit about you please?

I work within the Operations and Manufacturing Department in the Machine Health division of SKF. We are based at the Research and Development site at Livingston. My responsibility, as Manufacturing Engineer, is to ensure all products developed at the site are capable of being translated from development into volume production.

Can you give us an insight into what it’s like to be a contractor starting a new role/contract?

I had worked for 7 years in permanent roles experiencing and learning in environments from SME’s to large multinational companies. Starting at SKF, there were a number of other contractors from a similar background who were able to offer advice, along with my Manager who also had experience with contracting.

How do you compensate for the loss of employee rights and benefits? 

I save 25% off my net to offset the lack of rights/benefits. The additional flexibility of being a contractor is worth it. My main concern is the lack of any pension / no pension contribution or top-up from an employer.

How easy do you feel it is to interchange between contracting and permanent?

I receive a couple of job offers every month, either contracting or permanent roles. The majority are still located within central belt, however, there are some very good contracting roles in the South East of England. It would not be difficult to transition to another contract or fill a permanent role.

What do you think the market is for contractors at the moment?

It’s extremely good, although it’s rare to have contracts beyond 12-18 months.”

What impact do you feel Brexit and the upcoming general election will have on your engagement opportunities over the next 12 months?

Significant, especially as the decisions by markets/large companies at the top of the food-chain filter down to affect smaller companies that rely on their products/services.

Lester

Hi, Lester! Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a bit about you please?

Hello! I’m a Java developer at the moment and I have been doing this role for 3 months so far. Although this is my first role contracting role in a while as I’ve been permanent. Prior to my permanent role, I had been contracting for a few years.

Why do you like being a contractor?

The main reason I like contracting is the flexibility and the constant changing of projects and new roles.

How easy do you feel it is to interchange between contracting and permanent roles?

I think it’s usually quite easy to change between contracting and permanent although it does depend on your personal circumstances. If you have a small family then it can be more difficult.

 Is there anything about being a contractor that frustrates you? What would you say could be improved?

I would say the one thing that could be altered is the availability of information about contracting. I have found that especially after you have started a new contracting role, that there are a number of things which you have to go and find out about. You need to know what the rules are and what you have to do.

 What do you think the market is like for contractors at the moment?

There are a lot of roles within contracting at the moment although I have noticed, and this is with roles I have applied for too, that businesses are looking for you to have used a lot of different and new technologies and have a long list of different technologies as your experience. I haven’t come across anyone who does have all of the desired technology experience though.

Adam

Hi Adam, thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a bit about you please?

Hi, so the role I’m in at the moment is an electronic hardware technician. So what I do is mostly concerned with the testing, calibrating, failure analysis and assembly of the products. I have previously worked in permanent roles but I feel like contracting suits me best at the moment.

How do you feel about the government’s recent changes to IR35?

I haven’t had a chance yet to properly look into it so I’m not too sure.

If this was to affect your earning power as a contractor would you revert to looking for permanent employment?

All of this depends on what effects it would have for my personal circumstances. I don’t think there would be a high likelihood that I would go back to a permanent role anytime soon though.

Is there anything about being a contractor that frustrates you? What would you say could be improved?

Maybe it’s because of my personal circumstances with this role but I can’t say there’s anything that really frustrates me. I think I’ve been lucky to find this role, so I’m settled into my work. Maybe if I was having to go from role to role a lot it would be different but I have a steady workload so I enjoy it.”

What would you say are the benefits of being a contractor?

Well, firstly it’s obvious that the money is better than permanent role but, to be honest for me, it’s more about the ability to have freedom within your working day. I can choose my own hours whereas with a permanent role you have many constrictions in place such as your working hours, lunch times etc. I am free to come and go as it suits me. I especially find it very useful as I have young children, it allows me to take the time I need for them without having to stick to certain working hours. Plus, with a contracting role, you don’t get the politics that go with permanent.

Can you give us an insight into what it’s like to be a contractor starting a new role/contract?

To be honest, it’s little different to starting any perm role. When you first arrive in your new role, you will be introduced to the people you will be working with and receive all the standard health and safety talks and company policy type things. Once you have been shown the ropes, you’re left to get on with the job.

Khalid

Hi Khalid, thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a bit about you please?

Hi! Okay, so I do a lot of things. I’m a Software Developer and I’ve also worked with software testing and design. I’ve been contracting now for seven years, I changed to contracting in 2010 and before that, I had been in a permanent role.”

How do you think the market is for contractors at the moment?

I think the market has been becoming increasingly difficult over the last two to three years. I’d say this is down to the increase in off-shore workers which are being taken on by big companies such as Sky and Barclays. For example, they work on contingency and one contractor here will be equal to maybe ten people working off shore/ in other countries. I’d say it is much more difficult now to find contracting roles.

What impact do you feel Brexit will have on your engagement opportunities over the next 12 months?

I don’t think it will change much at all. These companies I was talking about previously are based outwith the European Union anyway so I don’t see anything changing, from my point of view.

How easy do you feel it is to interchange between contracting and permanent roles?

I would say it isn’t that easy. There is a big difference between permanent and contracting roles, especially in the mindset that you have to get yourself into. With a permanent role, you’re in the routine of working monthly and receiving your pay every month – the business takes control of everything for you in terms of financials. However, when you choose to contract, you have to think about yourself as the worker. You receive a lump sum as your payment which you then have to divide up and pay tax etc with. You are in charge of paying your own taxes or hiring an accountant to do this for you. It’s very different to permanent, you have to get yourself into this mindset.

Is there anything about being a contractor that frustrates you? What would you say could be improved?

One thing I would say that is frustrating, because I’m quite a people person, is that with contracting you never really know how long you will be on the project and so when you start to get to know the people you work with and make friends, it’s usually about the time your contract will be up. With contracting, you might get your contract extended for another couple of months but once it’s up, you usually never see the people you work with again.

Another thing would be the big breaks in income you can experience sometimes, this can come when you finish one contract without having the next role in place, or if your contract has finished early. That’s the good thing about permanent roles, you know you’re guaranteed to be paid every month.

How do you tackle the big breaks in income you can experience?

When I’m working a contract, I will usually try to keep my wage down at a low level so that I can save some money for the period in between the end of the contract and the start of the next one.

 

Are you a contractor looking for your next role?  Maybe you’re looking to find a contractor for your business? Get in touch with us at hello@enigmapeople.com or call us directly on 0141 332 4422 to find out 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. 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 to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted July 21, 2017 | Feature Friday, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Feature Friday: Colocation, Cloud Services and Hybrid Cloud?

This week, we’re hearing from Tim Threlfall, Operations Director at Storm ID as he discusses cloud hosting solutions and how to differentiate to find the best option for your business. Storm ID has been at the edge of the digital frontier for 15 years, helping their clients “to transform processes and experiences, re-imagine legacy business models, and even entire companies.” On that note, it’s definitely time to hand over to Tim to find out exactly what colocation, cloud service and hybrid cloud really are, and which one will suit your business best.

Feature Friday: Colocation, Cloud Services and Hybrid Cloud?


Colocation, Cloud Services or Hybrid Cloud?

After having heard the terms ‘Colocation’ and ‘Cloud Services’ being thrown around in the world of Information Technology, you now want to get into the nuts and bolts of these two concepts – to understand in detail what they are and which is most advantageous for your company.

Both of these cloud hosting solutions are concerned with outsourced IT facilities. They both provide the benefit of reducing the costs associated with running these facilities and equipment independently or in-house.

The difference between colocation and cloud services

There are clear differences between these hosting solutions. In a nutshell, colocation refers to managing all your company-owned IT equipment from a shared and rented physical space, while cloud services involves outsourcing everything from the equipment and space to the management of the IT workflow from a cloud services provider (CSP).

 

Colocation Cloud Services
  • Housing for company-owned IT assets like servers, other hardware, and software.
  • Your company manages, monitors, and maintains all above-mentioned equipment and workflows.
  • The colocation facility provides affordable floor space, and other cost-saving features like shared costs in operating power, cooling systems, security, and communications.
  • Provides all needed equipment off-site, plus cloud-based software services.
  • CSPs manage, monitor and maintain all hardware, software, troubleshooting, power and backups, and everything else the company’s  IT department would otherwise be responsible for.

 

 

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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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted July 18, 2017 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

The Enigma People Guide: Do’s and Don’ts of Telephone/Remote Interviews

Telephone/remote interviews are a popular way for our clients to conduct their first round of interviews and are becoming increasingly popular due to their ease of implementation and the valuable information they provide. As more clients turn to telephone/remote interviews as their first port of call in the interview process, we thought it important that we lay out some of our top advice for tackling these sometimes tricky interviews. Although telephone/remote interviews can seem less formal than a face-to-face, there still needs to be a good amount of preparation and enthusiasm for them. Getting the telephone interview right gives you a big head start when it comes to face-to-face, they allow the interviewer to get a good sense of you as a person and your skills and enthusiasm for the new role. So take a look below to find out our do’s and don’ts when taking on a telephone/remote interview:

The Enigma People Guide: Do's and Don'ts of Telephone/Remote Interviews

PLEASE DO:

1. Find a Quiet Spot

Make sure you find somewhere that is quiet, where you won’t be disturbed to set up and get yourself prepared. Ideally, you should sit at a desk with a computer/laptop in front of you and have your notes next to you to keep you along the right tracks.

2. Take Time to Prepare

When it comes to any type of interview, think of preparation as your best friend. Telephone interviews can be especially tricky and definitely require some preparation; although you may not be speaking face to face with the person, be it over the phone or via a video call, it pays off to prepare as though you are. Getting yourself into the interview mindset, dressing suitably, and this applies specifically to video calls, is really important if you want to make a good impression. Take down some notes and run through your talking points in your head, have the company website up on your computer and find out details about the role so that you have points of reference throughout the conversation.

3. Note Down Your Main Talking Points

Are there certain aspects of the job role you really want to talk over? Or maybe there’s something in your CV that’s important to cover?  Write down the main points you want to talk through in the interview as a way of keeping yourself on track, concise and to the point. Having these notes in front of you will allow you to relax into the interview and help you to come across more professional and prepared – something that will definitely work in your favour.

4. Clarify the Content & Structure Beforehand

Each client and candidate is unique, as is each interview process, so it’s always a good idea to clarify what will be expected of you if you can. Some interviews can last 5-10 minutes and will only cover the basics but some more in-depth or technical interviews can last anywhere up to an hour or so and interviewers can expect anything from a run through of technical problem solving to an in-depth discussion about your experience and what you can bring to the role. You wouldn’t go into a face to face interview without having a rough idea of what’s expected of you, so why leave it up to chance with a telephone or remote interview?

