Latest Recruitment posts

Who will teach Computing Science?

05 Sep 2012

As a secondary school teacher, I believe that we must provide learners with the opportunity to study Computing Science at school (Sowing the seeds of digital success: An interview with skills champion Ian Livingstone). Through this subject, learners will develop resiliency, problem-solving and many other 21st century skills.

However, what concerns me is that very little support has been offered to schools. This will have consequences for students where departmental teachers have little experience of Computing Science theory and are not specialists within this area. Can students really have the best possible teaching from people who do not understand the technologies and the way in which they integrate into the broader technological landscape?

As the article states, the Computing at School group has 1,000 teachers who are able to teach Computer Science. The problem remains that as of January 2010, there were 24,605 schools in the UK. 

If this initiative is to be credible and successful, it should become compulsory that by 2014 all Computing Science teachers should have studied Computing Science (or similar) at university. After all, could you imagine Chemistry being taught by a linguist who has little understanding of the subject?

Matthew Ryder

Survival strategy for programmers

31 Jul 2012

All generalist coders work under the shadow of their job being outsourced somewhere cheaper (The most important skill to master). So, as well as having a sound general knowledge of something like object-oriented programming (C, Java etc), it’s a good idea to develop a niche skill that is hard to export to a generalist outsourcing outfit.

Also, if you are well integrated into your business rather than being seen as a separate service department, making yourself irreplaceable becomes much easier. Take an interest in what your non-IT colleagues are doing and look for ways to lock your job into theirs.

Do not allow yourself to become pushed into a coding backwater, and keep up with all new developments.

Paul Hirons

IT graduates take years to learn the ropes

24 May 2012

I’ve met so many IT graduates: bushy-tailed and bright-eyed, they stroll into the datacentre and are utterly, utterly baffled (The decline, fall and rebirth of IT education).

It takes years to make them useful because their degree adds up to a course in the history of IT with a spot of HTML programming.

The only thing they are good for is project management – they know just enough to talk the talk but are a long distance from walking the walk.

John K

Recruitment process needs an overhaul

21 Mar 2012

I have long held the view that the UK is more than self-sufficient in technology skills (Is the UK heading for another tech skills crisis?). The so-called “skills gap” is generally to be found between supply and demand, ie the disconnect between skills holders and those who need the skills.

In days gone by this gap was undoubtedly the basis for a very vibrant contract market. Since then, however, the skills base has grown substantially – therefore increasing the pool of available and highly-skilled people.

The paradox is that we often hear of a skills gap in parallel with tales of highly-skilled people leaving the industry. I have also heard many leavers cite frustration with the recruitment processes, feeling poorly served by agencies who don’t have the skills themselves to assess candidates properly.

Generally speaking the agencies, in defence of their short-listing processes, cite overwhelming responses to advertised posts, which seems to re-inforce my perception that the UK does not have an IT skills gap.
My challenge to the IT recruitment process – employers and intermediaries – is to devise ways of working – particularly selection – that genuinely serve both clients and candidates.

Despite the broad application of IT to dis-intermediation of other business processes, we don’t yet seem to have come up with an effective application in the area of IT recruitment.

Colin Beveridge

Monstrous waste of money

21 Mar 2012

So the Department for Work and Pensions is basically paying Monster between £15m and £20m for a ready-made software package (DWP appoints Monster to overhaul Jobcentre Plus online services).

This is an absolute shocking waste of government money.

And surely this paragraph is a joke: “It is expected that the service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the exception of planned downtime.”

Wow, 24/7 for an online service! What a novel idea. I guess that was the USP.

Eddie Jones