High Tech Sector News

Covid-19 Update: Richard Wheeler Associates is Open for Business as Usual

As the UK enters its fourth week of the Coronavirus lockdown, Richard Wheeler Associates is still fully open for business as usual.

RWA has operated a remote working policy for many years, which means we are set-up for and used to working from home. Luckily, the lockdown has not presented any major challenges to the way we work.

Remote Working: Coronavirus Could Cause a Permanent Shift to Home Working

The Coronavirus pandemic could result in the permanent move to remote working for many people, as companies are forced to encourage home working to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

After being forced to set-up a home office and get used to using cloud remote working tools, employees will be reluctant to return to commuting to the office 5 days a week and asking if they need to do this. This might be an opportunity for huge change in the way we work.

What Is The Joel Test And How Valuable Is It?

The Joel Test was created in August 2000 by Joel Spolsky, a Software Developer from New York City, who is a founder and CEO of Stack Overflow, creator of Trello project management software, and ex-Microsoft employee.

The test is designed to rate the quality of a software team, all in about 3 minutes! It consists of 12 ‘Yes / No’ questions that are intended to be quick and simple to answer.

A team is given 1 point for each ‘Yes’ answer - the higher the score the better. So a score of 12 is perfect and means that you have an effective, disciplined team that can deliver. Of course the test evaluates the software team and not the software, so you can have a perfect score and still produce an unsuccessful end product.

Weaker Pound Secures Record Investment in UK Tech Sector

Fast-growing UK tech companies secured a record £5.5bn in foreign investment in the first seven months of this year, according to research for the government’s digital economy council. The study for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) revealed that the UK has overtaken the US for the amount of investment per capita.

Funding growth was driven by US and Asian investment in private companies valued at more than $1bn, such as a renewable energy company Ovo Energy and takeaway business Deliveroo.

Women In Tech

Further to National Women’s Day on the 8th March, RWA delves into statistics to find that women are a minority in modern day tech. Despite the fact that women have always been instrumental in technology development, according to a survey by PwC, only 15% of employees in STEM roles in the UK are women and only 3% of females say that a career in tech is their first choice.

So, do women now have a general lack of interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) positions? Is there a bias inhibiting women’s success in these roles? Are there cultural elements causing the decline?

Is Data Harvesting and Sharing by Mobile Apps out of Control?

Data harvesting and sharing by mobile apps is "out of control", University of Oxford researchers have warned.  And according to the Financial Times, nearly 90% of free apps on the Google Play store share data with Google's parent company Alphabet

Many free apps track behaviour across many different digital services, which allows companies to build up a detailed profile of people using the app. This data can include age, gender, location, and information about other apps on a smartphone.

The data can then be used for a number of purposes including targeted advertising, credit scoring, or targeted political campaign messages, the researchers point out.

Migration Advisory Committee Report Implications For Tech Talent

A recent report ‘EEA Migration in the UK’ published by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended that there should be no preferential access to the UK for EU citizens post Brexit.

The report was commissioned to provide evidence for the design of a new migration system and found that there is evidence that immigration has, on average, a positive impact on productivity; some evidence that this impact is larger for high-skilled migrants than lower-skilled migrants and that high-skilled immigrants increase innovation.

London is Home to More Software Developers than any other European City

The UK is no longer the top European destination for foreign workers - results from the Decoding Global Talent 2018 report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network have shown. Germany has replaced it as the European country most job seekers would consider moving to and Germany is now the second most popular work destination worldwide, behind the US.

The report is based on a survey of 366,000 workers, in 197 countries, on job preferences and mobility. The report shows that in 2014 the UK was the second most attractive country for a global workforce (ranked by the percentage of respondents willing to move to each country for work). Since then there has been a decline and the 2018 survey shows that the UK has dropped to 5th place behind the US, Germany, Canada and Australia. Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and Japan are in 6th to 10th place respectively.

The Future of Software Testing and Code Analysis

Today the role of software testers is changing and they are increasingly required to work more closely with developers and to learn more programming.

The future of software testing is using AI for automatic test generation. New software coding tools are being developed using AI, mathematical modelling and source code analysis techniques to automate software development and automatically generate unit tests. These tools will speed up the whole software development process and produce better quality code. The next generation of software testers will need to understand these new code analysis tools.

Let’s explore the future of code analysis itself.  Indeed, does it have a future at all? Perhaps programming languages will progress so far that code will unambiguously express the intentions of the programmer; components will be assembled on a trial-and-error basis; and fault-tolerance mechanisms will make up for any problems that arise at runtime due to errors in components or in their composition. 

CleanTech Momentum – The Growth Of Digital

BP has announced plans to invest US$500 million (£358.5 million) in low carbon businesses each year as it looks to further embrace the low carbon transition.

The oil and gas giant has just reported its 2017 financial performance - a full year underlying profit of US$6.2 billion - allowing the firm to continue with its five-year strategic plan to embrace the energy transition.  The investment commitment mirrors Shell’s recent plans to invest as much as US$2 billion per year in low carbon development.