5. Be Clear, Concise and to the Point

This is, in our opinion, something which should be at the forefront of your mind when thinking about a telephone/remote interview. Being clear, concise and to the point will allow the conversation to flow, can help you come across as articulate and focused and, ultimately, will allow the interviewer to get a good sense of you all round. This doesn’t mean that you need to lose your personality though – the main thing to remember is that you need to try and convey your enthusiasm for the role in your voice and language  – they can’t see your body language over the phone.

PLEASE DON’T:

  • Take your interview call when you’re i) travelling ii) in a public area which is noisy or, iii) busy with other activities.
  • Eat or drink during a telephone interview, this is a no-brainer really. Of course, water is okay!
  • Forget which role you’re interviewing for or with which companies, a little bit of preparation goes a long way.

Take a look at our infographic below for our key points to tackling a telephone/remote interview…

The Enigma People Guide: Do's and Don'ts of Telephone/Remote Interviews

 


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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted July 11, 2017 | Digital Media, Tackling the Skills Gap Series, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview] Tackling the Skills Gap – Jonathan Warner at QA Apprenticeships

As innovation continues to accelerate throughout both SME’s and established businesses, there are well-founded concerns that the distinct lack of skills combined with an ineffective education system could endanger the UK’s growth. Tech City UK recently estimated that “Britain will need an extra 2.287 million digitally skilled workers by 2020 to satisfy the UK’s digital potential.” On top of these figures, Scotland IS have found that 73% of business will seek to hire digital talent locally this year, a 15% increase on last year’s numbers.

With the demand for industry skills only increasing, it’s important to find out what measures are being put in place by key players within the Scottish technology industry to tackle this. Over the following weeks, we will be talking to organisations at the centre of this issue; finding out what they think about the lack of skills within their industry, what they are doing to help, and how the industry can contribute to increasing the number of people in skilled work.

We’re talking to Jonathan Warner, Director of QA Apprenticeships in Scotland, in part V of our Tackling the Skills Gap series this week! Jonathan discusses how QA have developed apprenticeships to suit the needs of the developing technology and digital industries, the response QA’s various apprenticeships have received, why apprenticeships are important and what he thinks the industry can do to help tackle the skills gap.

BIO: QA Apprenticeships is part of QA Ltd, the UK’s leading training provider. With 12 sites across the UK, QA draws on their 30-year heritage in IT training to craft apprenticeships that deliver job-specific skills. Focussing on IT, tech and digital,  92% of their apprentices secure permanent employment after completing; 20% higher than the national average.

 

Interview] Tackling the Skills Gap - Jonathan Warner at QA Apprenticeships


Hi Jonathan, thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us about the type of apprenticeships that QA have at the moment within the digital sector?

“In recent years we have developed a number of different apprenticeship programmes in the technology and digital space, ranging from technical IT systems and networking programmes to software development, cyber security, data analytics, digital applications, digital marketing and project management programmes. This has allowed over 14,000 people to join the digital or technology workforce or up-skill in their current role since 2009.”

Has the digital skills gap within the industry had an impact on the type of apprenticeships you offer? 

“There has been a decline in the overall amount of technical IT roles required in the IT industry across the UK, this combined with a greater need for new employees to be digitally aware and ready for change has meant that the type of apprenticeship programme that has seen the most growth has come in the digital space.

Until recently, there was not any specific apprenticeship programme that focused solely on “digital skills”. With the advent of the digital applications and marketing programmes, we have seen more appetite from business to participate in recruiting and training both new and existing staff members to be able to enable their business (irrelevant of industry sector) to be ready for any digital changes that they face. This has also had a positive impact on female participation rates, as we see more programmes being developed that encompass a wider variety of content, so too has the numbers of female applicants increased.

With the ever-increasing threats of cyber-attacks on all business and sectors, the need for cyber protection has become far more pressing. This has also lead to business looking at innovative strategies to bring talent into their business and strengthen their current or planned cyber security strategies; apprenticeship programmes have proven to be an excellent way to help tackle this issue.”

What has the response been like within the industry for apprenticeships? 

“Previously, businesses have been used to apprenticeships in more traditional areas such as trades, the rise of modern apprenticeships has come from the changing needs and profile of the businesses that are now present in Scotland today. Education has been key to making this a successful transition; educating businesses about the benefits of participating in an apprenticeship programme as well as educating both the potential apprentices and their parents of the options that are now available to them. The ultimate gauge as to whether an apprenticeship programme is deemed successful or not would be down to the apprentice themselves actually adding value to the business – this, in turn, would then show in repeat participation. On average, over 70% of business once engaged in the apprenticeship programmes re-engage in the future.

We have seen a significant increase in apprenticeships participation by businesses in recent years, mainly due to the fact that there are now programmes that can meet the needs of their business, there are strong indicators that this growth rate will continue in the coming years.”

Why are apprenticeships important in tackling the skills gap?

“Our economy and the future success of it is increasingly becoming more and more reliant on our ability to be both flexible and innovative. In order to ensure that we can react to change, we have to a have a work force that is able to react and thrive in an ever-changing environment. Reducing the digital skills gap that is prevalent in Scotland at present and increasing the skills of both the current and future workforce is essential in making this happen – investing in apprenticeships to help tackle this problem is one part of an overall digital skills gap strategy encompassing, industry, government and education.

Emerging economies and the fact that business is becoming increasingly more mobile shows that if we do not invest now to ensure that this gap is at best reduced, there would be potential for larger threats to our overall economy in coming years.”

 Do you think more could be done throughout the industry to tackle the skills gap?

“The short answer would be yes – however we need to recognise the vast amount of work from a number of different parties, across sectors and industries that have been tackling this issue in recent years, which has had a very positive effect in tackling the digital skills gap.

Ultimately there is a desire and a will from Government to tackle this issue, in order to match the will of the government to tackle the current digital skills gap we require more businesses to become engaged with apprenticeship programmes in general.”

What advice would you give to i) people looking to become involved in an apprenticeship ii) businesses looking to become involved in taking on apprentices?

“There is now a significant amount of business that have already participated in modern apprenticeship programmes across the UK (several thousand in the tech and digital space alone in the past 5 years). One way of finding out if an apprenticeship programme is right for your business is to talk to people in your peer group who have already gone down that journey, this is something that as a training provider we would recommend. Programmes such as this are all about ensuing that the people that are on them are on the right path (both from a business perspective and from a learner journey one). As such, recruitment, selection and investing the right time in choosing the right people to join your programme are essential.

Ultimately, all training providers are contracted via their respective governments to provide a service to companies wishing to participate in apprenticeship programmes, and like all service based industries what is offered and what is available differs. As such, it is essential that you engage with a provider that can meet the needs of your business, spending time with providers and finding out what they offer and what their core business can offer is key to making the programme a success in the long-term.”
Missed earlier posts in this series? Find them 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. 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 logo to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted July 07, 2017 | Digital Media, Feature Friday, Software, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Feature Friday: The Agile Mindset

We hear from Valerie McLean at TicToc Digital this week on Feature Friday! Valerie, an Agile Delivery Manager and Project Lead, discusses the thought process and functions behind the Agile mindset, how this was implemented at TicToc and why, plus how it could work for you! TicToc Digital have been doing all things online since 1999. They specialise in creating digital success for businesses and have their finger on the pulse at all times. With this said, it’s time to hand over to Valerie and find out about the agile mindset…

TicToc Digital Logo - Feature Friday


The Agile Mindset

Agile. It’s not just a buzzword, it’s a mindset.

It can mean Scrum, stand ups and Kanban, but these are just names. Agile, to us, is the commitment to regular self-evaluation and continuous self-improvement. The act of Agile brings empowerment and grows confidence, not only within your self, but within your team and with the client too.

An Agile methodology moves away from the idea that one department must finish their whole part of a project before moving to the next (also known as Waterfall). Adopting an Agile mindset takes an open mind – it can be hard to break free from the idea that everything must follow a chronological process. However, not doing so allows greater flexibility in timescales.

The process starts with an in-depth user workshop – evaluating not just what your company’s internal stakeholders think they need for launch, but what the primary users need to complete the key goals defined. From here, we establish a minimum viable product, as well as other “nice-to-haves” for development further down the line.

Usermapping - Feature Friday: The Agile Mindset

This way, costs, expectations and timescales are clear. Working to this process sees things move quick – feedback is quick and expert eyes from all channels feed in from the get go.

The result? A better product. Higher quality. Delighted users. Client goals smashed. Trust between agency and client is strengthened.

 

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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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted June 29, 2017 | Electronics, Software, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies Throughout Glasgow & the West (29/06/17)

Enigma People Solutions is working on a variety of brilliant and interesting vacancies at the moment! All of these vacancies are situated in Glasgow and the West and range from Business Development Manager at Eyecademy, a successful data science, analytics and business intelligence to a Digital Project Manager at an innovative and creative organisation.

So, take a look below and find out if we have the perfect role for you …

icon-electronics Business Development Manager 

We’re looking for a Business Development Manager to join our successful Glasgow-based client, Eyecademy – the data science, analytics and business intelligence services provider. If you have a proven track record of profitable sales delivery,  a minimum of 3 years sales experience and are able to demonstrate knowledge of the B2B marketplace then this could be the role for you! Click above to find out the full details.

 

icon-electronics Digital Project Manager

We’re looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Digital Project Manager to join our client’s innovative and creative team. Our client designs and builds innovative strategies, products and campaigns that transform businesses and change peoples’ lives for the better.  Their unique collaborative model enables them to deliver game-changing results by integrating many disciplines, technologies and partners. The role will see you take on the delivery of complex, technical solutions and manage the activity of a talented team of strategists, UX experts, developers, designers and marketers as well as managing day-to-day communications with the client. Sounds like it could be for you? Click above to find out more.

 

icon-electronics Front End (React) Developer

This is a great opportunity for an ambitious front-end web developer to join a thriving and creative team developing React applications for their e-learning platforms. If you are passionate about both existing and future web development techniques with a drive to continuously self-improve, then this role could be for you! You will become part of a team of front and back-end developers, where you will work on supporting and enhancing their platform and other associated projects. Our client is one of the fastest growing and most creative digital learning companies in the UK. Click the link above for full details and to find out how to apply.
icon-electronics Senior Software Engineer

We’re currently looking for an experienced Software Engineer to join our client’s strongly established, thriving business. The successful candidate will assist and lead in the development of embedded and web enabled software for industrial applications. If you’re enthusiastic and motivated with an ability to work in a team environment whilst being comfortable managing solo projects, this could be the role for you. Take a look at the full details above.

