Tech leaders meetup

(Andy Wootton) #21

I wonder if being a tech leader in KPMG is the same as being one in the start-up community. I imagine the difference might be informative for both.

(Alex Russell) #22

Looking at his profile, he has specifically worked with startups in his role at KPMG. (Though has also worked with much larger companies.)

But yeah, I’m still not sure what a tech leader really is and what there is to discuss (that gets anything done). Maybe that just shows I’m not part of such a community :slight_smile:

(Matthew Steer) #23

Update. Went along to the KPMG event and it wasn’t what I was hoping for. The attendees were by no means all (or even mostly) tech leaders and it was just drinks and nibbles followed by a quick blag by a couple of local investment companies.

I’ve not got much further myself, though I’m checking to see if AlphaWorks (floor 21 in Alpha Tower) would be willing to give us a space some evening. Good grief, did I start this thread in Feb?!? : P

(Jim Seconde) #24

I’d probably be interested in this - though my role isn’t really as a tech leader, but more of a community leader. Or, attempted community leader let’s say :wink:

(Rnr_Pauline) #25

I’m still interested.

I’ll mention this at the Silicon Canal Women in Tech Working Group meeting tomorrow night.


(Andy Wootton) #26

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. KPMG are accountants and consultants. They might be expected to be interested in the finance and swapping advice for money rather than giving much away free. I think most of us are more interested in a swap-shop model of mutual benefit that doesn’t involve a one-way flow of cash.

(Jim Seconde) #27

Is anybody actually in contact with Andy Street’s board?

(Andy Wootton) #28

I’m not but I saw a job on Twitter somewhere yesterday for a ‘Head of Digital’ type job to assist him.

(Jim Seconde) #29

I am slightly wary that I know nobody that has actually seen any movement on it. Apart from a representative turning up to Brum.js, clearly not really understanding what it was or what to do and leaving.

(Andy Wootton) #30

Twitter @h_kippin 8/2, link to LinkedIn “West Midlands Major Seeks Chief Digital Officer”

I just discovered that Computing and Computer Weekly still exist:

(Jim Seconde) #31

February. Not really encouraging is it

(Andy Wootton) #32

I don’t know! Have they failed to find anyone? Have they appointed someone but we haven’t heard about it? Are they avoiding us because we are trouble-makers?

I think it is concerning that someone like me who has a finger in a lot of local /tech pies hadn’t even heard that the job had been advertised until this week.

“Digital Chief” would have given me a good LOL.

(Marc Cooper) #33


I’d not heard of it either. But I regard this as symptomatic of the current disconnect.

Here’s the job spec.

It’s not nearly specific nor detailed enough, imo. It uses the term “driving” a lot. That’s a poor term for developing technology services – it’s very different for product. The best you can do is enable and find the right people. Given the constraints: “get things done without requiring a large direct team” and no budget (apparently); driving anything is doubtful. (Clearly, it’s marketing/PR/mgt-speak, but – as we all know – when dealing with technology, at any level, details are critical.)

When I’m approached about roles specified in this way, the game I play is to ask myself what I would on day one. Given the five “key areas”, what would you do? :thinking:

(Stuart Langridge) #34

Yeah; I vaguely toyed with applying. But it’s not actually a technology job. It’s about looking for “partners” and whatnot. So, not for me…

(Andy Wootton) #35

Well done for finding that. I did a search at Harvey Nash for something like “Birmingham Mayor digital” and was shown 5 of 9 jobs with no way to get to the next page :slight_smile:

(Pauline Roche) #36

I knew they were looking for a CDO. I hear they have appointed someone but they are not announcing who it is yet. I am also in touch with Dave Maclean, Chair of Andy Street’s Digital Board, about open data.

(Andy Wootton) #37

I’ve been looking for some way I could get more directly involved in our/SC’s mission but I haven’t been very inspired by the working groups so far. Open (data, protocols and systems) are far more my kind of thing.

I find Silicon Canal’s expressed values put too much value on the individual entrepreneur rather than the interests of the whole community. I don’t think people are all equal and deserve exactly the same but I’d like to see any benefits from the city’s technical advances spread a little more equally. I’m more interested in inclusive networks than exclusive hierarchies, with rewards being shared more across hard workers and people with ideas rather than investors. Tech didn’t have a price of entry when I joined but it seems to now, so I feel I need to try to reverse that. I was very pleased to see Andy Street supporting ‘School of Code’. It was the first time I’d felt a Birmingham politician had any feel for the problem they were facing. He also seems to understand that decisions he takes have impact beyond the boundaries of the WMCA.

(Jim Seconde) #38

Our aim a isn’t to go down the entrepreneur route. That’s why the talk is of building the community agnostically by providing the tools of communication and eventing - the people make it, not the bosses.

(Andy Wootton) #39

There are people here who consider themselves entrepreneurs though. I don’t think open communication is in conflict with that. On average we are stronger when working together. The Lunar Society worked that out. It’s why we have human societies. The debate is about how the power, work and rewards get distributed.

Some even claim bosses are people too :slight_smile:

How does decide its aims?

(Jim Seconde) #40

I would say the aims are decided by one of the consortium coming up with an idea (either from themselves or from someone else) and attempting an implementation of it. If the implementation is a failure, either we discuss how it could be re-implemented or we ditch it because they community has decided, and there’s no need for it.