Taking place from 10-15th October 2021, the Bristol Technology Festival was an opportunity to bring together local communities and tech experts in the South West region to provide support and guidance around how technology is supporting and connecting us in times of adversity.
As part of the initiative, we partnered with Bristol Technology Festival to explore the opportunities and challenges of the city’s thriving tech and digital sector. Amdaris hosted three panels at Harvey Nichols in Quakers Friars, Bristol, and brought together representatives from Amdaris, Ovo Energy, ISL Recruitment, Clue Computing, Huboo (and many more!) to explore how to find, retain and grow tech talent.
In this blog series, we will explore the three panel sessions and the key issues, advice and guidance discussed.
Building the right team
The panel, titled ‘Building the right team to deliver your impossible software development challenges’, delved into the importance of having a team that aligns with your company values and who understand the business problem you are trying to solve.
Kicking off the discussion, Ed Boal from Stephenson Law outlined the difficulty that building a highly skilled tech team brings. For example, the Stephenson Law team initially wanted to hire a full stack developer, but also “wanted somebody who was an effective project manager, great communicator and was also visionary. A Swiss Army knife of a developer.” Ed continued that he’s “sure these people were out there, but if they are, then they must cost an absolute fortune.”
James Burgess from Ovo Energy also recognised the challenges that finding the right talent can bring, especially when a company is growing quickly: “We hire based on values and based on someone’s attitude and their ability to learn. We look at the potential that we see in them, rather than hiring somebody who is the best at what they do.”
Cultural fit in the tech industry
When it comes to the right culture fit, Amdaris has the added layer of finding someone who fits the company culture and also the culture of Amdaris’ many clients. Andy Rogers, Co-CEO of Amdaris, added that “it’s about establishing a good culture and the right processes and ways of working and training – we’ve invested a lot in grassroots and support staff through university and internships. Every engineer is a representative of our business because they’re having direct contact with the client – you need to be partners.”
James agrees, and says that when the energy industry began adopting technology, it “hit like a train”. He added that “the industry had to scale up quickly as it began to offer a whole new suite of products to their customers.”
This is also something that Ed has seen in the legal industry. He argues that developers and lawyers aren’t so different: “They are deeply analytical people, detail-oriented, and like to take responsibility and do things in a particular way. Because of this, I’ve tried to not to make any assumptions about how long I think something will take and have an open dialogue about what can be delivered.”
To finish the discussion, the panel explored the idea of failing. To help developers be creative, Ovo Energy has “created an environment where people are allowed to fail”. Developers are encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them. Something that the whole panel agrees with.
To see the full panel discussion, watch below.