 


 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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted June 27, 2017 | Industry Interviews, Tackling the Skills Gap Series, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Guest Blog] Tackling the Skills Gap – City of Glasgow College

As innovation continues to accelerate throughout both SME’s and established businesses, there are well-founded concerns that the distinct lack of skills combined with an ineffective education system could endanger the UK’s growth. Tech City UK recently estimated that “Britain will need an extra 2.287 million digitally skilled workers by 2020 to satisfy the UK’s digital potential.” On top of these figures, Scotland IS have found that 73% of business will seek to hire digital talent locally this year, a 15% increase on last year’s numbers.

With the demand for industry skills only increasing, it’s important to find out what measures are being put in place by key players within the Scottish technology industry to tackle this. Over the following weeks, we will be talking to organisations at the centre of this issue; finding out what they think about the lack of skills within their industry, what they are doing to help, and how the industry can contribute to increasing the number of people in skilled work.

In part III of this series, we’re bringing you a great guest blog from Douglas Morrison, the STEM and Innovation Project Lead at City of Glasgow College (COCG). Douglas discusses the challenges faced by COGC surrounding the STEM skills gap, what they are doing to tackle this, the opportunities STEM presents to the industry and how COGC are supporting their students and working with industry to ensure their students graduate with the skills that are in demand.

BIO: Douglas is an experienced educator with a history of working in the further and higher education sector. His areas of interest include gender equality issues, STEM, innovation, digital disruption, educational policy and technology enhanced learning. He is currently the STEM and Innovation Project Lead at City of Glasgow College having previously acted as the College’s Industry Academy Head for STEM.Douglas holds a Masters Degree in Educational Technology and ePortfolio and is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) candidate researching gender, habitus and games based learning at the University of Strathclyde. He is a Fellow of Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (FIKE) and co-founder of Adaptive Design Glasgow, a charitable organisation designing and manufacturing assistive aids for disabled children and victims of humanitarian disasters using cardboard.

 

COGC logo


City of Glasgow College is a pioneering Super College based in an award-winning twin site super-campus in the centre of Glasgow. With over 30,000 students and 1300 staff, the College is committed to “Letting Learning Flourish” through a culture of inspiration, excellence and innovation. The College’s Industry Academy Model ensures the curriculum portfolio is responsive to labour market growth in key economic sectors through the adoption of innovative products and services. By making a clear commitment to the development of students and staff through impactful collaboration with industrial partners, the STEM Industry Academy has supported thousands of graduates into employment or on to higher levels of study.

The College was awarded STEM Assured status in August 2015 in recognition of the economic value and social benefit its STEM activity brings to students and industrial partners. Its STEM Manifesto makes a number of commitments towards the development of inclusive and sustainable growth within the STEM vocational, technical and professional career pathways.

One of the most significant challenges facing colleges in Scotland is the need to remain responsive to a rate of industrial change, wrought by technological advancements, that has never before been experienced. In addition to ensuring the curriculum offer remains fit-for-purpose and aligned to modern industrial practices, we must also consider the skills and attributes our graduates need to succeed in the workplace.  The College’s Industry Academy Model ensures that regular communication is maintained with our employer stakeholders who are encouraged to both co-design and co-deliver our curriculum. With this approach, the City of Glasgow College is not only responsive to anticipated change but also acts as a strategic change agent within the Greater Glasgow region as well as further afield.

The technical skills gap within the STEM sector is widening as growth within Scotland’s key economic sectors demands work ready, technically capable and digitally literate graduates with high STEM capacities. I do not believe that there is a simple solution to addressing the skills gap but I do believe that the development of an accessible and inclusive multi-stakeholder career pathway is vital. The work done by organisations such as Primary Engineer and the Engineering Development Trust inspires young people to explore STEM careers. EQUATE Scotland champion equality of access and opportunity for aspiring women STEM professionals and skills and funding agencies are transforming policies and incentivising employers to widen their recruitment talent pool.  At City of Glasgow College, we recognise the value such partners bring to our students and stakeholders and have reaped the benefits that partnership working brings to our STEM offer.

I believe that the college sector as a whole is well placed to support employers to develop their workforce to meet future demands. The long-established modern apprenticeship (MA) framework and the philosophy of “earn and learn” supports employers and educators to collaboratively develop apprentices who are fully immersed in company values and systems of work whilst successfully achieving globally recognised qualifications.  The extension of the apprenticeship framework to Foundation Apprenticeships aimed at senior phase school pupils interested in following a vocational pathway as well as Graduate Level Apprenticeships will likely facilitate a more balanced and sustainable flow of talent into the STEM sector. The College’s apprenticeship provision cuts across a variety of STEM occupations and with such a diverse number of apprenticeship pathways available, there is a clear route to industry available for everyone.

As the College’s Industry Academy Model continues to evolve we stand on the cusp of what many analysts have referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. The increased adoption of computerisation, automation and robotics as well better collation and utilisation of data is transforming the way our industry operates and has profound implications for our developing workforce. Our graduates are expected to have multiple careers in multiple sectors, some of which have not yet been identified or are in the early stages of developments.

A recent report by the World Economic Forum found that employers are becoming less focused on occupational specific skillsets and are instead seeking wider transferable skills such as the ability to solve complex problems, interpret data, manage projects effectively and work as part of a diverse and flexible team.  This expectation has a profound impact on the way in which we deliver our educational programmes as an increased focus on active and blended learning methodologies are applied within the context of project and problem-based learning. Indeed, the College’s City Learning Model is structured to guide our students through a personalised and contextualised learning experience that is focused on personal development and STEM capacity building.

Our students have expectations of anytime, anywhere learning on flexible learning programmes that will deliver them into an employment opportunity. To achieve this, we need employers to continue to work with us to identify established, emerging and projected skills gaps, discuss recruitment processes, shape our curriculum offer and support us to design world class learning spaces that exceed industry standards. We need our awarding bodies and accrediting agencies to remain responsive to projected labour market changes and to offer a greater degree of flexibility in curriculum delivery to allow for multidisciplinary working on live projects.

The City of Glasgow College is committed to the creation of a collaborative ecosystem of STEM stakeholders determined to realise the potential of Scotland’s developing workforce. I believe that our Industry Academy Model is an effective vehicle for impactful change that will offer our developing workforce positive career development opportunities. As the College continues to redefine the technical and professional educational experience in Scotland it has never been a better time to pursue a career in STEM.

 

Missed the any in this series? You can find them all 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. 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 logo to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted June 16, 2017 | Electronics, Software, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies Throughout Glasgow & the West (16/06/17)

Enigma People Solutions is working on a variety of brilliant and interesting vacancies at the moment! All of these vacancies are situated in Glasgow and the West and range from a Front End (React) Developer at one the fastest growing digital learning companies in the UK to Senior Software Engineer at a thriving international company. So, take a look below and find out if we have the perfect role for you …

icon-electronics PHP Developer 

We’re looking for a skilled PHP Developer who has experience in mentoring other developers, has proven development skills in a Remote/Agile environment and displays a strong initiative. Our client is extremely well known for their restaurant reservation and table management software and are leaders in their sector, with customers in 61 countries around the world. This senior position will see you mentor others, plan and develop code whilst collaborating with other team members such as designers, sysadmins and product managers. If this sounds like it could be the role for you, click the link above for more details.

 

icon-electronics Front End (React) Developer – E-Learning

This is a great opportunity for an ambitious front-end web developer to join a thriving and creative team developing React applications for their e-learning platforms. If you are passionate about both existing and future web development techniques with a drive to continously self-improve, then this role could be for you! You will become part of a team of front and back-end developers, where you will work on supporting and enhancing their platform and other associated projects. Our client is one of the fastest growing and most creative digital learning companies in the UK. Click the link above for full details and to find out how to apply.

 

icon-electronics E-Learning Developer – Adobe Suite

We’re looking for an innovative and enthusiastic e-learning developer to join our client, one of the fastest growing and most creative digital learning companies in the UK. This role will see you take on responsibility for the development of exciting and engaging digital learning solutions using a range of eLearning authoring tools. If you have a minimum of 2 years experience in developing e-learning and have knowledge of eLearning authoring tools, such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline 2 and Articulate 360, then take a look at the full details above and get in touch!

 

icon-electronics Senior Software Engineer

We’re currently looking for an experienced Software Engineer to join our client’s strongly established, thriving business. The successful candidate will assist and lead in the development of embedded and web enabled software for industrial applications. If you’re enthusiastic and motivated with an ability to work in a team environment whilst being comfortable managing solo projects, this could be the role for you. Take a look at the full details here.

 

icon-electronics Microsoft Stack Web Developer 

Our client, one of Scotland’s largest and well-known digital agencies, is looking for a range of mid to senior level developers to join their rapidly expanding team. To be considered for this role, you will need to have experience of Microsoft .Net technology stack, a working knowledge/experience of developing web based solutions and an eagerness to learn and progress. Take a look at the full job ad to find out all the 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. 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  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted June 09, 2017 | Feature Friday, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Feature Friday – On the Horizon: Quantum Computing

This week, we’ve got a really interesting article from the brilliant people over at This Is Milk; the business transformation specialists based in Glasgow. Founded in 2013, This Is Milk set out to do things better. Their expertise lies within the realms of digital strategy and delivery which they use in order to help businesses “predict, understand and implement the changes required to successfully compete online in an ever-changing digital environment.”

This fifth instalment of their excellent “On the Horizon” blog series – in which they take a look at future business and society trends -explores Quantum Computing and the impact this could have. So let’s find out what they have to say…


On the Horizon: Quantum Computing

TIM - quantumcomp

This article was written by Denis Yordanov

Throughout the ‘On the Horizon’ series so far, we have looked at various technologies and innovations that can have a profound impact on business and society. There is one thread that runs through the four topics mentioned so far (self-driving cars, blockchain, industry 4.0, and AI) that serves as the foundation for those innovation, without which they would have been impossible, and that is computing. Computers have arguably shaped and reshaped our way of life in the last 20 years more than anything else has in that period of time. They are at the core of so many aspects of our lives that listing them will be pointless. Given the direction of development it stands to reason that the role computers play in our lives will continue to grow in the future. It’s all possible because of computing.

Computing can essentially be broken down into mathematical problems. Every action that a person executes at a computer is interpreted and resolved as maths problems by the computer. Traditional computers understand and store information through transistors, which can be either on or off. In programs this is represented by ‘bits’, which can be either 1 or 0. Simply put, ‘the language’ of our current computers is comprised of series of bits that are either 1s and 0s.  However, if those transistors are reduced to extremely small sizes they begin to exhibit quantum physics effects, such as ‘superposition’. ‘Superposition’ means that those bits can be both 1 and 0 at the same time, and in such state are called qubits. How is it possible for a qubit to be a 1 and a 0 at the same time? No one really knows definitively. But the implications of this ‘superposition’ state for computational power are astounding. If one qubit can store both 1 and 0 at the same time, then two qubits can store four values, three qubits can have six values, and so on, resulting in computing power ramping up exponentially.

The idea of quantum computing and the value that it holds have been around for a while. But more recently some organisations have been successful in reaching the elusive quantum computing state and have begun to harness its power. For example, IBM announced that it now offers free public access to its cloud-based 5 qubit quantum computer IBM Q, and also has plans to offer ~50 qubits systems commercially. Another example is D-Wave’s quantum computer that Google and NASA have been testing since 2013.

 

Enjoying the article so far? Click here to continue reading.


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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted June 02, 2017 | Digital Media, Electronics, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies Throughout Glasgow and the West

Enigma People Solutions is working on a variety of brilliant and interesting vacancies at the moment! All of these vacancies are situated in Glasgow and the West and range from Content Producer at an exciting digital practice at the forefront of their industry to Senior Software Engineer at a thriving international company. So, take a look below and find out if we have the perfect role for you …

icon-electronics Content Producer

We’re looking for a skilled and experienced content producer to join our client’s award-winning Glasgow-based digital practice. If you’re a fantastic copywriter who has a keen interest in all things digital then this could be the role for you. Take a look here to find out more.

 

icon-electronics Product Owner

This is a great opportunity to join a successful and established business as their Product Owner. Our Glasgow-based client is seeking an organised, articulate and talented Product Owner to lead the planning and development of their digital products. If you have experience successfully delivering and developing digital products, have a natural understanding of UX and a desire to drive the business, click above to find out the details.

 

icon-electronics Microsoft Stack Web Developer

Our client, one of Scotland’s largest and well-known digital agencies, is looking for a range of mid to senior level developers to join their rapidly expanding team. To be considered for this role, you will need to have experience of Microsoft .Net technology stack, a working knowledge/experience of developing web based solutions and an eagerness to learn and progress. Take a look at the full job ad to find out all the details.

 

icon-electronics Voice Application Developer

This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join an industry leading voice development team to deliver a range of innovative projects on platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Our client is a multi-award-winning digital practice, working with cutting edge technology and at the intersection of user-centric design. Click above to find out the full details.

 

icon-electronics Senior Software Engineer 

We’re currently looking for an experienced Software Engineer to join our client’s strongly established, thriving business. The successful candidate will assist and lead in the development of embedded and web enabled software for industrial applications. If you’re enthusiastic and motivated with an ability to work in a team environment whilst being comfortable managing solo projects, this could be the role for you. Take a look at the full details 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. 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  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

 

 

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Posted May 24, 2017 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Vacancy: Engineering Manager (Software, Firmware, Hardware & Test)

Enigma People Solutions is recruiting an Engineering Manager for an outstanding success story in the Edinburgh technology landscape. Our client is a rapidly growing company that requires a new leader in their team to manage a group of Software, Firmware, Hardware and Test engineers.

To be of interest you will be able to demonstrate the following:
  • Technical management to contribute not only to managing the delivery of R&D projects, but also advise on HW and SW product designs
  • Excellent people management skills
  • Adaptable within role, and able to cope with changes to plan – and respond to dynamic market needs – so plans need to be re-evaluated and knock on impacts communicated to the rest of the business
  • Comfortable with travel abroad to R&D subcontractors
  • Demonstrable experience in management of multiple product development projects
 
Additional Skills:
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Technical and analytic hands-on development experience
  • Self-motivated and focused – results-driven
  • Strong leadership skills – be able to act quickly and decisively
  • People management/team management experience
  • Analytical and methodical in your approach to problems
  • Proactive and flexible
  • Good awareness of SW and HW development and project tools

 

The Role:

You will manage a team of R&D engineers, implementing strategy to deliver best-in-class products, as well as maximising efficiency and driving engineering excellence. You will provide clear leadership and vision, inspire and motivate staff and mentor them as they develop new skills. You will develop and drive Key Performance Indicators across all areas of the Engineering function to ensure that all projects are delivered on cost and on time to the highest quality standards, and that the company continuously improves R&D operations.

 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Management of multiple development projects to ensure achievement of goals on time and within budget
  • Responsible for all aspects of product delivery to the business.  From agreed PRS (or similar starting point) to QA complete
  • Responsible for reporting on:  resource usage (who’s doing what and why); actual vs plan (progress on various product deliveries); future resource requirements
  • Member of NPI team:  coordinate product delivery with rest of company (specs, docs, field trials, handover to production, etc.)
  • Drive quality improvements in an agile-like environment
  • Manage R&D sub-contractors: mechanical, PCB layout, test, software development, finished products. Source, develop and engage with new sub-contractors (or similar outsourcing) to ensure adequate engineering resources are available to achieve plan
  • People management – Holidays, performance reviews, etc.

 

On offer is the opportunity to join and lead a growing R&D function within a successful company. Founded in Edinburgh in 2002, our client is a leading provider of Body Worn Video solutions across a range of industries including Police, Retail, Security, Transport and Local Government. Their flagship VideoBadge range provides Body Worn Cameras with a variety of functionalities and mounting formats – from ID card holder, to head-mounted – and are fully integrated into state-of-the-art VideoManager system through a variety of docking options.

 

If this sounds like it could be the role for you, click here to apply. You can also get in touch with Ben Hanley directly on 0141 332 4422 or at bhanley@enigmapeople.com


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 and the UK. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com

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

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Posted May 23, 2017 | Industry Interviews, Tackling the Skills Gap Series, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview] Tackling the Skills Gap – UWS’s Graduate Level Apprenticeships

As innovation continues to accelerate throughout both SME’s and established businesses, there are well-founded concerns that the distinct lack of skills combined with an ineffective education system could endanger the UK’s growth. Tech City UK recently estimated that “Britain will need an extra 2.287 million digitally skilled workers by 2020 to satisfy the UK’s digital potential.” On top of these figures, Scotland IS have found that 73% of business will seek to hire digital talent locally this year, a 15% increase on last year’s numbers.

With the demand for industry skills only increasing, it’s important to find out what measures are being put in place by key players within the Scottish technology industry to tackle this. Over the next month, we will be talking to organisations at the centre of this issue; finding out what they think about the lack of skills within their industry, what they are doing to help, and how the industry can contribute to increasing the number of people in skilled work.

In the first of our interview series, we’re talking to Professor Ian Allison, Dean of School of Engineering and Computing at the University of the West of Scotland. We’re finding out about the recent introduction of Graduate Level Apprenticeships; BSc (Hons) Software Development and BEng (Hons) Engineering Design & Manufacture in conjunction with Skills Development Scotland as a response to the increasing demand for skills…

UWS         SDS


 

Hi, Professor Allison! Can you tell us a bit about the Graduate Level Apprenticeships and how they came about please? 

“UWS, and specifically the School of Engineering & Computing, is delighted to be working with Skills Development Scotland, industry and our college partners to create new ways for employees to gain the skills and qualifications they, and their employers, need.

Graduate Level Apprenticeships provide an opportunity to change the way employers and individuals access degree-level education. By combining degree-level qualifications with real-time practical experience of the world of work, we are delivering industry-relevant skills and qualifications.

3 out of 4 employers in Scotland report critical skill shortages that are affecting their productivity and growth. These skill shortages are impacting on key industry sectors – including IT and engineering – and the wider Scottish economy. Further, more than 70% of Scottish employers think that job applicants lack technical, practical or job specific skills.

Based on this evidence of industry need we will launch our first 2 GLA programmes– BSc (Hons) Software Development and BEng (Hons) Engineering Design & Manufacture – in September.

GLAs offer a new pathway which combines academic knowledge with work-based skills development to enable apprentices to quickly become effective and productive in the work place. They have been developed in partnership with industry to ensure that the learning is relevant for the world of work and that apprentices can put their learning into practice right away.”

What do you see the impact of these apprenticeships being across the industry?

“GLAs provide a new route into degree-level study for school leavers who want to go straight into work, for young people completing a Foundation or Modern Apprenticeship, and for existing employees (of any age) who have work experience but not a University degree.

For individuals, GLAs provide an opportunity to access the same learning opportunities as those who follow the traditional route of direct entry into University, whilst gaining practical work experience and, because they are in paid employment, without incurring debt. Our delivery model will also facilitate accreditation to industry standards, such as the Engineering Council Competence & Commitment Standards for Incorporated Engineers, which will support their future professional development.

For employers, they can customise their employee’s learning to ensure the best fit with their business needs and because the apprentices spend the majority of their time in the workplace, they are contributing to the productivity of the business at a much earlier point in time. The end result is “industry ready” graduates who understand their business. Offering Graduate Level Apprenticeships is also an excellent way for employers to maximise their return from the Apprenticeship Levy.

In addition to industry input to the development of both of our GLA programmes, we have also worked closely with our 3 college partners – Ayrshire College, Glasgow Clyde College and New College Lanarkshire. This tripartite model is unique to GLAs in Scotland and will help to create a seamless pathway from school through Modern Apprenticeships and further education to degree-level qualifications.”

How has the industry responded to the announcement of the GLA’s? 

“UWS has a long tradition of industrial partnership. This collaborative approach has underpinned the development of our unique GLA delivery model. Because the GLA programmes have been developed in partnership with industry, employers recognise the relevance of the skills that the apprentices will develop and welcome the ability to tailor their apprentice’s learning to meet the specific needs of their business.

Our industry awareness events and 1:1 meetings with prospective employers have been encouraging and we have a number of employers who have already committed to the programme, some anticipating recruiting more than one apprentice.

We anticipate that demand for the programme will increase year on year as more people become aware of the GLA programme and the benefits to both industry and individuals.”

What other programmes have you got planned within the University?

“We will launch our first 2 GLA programmes in September – BSc (Hons) Software Development and BEng (Hons) Engineering Design & Manufacture. Skills Development Scotland will shortly announce a second round of bidding for GLAs for 2018/19 and we will consider which of these frameworks to bid for based on evidence of industry demand and our own subject expertise.”

What can the industry do to help academia?

“We would like to hear direct from any employer who is interested in exploring how their business can benefit from the GLA programme. We would also welcome the opportunity to talk to industry stakeholders who would like to work with us to promote the GLA programmes to a wider industry audience.

Our GLA team can be contacted directly at apprenticeships@uws.ac.uk

Further information can also be found at www.uws.ac.uk/apprenticeships

 


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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted May 18, 2017 | Digital Media, Electronics, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies Throughout Glasgow & The West

Enigma People Solutions is working on a variety of brilliant and interesting vacancies at the moment! All of these vacancies are situated in Glasgow and the West and range from Laser Engineer at an exciting company at the forefront of their industry to Voice Application Developer at an award winning digital practice. So, take a look below and find out if we have the perfect role for you …
icon-electronics Laser Engineer

We’re looking for an experienced Laser Engineer to join our Glasgow based client’s multi-award winning team. Specialising in the development and manufacture of complex, bespoke, state of the art laser solutions to a range of specialist labs/departments and industries, our client’s diverse team work in an innovative and dynamic environment to produce high-quality products. If you’re looking for a challenging role, working with a team at the top of their industry, this could be for you!

 

icon-electronics Voice Application Developer

This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join an industry leading voice development team to deliver a range of innovative projects on platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Our client is a multi-award-winning digital practice, working with cutting edge technology and at the intersection of user-centric design.

 

icon-electronics Senior PHP Developer

We’re currently looking for a Senior Developer to join our unique client’s in-house apps and services development team. If you’re looking for a varied and interesting role working with multinational B2B clients, in a multi-disciplined team made up of developers, strategists, designers and client services then get in touch!

 

icon-electronics Senior Software Engineer

We’re currently looking for a bright, motivated Senior Software Engineer to assist and lead in the development of embedded and web enabled software for industrial applications. Our client offers an informal, flexible and friendly working environment with competitive remuneration and benefits. Think this is for you? Take a look at the full details and find out how to apply by clicking on the link above.

 

icon-electronics .Net Umbraco Developer

Are you a .Net Umbraco developer who has experience working on web projects? We’re looking for a .Net Umbraco developer to join our client’s Glasgow-based digital agency. If you’re keen and enthusiastic, with an ability to self-motivate and work within a team then this could be the job for you! Working with a range of brilliant clients, this digital agency offers a variety of benefits including a fantastic team and the option for professional growth.

 

icon-electronics Front End Developer

Our client has a position available for a talented Front End Developer to work within their Digital Proposition Development team. The is a great opportunity to play a key part in shaping company digital business, responsible for building brand new products and services from scratch. Take a look at the full details by clicking the link above.

 


 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,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted May 16, 2017 | Enigma News, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Enigma People Solutions’ New Partnerships in 2017

We have some exciting news that we want to share with you!

Over the past few months, Enigma People Solutions has been very busy connecting with some really great organisations and individuals within the industry. As a result of this, we now have not one but two fantastic new partnerships! We are proud to say that we are partners with TechWorks & NMI and Glasgow City of Science and Innovation – both of which are facilitating the growth of the technology industry through their work with a variety of businesses and organisations within their key sectors. We are looking forward to working together on some exciting projects with these new partners, all of which will contribute towards supporting our industry and highlighting the importance of the Scottish and UK tech industry.

TechWorks Logo

Newly restructuring their operations to allow for a much more involved role in supporting UK Deep Tech, TechWorks was created to act as an umbrella to their existing connected communities; NMI, AESINIoTSF and PEUK , whilst also looking for opportunities for exploration and growth in new areas. Techworks looks to promote and develop the strength of the UK’s position as a technology giant by harnessing the excellent engineering and innovation which is in abundance in the UK already. The connected community of NMI realises the importance of the UK within the electronics industry and their mission is “to increase the quality and quantity of electronic engineering and manufacturing in the UK“. To do this, they are bringing together the UK electronics communities and taking a holistic view in order to successfully support the industry as it continues to evolve rapidly. Enigma People Solutions have partnered with TechWorks & NMI to contribute to their mission. We have already been working closely with NMI and have published the Post Budget Business Sentiment Survey, as a means of understanding the state of the electronics industry landscape, post-budget. It was also a great opportunity to gain some useful feedback on topics of interest for future events/webinars that we have planned for later on this year. Our Director, Ben Hanley, recently attended the TechWorks launch and here’s what he had to say about our new partnership:

“I want to be involved in TechWorks as it represents a great opportunity to see the Deep Tech industry in the UK truly come together to collaborate in a way that helps this important sector continue to be a world leader. There are many challenges faced by the sector including growth funding and investment, attraction and retention of talent but there is a fantastic opportunity for tech companies in the UK to be world leaders; to become Unicorns and to have UK companies that grow to become a Facebook or Google. As a recruiter in this space, we feel strongly that we have a responsibility to support our clients and to be as knowledgeable about the industry we support.”

 

Glasgow City of Science and Innovation

In addition to TechWorks, we have also welcomed on board Glasgow City of Science and Innovation! GCOSI works as a facilitation organisation; striving to bring together partners from across Glasgow and the West in order to boost innovation and contribute to a better quality of life. Their vision is something which we totally agree with and feel strongly about in this rapidly changing technological landscape:

“To work smarter, in partnership, to raise the profile of Glasgow and the West of Scotland as a world-class science destination and leverage science and technology to boost sustainable development and quality of life.”

Now, with over 90 organisations brought together from a variety of sectors, it’s safe to say that GCOSI is definitely succeeding in connecting people across Glasgow and the West. Not to mention their ability to highlight and promote the extraordinary science and technology-based talent that Glasgow holds to the rest of the UK and worldwide. GCOSI is involved with everything from Food and Drink to Education and Skills and Engineering, Design and Manufacturing; with their priority sectors being set up to align to the key growth sectors within the Glasgow City Region’s Economic Development Strategy. They are playing an invaluable role at the heart of the innovation ecosystem by providing support to local, national and international partners, investors and funders, industry and innovators, learners and educators and the public and media. Having as strong a footing in the innovation ecosystem as GCOSI does is one of the main reasons they have become such an exciting organisation within the STEAMMS landscape. GCOSI is the organisation to go to if you’re looking for some support, advice, expert knowledge concerning a whole host of topics surrounding science and technology..and so much more! Here at Enigma, we can’t wait to kick off our partnership with GCOSI!

 

Watch this space for all the latest news coming up from both of our new partnerships!

 

NMI connected Logo                                                   

 

If you’re interested in partnering with us, you can get in contact here: hello@enigmapeople.com or call us directly on 0141 3324422.


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.

Follow us on Twitter  @enigmapeople twitter LinkedIn LinkedIn or Facebook 

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Posted May 12, 2017 | Digital Media, Feature Friday, Software, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Feature Friday: Utterances, Slots and Skills – The New Vocab of Voice

This week, we’re introducing an exciting new item to our blog; give a big warm welcome to Feature Friday! From today onwards, we’ll be featuring awesome articles on a range of different topics and from a whole host of brilliant companies within the industry, every second Friday.

Who better to kick this off with than Screenmedia and their interesting insight into the new world of voice application development vocabulary! The innovative digital practice is at the forefront of voice application development and in 2017, Screenmedia was the first UK company to launch a smart home action for the Google Home. Their industry leading voice development team also works with a range of voice platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. So, let’s find out what Screenmedia have to say about The New Vocab of Voice


Utterances, Slots and Skills 

The New Vocab of VoiceScreenmedia's image - The New Vocab of Voice

Since Amazon opened up its voice platform Alexa to developers in 2015, the platform has seen several thousand new ‘skills’ launched. Those trying to get their head around designing and developing for voice will quickly come across some unfamiliar terms which require decoding before the work of skill-building can begin. Having recently undertaken flagship UX work building skills on the platform for our clients, here is a quick guide to getting your head around the key terms Amazon uses when developing for Alexa.

Note: the following is applicable to Amazon’s Alexa. Other companies have their own glossary of terms, some use the same terms, others use their own terms, but Alexa is currently the most widely used platform.

Alexa vs Echo

In discussions and in the media, the terms ‘Alexa’ and ‘Echo’ are often conflated when in reality they refer to specifically separate things. Echo refers to the Amazon Echo, a physical product, with a speaker and ring of microphones. Echo can also refer to the Echo Dot, the main Echo’s smaller cousin.

Alexa is the cloud-based ‘intelligent personal assistant’ which processes your requests and supplies answers back to you. If it’s easier, think of Alexa as the ‘mind’ of the ecosystem, while Echo is the ‘body’. When you speak your conversation is with Alexa — Echo is just the mouth and ears. Alexa isn’t constrained to just the Echo though, you can also speak to Alexa through Amazon’s Fire-branded products, as well as a growing number of third-party consumer devices.

Wakeword

The Echo devices have a ring of always-on microphones, meaning the device is always listening to what is around it but in a dormant state. It will only ‘wake up’ and actively pay attention to you when it hears a specific word or phrase, called a wakeword. Amazon offers a choice of ‘Alexa’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Echo’, or ‘Computer’ for these wakewords, with the default being ‘Alexa’. This wakeword cannot be changed beyond these four options by users or by developers. The only time the wakeword options have changed is when Amazon added ‘Computer’ in late 2016.

Note; a ‘wakeword’ wakes the assistant, but does not trigger your specific skill, that would be an invocation (we’ll get to this later).

Skills

The simplest way to describe a skill is ‘an app for Alexa’. But try to avoid this, as it can cause confusion with the Alexa App, (which we’ll come to later on). Amazon maintains a list of available Alexa skills on its site.

Skills aren’t downloaded in the same way that a phone app is and are instead ‘enabled’. This is because the code and content for a skill are not stored on the Echo device, but in Amazon’s cloud servers along with Alexa itself. If a user wants to use your skill, they ‘enable’ it, either within the Alexa App or by asking Alexa to enable it. This then gives the user the ability to invoke and use your specific skill.

There are three types of skill:

Custom Skills

This is the most common type of skill, and gives you the most control over the user experience. This type of skill lets you develop just about anything you can imagine.

Smart Home Skills

This is a type of skill specifically for controlling smart home appliances. It gives you less control over the user experience, but is simpler to develop.

Flash Briefing Skills

This type of skill is specifically for compatibility with Alexa’s native ‘Flash Briefing ability. This type of skill also gives you reduced experience control, but again is simpler to develop.

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Want to work with Screenmedia? We’re currently recruiting for a Voice Application Developer and Senior Front End Developer. You can take a look at the roles here or contact dmains@enigmapeople.com directly for more information.

You can also find all of our latest vacancies here and for general inquiries, contact hello@enigmapeople.com

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Posted April 25, 2017 | Industry Interviews, Recruitment Industry, Technology Industry | No Comments »

[Interview] Tapping Into our Electronics Market

We’re talking to Ashleigh Collins, one of our newer recruitment consultants who is responsible for the electronics market, to find out a bit more about her, what the market is like out there and what advice she can give to both candidates and clients. Let’s find out what she has to say…

Hi, Ashleigh! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello! I’m a Recruitment Consultant working within the electronics department at Enigma. Ashleigh Recruiter
I love cooking, holidays, writing and pub quizzes. My greatest love is my dog, Basil. He is just the cutest little guy! When I’m not working, I love chilling out with my husband and taking Basil on walks and pub crawls.

So, we already know you are a Recruitment Consultant working within the electronics market here at Enigma, can you tell us a bit more about what that actually means? 

“Of course! I work with both electronics clients and candidates – looking to place the right people into the right roles. I predominantly specialise in software and firmware vacancies. Essentially, I’m helping to fill the gaps in software and firmware teams of our clients. My day-to-day usually involves keeping in touch with both my clients and candidates, among other tasks. Communication is central to what I do so it’s really important to make sure you keep everyone up to date as things progress. The role itself can be quite varied role but it keeps me on my toes – which is good!”

What is the electronics market like at the moment, for both candidates and clients?

“The market is very candidate-driven right now; there are a wealth of roles with fewer candidates to fill them. For candidates, I’d say that this is the time to find the role they really want – something that suits them. Looking at the client side of the market; it’s a time of innovation, lots of new technology is flooding the market and with this comes a whole load of new opportunities. Our clients are seeking big talent to help them drive forward in the industry; and as innovation is increasing, some niche job specifications are asking for skills and experience working with the most cutting-edge technologies. This does prove tricky sometimes because of the skills gap the industry is experiencing. In saying that though, that’s what makes my job interesting; trying to find the perfect person for the role. ”

What advice would you give to candidates?

“I think it’s essential for all candidates to be open-minded when looking for a new role. We’re here to find the perfect role for you and that’s what we’re trying to do – the more we can learn about you, your job preferences and experience then the easier it will be for us to find you what you want. I’d also say that candidates should really be committed to the process in order to find the absolute best roles that they can. Don’t be complacent, if you start to become complacent then, all in all, it makes it much more difficult for you in the long run. Communication does work both ways and keeping in touch and up-to-date with us is part of the process of finding a new role. One thing I say to all of my candidates is ‘be proud and don’t be afraid to boast about the projects you have worked on and completed.'”

What advice would you give to the technology companies out there looking to hire new talent?

“It’s not enough to just offer the job anymore. In the current market, candidates are often sitting with three or four job offers so the whole process is very time sensitive. You have to move quickly and make an effort to impress the candidates. As I’ve said before, it’s a two-way process; equally, clients have to impress their candidates as much as candidates have to impress the client. Again, I would stress the importance of communication. The quicker we can receive feedback, discuss offers and feedback to our candidates – the quicker our client’s problems will be solved. At the end of the day, we constantly strive to make placements which both our candidates and clients are totally happy with and that, is our main goal.”

Can you tell us about some of your top vacancies right now?

Principal C# Software Engineer – This contract role comes from one of the industry’s leading companies. My client is an optical giant and is working on groundbreaking technologies specifically for medical devices. They’re looking for someone who is talented and driven to be part of their team of innovators and inventors that produce products that will both change, and save, lives.

Embedded Software Engineer – I’m looking for ambitious software engineers to join my client’s expanding team. My client, based in Ringwood, is working on Wireless Well Systems, something which will involve the full software life cycle, including creating high level and detailed designs, developing firmware components, and subsequent integration activities. This is a great opportunity for a talented individual to take the next step in their career.

Senior Software Engineer – This is another contract role which comes from one of the industry’s leading companies. My client is an optical giant and is working on groundbreaking technologies specifically for medical devices. During this role, you will apply sound programming principles and Agile practices to specify, design, develop and test new software features of a system as part of a multi-disciplinary software team. You will also be responsible for maintaining existing software through bug fixes and major enhancements. This is a rare opportunity to join a well-established, highly successful and rapidly growing company.”

 


Think you could be right for one of these roles or want to discuss how we can help you source the best candidates for your business? You can get in touch with Ashleigh directly via email ashleigh@enigmapeople.com or give her a call on 0141 332 4422.

Take a look at all of our electronics vacancies here.


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Posted April 21, 2017 | Technology Industry, Technology News Roundup | No Comments »

The Enigma Technology News Roundup | 21st April 2017

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Posted April 11, 2017 | Career Advice, Electronics, Technology Industry | No Comments »

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

This article was published on Jaapson Blog Centre and originally written by Jacob Beningo

Having the right tools for the job is critical to success in embedded development. But in the hands of the improperly skilled, even the right tools can yield a disastrous outcome. Firmware engineers require seven essential skills to succeed in today’s rapid-paced development environment.

Skill #1 – Debugging

According to the 2015 UBM Embedded Marketing Study, debugging an embedded system was the greatest challenge facing developers and managers, surpassing even the challenge of meeting project deadlines. Undoubtedly the increasing complexity of embedded systems and the time spent debugging is a major driver to delivering on-time. Having skills to debug a real-time embedded system quickly and efficiently can have a direct impact on time-to-market and development costs, which is why mastering debugging skills is critically important for an engineer to be successful.

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Skill #2 – Real-Time Language Skills

Despite all the press about how cool and suave makers and hackers are, I would bet that the majority lack the programming language skills necessary to launch a real-time embedded product. Firmware engineers that learn the nuances of C or C++ and can apply those skills will be more successful. Skilled language developers will know which constructs are safe, buggy, or can be applied under the given system constraints. Mastering programming language skills is a MUST for firmware engineers looking to have long-term success.

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Skill #3 – Understand Hardware at the Component Level

Firmware developers may find it tempting to focus only on skills that directly relate to developing software and completely ignore the hardware. Many companies today even push their engineers into nice little boxes of skills and job responsibilities, so why not just focus on your primary area of expertise? But at some point during every project, all the little niches need to come together for developers to integrate and debug the system. Firmware engineers who can hold their own in software and hardware will be better able to function and lead the integration effort and in the end will appear more valuable to management and the team. Plus, it’s always fun when a hardware engineer points his finger at the problem and says it’s the magic black software box to be able to respond “The pull-up on the bus looks a little weak for this architecture …. have you checked that?” or something to that effect.

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Skill #4 – Healthy Skepticism

Healthy skepticism is probably more of a mindset or an attitude than a pure skill but nonetheless, for today we will consider it a skill that needs to be mastered. All of us human engineers, at some point in our careers, we will select a component or a library or make a decision that will come back to bite us. From that point forward, when any component, library, or the like makes big promises we suddenly treat it like the plague and our response is blown way out of proportion. Practicing healthy skepticism should allow a developer to say I’ve been burned in the past by this, I don’t believe this, but I’m willing to evaluate, analyze and form an opinion based on engineering data rather than a personal, past experience. Healthy skepticism can help an engineer see the currents of change and determine when it makes sense to jump on board with a new technology, process, or platform.

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Skill #5 – Ability to Self-Market

The firmware engineer who can market themselves will gain many advantages over a peer who can’t. Marketing skills such as resume development or interview skills are not taught to engineers at the university. Instead, engineers have to learn these skills on-the-fly in the field. The engineer who can promote and market himself will get the job, the raise, and the extra perks.

Firmware engineers need to learn and understand that they aren’t just in the software business. They also need to gain marketing skills if they are to maximize their success (whatever their definition of success may be).

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Skill #6 – Communication

When I was an entry-level, green engineer I used to hide behind email for as much communication as I possibly could. But email can be a difficult communication medium because it is so interpretive. It conveys no tone of voice and no facial expressions and so it is easy for the reader to read-in hostility or an issue where none exists. The reader’s mood can easily turn a friendly email into an unfriendly one. On more than one occasion I was called to the managers’ office to discuss “that email” I sent to so-and-so that was considered inappropriate. Email is convenient, fast, and sometimes curt but verbal and face-to-face communication leaves far less to be interpreted.

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Skill #7 – Organization

The ability to organize software and create beautiful architectures is important to an embedded software engineer, yet the real skill of organization is undoubtedly just being able to find what you need when you need it. The problem with a messy desk and tools scattered everywhere is that things shift and get lost, and time gets wasted looking for them. A two-minute search for that paper, module, or probe can break a programmer’s train of thought and cause a context shift that requires fifteen minutes before the developer is back in the groove. Disciplined organization is a skill that is so essential yet so uncommon among many of the engineers I see and interact with.

7 Essential Skills for Firmware Engineers

 

Conclusion

There are any number of possible skills that can assist a firmware engineer in being successful. These seven are certainly essential although maybe not immediately obvious. What other skills might a developer need?


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Posted April 05, 2017 | Events, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Finding Inspiration at Design It; Build It 2017

Pentland Suite DIBI 2017 - Finding Inspiration at Design It; Build It 2017

Pentland Suite DIBI 2017

Enigma People Solutions recently attended the Design It; Build It 2017 conference over Thursday 30th and Friday 31st of March, and, well, what can we say about it? Where do we start!? As proud sponsors of DIBI for the second year running, we have already experienced what a great conference it is and this year was no exception! From the lineup of awesome speakers to the networking opportunities and even the food and drink that was laid on for us…DIBI 2017 outdid itself!

Split between the Pentland Suite and the Fintry Auditorium of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre; this year’s theme of risk-taking brought together an impressive variety of speakers from the industry. Joshua Davis, Tobias AhlinYan Zhu and Christopher Murphy are but a handful of the engaging and inspiring speakers who presented over the course of the conference. The format of DIBI means its delegates can make the most of their experience by choosing which talks to attend throughout the day. This allows each person to really tailor their time to their individual needs. With each speaker presenting something totally different to the last, it’s clear that this is the element which separates DIBI from a lot of other technology conferences.

We caught up with the lucky winner of our free DIBI ticket giveaway, Rachael Lindsay, to find out what she had to say about her DIBI experience…

 Hi Rachael! Can you tell us a bit about you and what you do?

“I work as a senior digital producer at Multiply in Edinburgh. My job encompasses digital strategy, system specification, production management and applying search marketing and web analytics knowledge to projects across the agency.”

So, you won our ticket giveaway competition and got to attend DIBI this year, is this your first time at Design It; Build It? Did you enjoy it? 

“Yes, this is the first time I’ve attended Design It. Build It. I’d heard lots of good things about past DIBI events from friends in the industry and I was close to booking when I discovered I’d won the ticket giveaway, so was delighted! It was a great couple of days and the theme of risk- taking inspired some really interesting presentations and discussions.”

What were your highlights over the two days?

“All of the talks provided interesting viewpoints and, as I’m not a creative, hearing insights from creative designers offered fresh perspective, but my favourite presentations from the event were those from Tobias Ahlin at Mojang, Stef & Madeleine at BCG Digital Ventures and Vibha Bamba at Airbnb. The BCG talk provided some useful recommendations for shaking up traditional ways of working and Vibha’s methodology for effectively capturing the types of guest feedback needed to manage Airbnb property expectation was really interesting to me, both as an Airbnb host and systems planner.”

Did you find it useful?

“I’m going to trial Tobias Ahlin’s design BETs innovation framework to find new and better ways to connect ideas with business goals and the security vs. usability considerations presented by Yan Zhu are something I plan to discuss with my team this week!”

 


A few snaps from the conference…

Molly Nix, senior product designer at Uber - Finding Inspiration at Design It; Build It 2017

Molly Nix, a Senior Product Designer from Uber – asks the question; “as a designer, how do you figure out which risks are worth it?” Explaining her design process at Uber and how to work to minimise the unworthy risks.

 

Tobias Ahlin - Finding Inspiration at Design It; Build It 2017

Tobias Ahlin of Minecraft (formerly of Spotify) talks us through his design BET’s system (Belief Exploration Trees). Looking at how we can produce original ideas that relate to our business goals and how to solve problems that may arise in the process.

 

Mike Kus - Finding Inspiration at Design It; Build It 2017

Designer and photographer, Mike Kus, explains his unique design process with the message “creativity is the very last thing computers will steal from us.” He points out that creating a personality that truly represents your brand is something to strive for.

 


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.

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Posted March 21, 2017 | Industry Interviews, Software, Technology Industry | No Comments »

From a Graduate’s Perspective: Junior Test Analyst

This week, we chat to Finlay Harris, an MEng graduate who is now working as a Junior Test Analyst at Sopra Steria. Find out how he got into his role, what he did to prepare for moving onto a graduate job from university, how he found the job search experience and what advice he has for other graduates out there. 

 Tell us a bit about you, what you do, and where you work.

Hi, I’m Finlay! I graduated from Strathclyde University in June 2016 with an integrated masters or MEng in Electrical Mechanical Engineering, which is a joint course. I joined Sopra Steria, an IT consultancy, through their graduate intake in July 2016 and I am a Junior Test Analyst.

How did you end up in your current job role?

I started looking (for jobs) basically throughout that last year; it was a five-year course,  I started looking in my 5th year.  I went to one of the graduate fares at the SECC, throughout the year at the uni they will have a few of them.  With engineering and that type of industry, a lot of the time, I think people haven’t heard of the companies before they start applying for things but that’s where I first heard of them. So I went around that and collected the leaflets and I would note down some names of the ones I would want to apply for, I looked them up online and applied to the roles they had that suited me. I think my current job at Sopra Steria was the 4th interview I did but there were quite a few applications I filled in when I was looking for a job.

Did you have an idea of what kind of jobs you were looking for?

I had preferences but not really. One of the things I found which was quite annoying was that all of the companies, maybe this has always been the case but, all the companies seem to want you to apply to a role but you can’t really specify your location. I was quite keen to stay in Glasgow and I was quite keen to apply by location but they don’t really let you do that. I had to do a bit of digging to figure out which companies had offices where I would want to be. That was one of the things that was important to me, obviously the type of job itself was important but the location was also important to me – which they don’t really cater to.

I was never really sure if I’d want to do something directly linked to my course and so I was open to applying to jobs that weren’t necessarily directly linked to my degree. When I applied for this job it was the one that I was most interested in out of the others I had applied for.  I was pretty chuffed that I got it!

How did you prepare yourself for the job world when you were at uni?

There are always things you can add to your CV, you know, if you’re involved in societies etc. I mostly drew from experience I’d had from projects at uni and through work experience. These type of things are great for answering the “describe a time when…” sort of questions. A couple of summer’s ago between third and fourth year, I had a summer placement in an engineering office. It was a really useful thing to have because you get a feel for the environment that you’re likely to be working in when you graduate, if you get a graduate job. From that, you can get experience you can talk about and reference, and that’s a good thing to be able to say.

It’s good to ask around at uni, there was one guy in the year above us and he was well connected and involved in a lot of things – he had some good advice. So, if you can find people who know that sort of stuff then it’s useful. If you can speak to other people who have been on interviews and similar things, it’s always helpful to gather that and get a feel for things. Even down to how to prepare or how to dress for an interview.

How did University help to prepare you for trying to find a job?

The uni would always organise graduate fares as well as for people looking to get summer placements. Companies would set up their stalls and we could go along if we were interested. Actually, the summer placement I had, I found out about just from an email that the uni had sent around to us. That was something they did quite well, keeping us informed. I didn’t use the careers service much, I didn’t really know how to use it. I’m sure people found it useful but maybe if it felt a bit more accessible I might have used it.

Did you interview for any other companies?

I interviewed for three other companies, that was after quite a few applications. All of the applications and interviews have a really similar process. Within this industry, even though not all of the jobs I was applying for were the same, they all had quite similar interview processes. An assessment centre, usually it’s a full day with group activities and an individual interview which usually takes place at the company office or at a hotel.

What was the application process like?

You would apply online via a form you have to fill out – which might ask you to attach your CV. Once your form goes through and they’re happy with that you’ll do online tests, I think they’re psychometric tests. There’s normally some combination of simple maths questions which are timed. The maths itself is quite simple so I think it’s more about the time pressure. There’s reading comprehension to determine, if you’re given some information, how well you’re parsing the information. There were also some abstract logic questions – using shapes, you have to pick the next one in the pattern and things like that which is timed as well. I think that’s part of the whole test, to find out how well you’re coping with the time and stress, and what your strategy is for that.

So after those, usually there’s a phone interview. For my job with Sopra Steria I had a phone interview but, one of the other jobs I had applied for there was a video interview. I was expecting it to be on Skype which would have been awkward but it was even more awkward than that! They gave you questions and you had to record yourself answering them, I think you only had around 3 times to try and get your answer right. That was a particularly uncomfortable experience.

After the phone interview, it was a group assessment centre in which we had to give a presentation on basically any topic or just about yourself that you had to prepare beforehand. I guess that was just to see how well you could present. There was also a group exercise in which you have a scenario to solve and then present what had happened. I think that was to test teamwork –  to find out who’s organising the task well and find out if everyone can handle it well. The answer to the actual scenario didn’t seem to be that important it was more about how you arrived at the answer and could justify it.

Next, there was an individual interview which was specific to whichever job you were applying for – because the people in the assessment centre were all applying for different roles. In the interview there were questions you might expect like; “why did you decide to do your course?” “why did you decided to apply for this job?” “what is it about this job that you like?”. They also ask you some questions to check that you know about the industry – “what are some upcoming trends”. If you revise the industry then you should be able to answer them pretty well.

How did you prepare for the interviews?

For most of them, I would look up the company and have a read over their website. Try and find some cases of projects they had worked on, usually they will have that on their website and you know, things you can reference back to in the interview. Reading about the industry in general. With some of the more straightforward engineering roles, I expected to know enough from the things I learned throughout my uni course. Mostly though, my preparation involved researching, it can be difficult to fully prepare for the interviews. For some of the more technical roles I tried to have a look over my technical knowledge from uni – but you never know what will come up really. If you know what the job is going to entail then you should be able to roughly estimate what type of things will be useful to look over from your degree.

Having now been through the interview process yourself, how would you set up an interview?

I feel like, I don’t know what type of advantage there would be with the video interview I had spoken about previously. I feel like it’s going to be awkward and I don’t think it’s going to really show what people are like. I think a phone interview is marginally better because you’re speaking to them. The assessment centre, the thing about them is that they are long and will take up your whole day. It feels like you’ve wasted your time if you don’t get it – especially if you have to travel. For a couple of the jobs I applied for, including my current job, I had to travel through to Edinburgh for the assessment day. I guess that’s just part of the job process but it can be difficult. It’s quite nice to have it at the offices of the company.

Advice for Grads:

Well, what not to do is write a generalised cover letter and forget to change the fields before you send it to the next person. One of my friends did that! Be careful with those sort of things.

  1. Obviously, you want to tailor your CV to specific companies.
  2. I think it’s always good to have experience but I don’t think it’s easy for everyone to get. It’s one of those things where they seem to expect you to have loads of experience. You feel like it’s kind of stacked unfairly against people who can’t get experience, you know, there’s only so many work placements and summer placements so not everyone is able to do that. The placements are useful because it gives you an idea of what the job entails and if you would actually want to do that full time.
  3. Read up on the company you’re interviewing for – find out as much as you can about what the job will involve but I think the difficulty there can be that the information isn’t always available/clear.
  4. Save or copy the job role/description you have applied for, you will need to see that when the interview comes up.
  5. We did a lot of presentations at uni and it definitely came in handy. Get as much practise in as you can with that sort of stuff.
  6. Try not to stress about your travel the night before. A lot of little things can add up to try and stress you out on the day so eliminate those if you can.

What was the representation like for women, in your experience, at the assessment centres etc?

Not great. I assume because there are fewer women to chose from, out of STEM grads because the university courses are also male dominated, then obviously it becomes a male-dominated industry because it already is, and that sort of perpetuates itself. One of the interviews I was at, there was maybe 10-15 guys and one woman. Usually one or two. Still definitely the minority in most engineering/tech jobs which is a shame. I think there is support for that at uni, you know there will be a Women in IT scholarship or Women in Engineering which is good. I don’t know how effective it is though, I feel like they could definitely be doing more.

How are you getting on with your job? Tell us a bit about it.

So, my job is going well. I’m pleased because I like it! I’m enjoying testing so far. Obviously, it wasn’t something I  did at uni, there aren’t testing specific uni courses.

So day to day, we have our team who will be developing the software. If we are building a website, for example, there’s the business analyst who will get the requirements for the product you’re making and then I have to understand those requirements; question them and find out how I can test them. At that point, I can start thinking about how I can test the software – “what do I need to check?”, “How could I break it?” The developers will be developing it and I will keep in touch with them whilst they’re doing that, to clarify how it should operate. Once that bit of functionality is done, I’ll test it. I test it from a more technical side of things and from a user perspective too. Reporting back to the developers on what’s wrong with the software, reporting bugs and keeping track of defects in the systems. We also do user acceptance testing – setting up the software and getting someone who will actually use it to come in and figure out how to use the software with only simple instructions. On some occasions, I can be interacting with the code, it can be useful to have a look at it but usually, I’ll be a little bit more removed from it.

Whilst I’ve been at Sopra Steria, I’ve done a few training courses already and a few exams to get some qualifications. If there is training that I want, I can usually request it and they’ll try and get you a place if they think it will be useful to you. They are quite keen for you to have ownership over your career and have a great system in place to set your career goals and track them.

I graduated in June 2016 and my job started in July. I think my company has intakes set up for July, November, and February but I think a lot of other companies tend to do one in the summer and one in the winter. So I started in July and for the first 3 months it was mostly training and then after that, you’re ready to go. At the moment I’m working on an internal project but I’m hoping to be working with clients very soon.

Sopra Steria Logo

 


  Do you need some help with your cover letter or CV? Check out our blogs Writing Your Cover Letter – The Essentials & How to Woo a Recruiter With Your CV for our expert advice.

Are you a graduate looking to find your first role? Get in touch with us at hello@enigmapeople.com to find out how we can help you land the perfect job for you.

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Follow us on Twitter

@enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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Posted March 06, 2017 | Events, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Design It; Build It 2017 – Only Three Weeks Left!

There are just over 3 weeks left until the Design It; Build It 2017 conference is here! The excitement is building in the Enigma office and for good reason. Last year, Design It; Build It achieved great success with fantastic presentations from speakers at Tinder, John Lewis, BBC and Buzzfeed – to mention only a few. Tickets for the 2016 event sold out in record time and due to massive demand, this year’s event has been relocated to hold the increasing number of delegates attending.

DIBI is firmly established as one of the go-to conferences for creative designers and developers and this year is no different! With an impressive lineup of speakers coming from some of the most innovative companies in the industry such as IBM Design, Uber and Airbnb – this is one conference that should definitely be on your calendar.

You can find out the full list of speakers here.

EVENT DETAILS: 

Date: 30th-31st March 2017

Location: The Exchange Edinburgh, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE

Buy Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/design-it-build-it-2017-tickets-25431359882

Any questions regarding the event contact Jim Richardson – info@dibiconference.com

Edinburgh Conference Centre

Enigma People Solutions are proud to sponsor Design It; Build It for the second year running! Our giveaway competition has now ended and it’s time to announce the winner:

Massive congratulations to Rachael Lindsay!

Rachael will receive a FREE ticket to Design It; Build It 2017 which will entitle her to attend the two-day conference; exploring this year’s theme of risk-taking, the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zones and how to deal with things when they don’t go as planned as discussed by the great line-up of speakers who will be presenting their thoughts, opinions, and ideas.

For all of those who entered, you will receive a 10% discount code for your DIBI 2017 ticket.

We really hope to see you all at the Design It; Build It 2017 conference in Edinburgh. If you spot us, come and say hi!

 

 DIBI Poster

ABOUT US:

Enigma People Solutions is a multi-award winning technology recruitment consultancy, representing businesses across Scotland. As a leading digital recruiter, we are passionate about supporting and growing successful technology teams across the industry. We pride ourselves on recruiting the best candidates for technology roles ranging from App Developers to UX designers, from Software Engineers to Account Managers.

Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitter @enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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Posted March 03, 2017 | Technology Industry, Technology News Roundup | No Comments »

The Enigma Technology News Roundup | 3rd March 2017

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Posted March 01, 2017 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Screenmedia: The Digital Practice With a Difference

We’re a practice, not an agency!

The message is loud and clear when it comes to this innovative digital practice. Screenmedia are definitely not what you would call your average digital agency. First off, they are a practice – not an agency. Their forte lies within the world of web and mobile application development, connected devices and voice interaction design.

Second, they have an impressive collection of both UK and national brands that they have worked with to create some seriously inspiring projects. Taking a look their work on the Edinburgh Fringe ticketing app, the cross-platform app created for car dealer giant, Arnold Clark, the smart heating solution for Honeywell for mobile and Google Home, it makes sense that Screenmedia are regarded as a frontrunner for innovation in emerging technologies.

Screemedia

Their ‘human centred’ approach to client work is refreshing in an industry which is becoming saturated with new agencies every year. They have developed long standing relationships with a variety of great businesses across the UK; thanks to their attitude, motivation and most of all, their willingness to go the extra mile – something which has been mentioned on more than one occasion by a handful of their clients.

Across the thirteen years Screenmedia has been running, their triumphs within mobile app development have been recognised on more than one occasion. Amongst various accolades, they have had an impressive seven wins at the Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards since 2010 plus, ScotlandIS awards in 2011 and 2015. Oh, and did I mention that their first ever mobile app SprintGPS reached number 1 in the appstore and received over 200,000 downloads within the first nine months of its release?

As you can surely guess by now, Screenmedia are NOT just another app company. They are digital leaders and when it comes to mobile, they are one step ahead of the curve.

They say: “We were early adopters of mobile; grappled with responsive design before most; and today are exploring the possibilities of connected, wearable and voice devices before the demand for these technologies explodes. When we caught wind of cross-platform mobile development back in 2009, we knew this would become an essential part of our landscape. Today we are investing in zero-UI developing for new platforms such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.”

Enigma People Solutions have been working with Screenmedia since 2012 – when they were a team of 12 people with an ambition to grow using the latest technologies to create innovative, industry leading projects. Since then, Enigma has been the only supplier of their permanent vacancies, working closely to place the right candidates in a variety of roles. The length of our relationship has allowed us to understand exactly the type of candidates Screenmedia look for to join their team: highly talented, specialist candidates who understand Screenmedia’s unique culture and can contribute to the growing success of the company.

Working at Screenmedia, you are nurtured in order to bring out the best in you. Training, encouragement and praise are pillars within this practice – when you work hard, show initiative and are passionate about your projects, it really pays off. Of the candidates we have sourced and placed in Screenmedia, a number of them have received promotions, allowing them to progress in their career. The directors, one of which was placed by us a number of years ago, truly believe in rewarding their people for the effort they put in.

With a strong sense of self, Screenmedia drive their way forward in the market whilst keeping close the intrinsic beliefs that set them apart from others. Empathy, innovation, best practice, passion and my personal favourite – fun, are a few examples of the beliefs which underpin their culture. Their working environment is one which naturally promotes teamwork and dedication to overcoming challenges. Let’s not forget though, socialising and enjoying what they do is something that Screenmedia value. Whether that be through team meals out or organised events, celebrating a team members birthday or chilling out after work on a Friday with some drinks.

Currently, Enigma People Solutions are looking for a Lead Mobile Developer to join the award-winning mobile team at Screenmedia.

Think this might be the role for you? If you have experience developing native and cross-platform application on both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS based devices, excellent team leadership skills and a strong desire to work with cutting edge technology to create innovative projects then get in touch with us!

Here are Screenmedia’s five qualities they look out for in a great programmer:

  1. Humility
  2. Curiosity
  3. Intellectual Honestly
  4. Communication & Cooperation
  5. Discipline

 Do you tick all of these boxes? Contact our Senior Recruiter: daria@enigmapeople.com to find out more about this unique opportunity within this leading digital practice.

 


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Follow us on Twitter @enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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Posted February 21, 2017 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Writing Your Cover Letter – The Essentials

Following on from our blog, How to Woo a Recruiter With Your CV, we thought it was only fair to share our best advice on how to write your cover letter, we’ve even made it into a handy infographic too – take a look below. Combined, these two aspects of the job process can be make or break for candidates. If you have a great CV but can’t back it up with a genuine and well-written cover letter, it could really affect your chances of being considered as a good candidate.

Some people have questioned the need for cover letters in today’s fast paced recruitment world; with online portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, social recruiting and even video cover letters having a place within the recruitment market. However, in our opinion, there will never be anything that can replace the value of a great cover letter.

Our Director at Enigma People, David Mains, is a big supporter of a good cover letter: “A cover letter gives me more of an idea what a person is like than their CV, so I think they’re very important”

Very often, a job advert will still specify that an application should include a cover letter and the failure to do so doesn’t reflect well on attention to detail, something which will most likely be claimed in the CV.

Cover letters are essential. They convey a candidate’s understanding of the role, show that they have the skills and experience needed for the role and most of all – they give an insight into their personality. These aspects can be difficult to put across in just your CV alone, making the cover letter a vital part of your job application.

So, how do you really craft a good cover letter?

1. Keep it Short and to the Point

Make sure it’s no longer than one page. Your aim is to show the reader that you are a good candidate for the job. This is when they’ll pick up your CV, so make sure that it’s up to date and reads well too.

2. Make it Relevant

Use key words from the job description. Be specific. What stands out is demonstrating that you’ve read the job description by making reference to it and how well it suits your skills.  If the advert mentions motivation, then give an example to show you’re motivated. Don’t waste space writing about your attention to detail if they haven’t asked about it.

3. Show Your Personality

Getting across your personality is important, it’s a factor that the majority of recruiters will consider when making a placement. Think about life experiences or personal qualities which could set you apart as a great candidate for the job.

4. Read Other Cover Letters.

You might spot good ways to express something or an idea of what format to use. It’s always good to look at other examples to get a feel for how they should be written. PLEASE make sure they’re from reputable sites such as My World of Work, otherwise you could end up taking advice from bad examples!

5. Appropriate Contact Details

Always ensure your contact details are appropriate. It’s a business document – so use a professional email address!

6. Accurate Contact Details

The number of people who put down old mobile numbers, or explain after you’ve reached them that they don’t check that email address is quite astounding!. If you don’t use it, it shouldn’t be on your cover letter. It’s also useful if people let us know whether they can access that phone or email address during the day – be as helpful as you can to an employer trying to contact you.

7. Proofread.

As with your CV, proofreading is 100% important. Check for spelling errors, grammatical errors, and capitals where they DON’T BELONG. We have had cover letters written entirely in capitals…why would anybody give you a job when it seems like you’re shouting at them? Once you’ve checked your cover letter, double-check it to make sure you didn’t miss anything first time around.

Now you know what to include in your cover letter, take a look at My World of Work’s tutorial: How to Lay Out Your Cover Letter.

We hope to receive the perfect combination from you; a great CV and a cover letter that’s even better. Send it to hello@enigmapeople.com , we might just have the perfect role waiting for you…

Cover Letter 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.

Follow us on Twitter @enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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Posted February 17, 2017 | Technology Industry, Technology News Roundup | No Comments »

The Enigma Technology News Roundup | 17th February 2017

Take a look at our top picks from this week’s technology news:

Scottish Tech:
Electronics:
Education:
Cyber Security:
VR:
Software Development:
Drones:
Gaming:

 

 


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.

Follow us on Twitter @enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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