Software programming debate: self-taught VS degree?

By Hannah McMillan-O'Brien

When the skills gap for tech companies was identified, investment was plunged in the industry’s direction, hoping to fix the issue quickly. Schools adding software programming to compulsory curriculum and more coding camps popped up around the North West.

Funds and loans were put aside encouraging people to consider career changes and invest in a sustainable tech future. However, the funds leaned more towards teaching Generation Z and encouraging women of  Generation Y. This opened a market for online coding boot camps, appealing to those seeking control over the learning process. Hence the birth of the self-taught vs degree debate… (more…)

Agile: It’s a way of thinking, not a way of working

By Hannah McMillan-O'Brien

As PC computing began to expand in the enterprise, early 1990s, software development faced a crisis. At the time, it was widely referred to as the “application development crisis”. Industry experts estimated that the time between validated business need and an actual application in production was about three years.

The problem was, business moved faster than that, even 25 years ago. Within the space of three years, requirements, systems and even entire businesses were likely to change. That meant that many projects ended up being cancelled partway through, and many of those that were completed didn’t meet all the business’ current needs, even if the project’s original objectives were met. (more…)

How the repositioning of employee skills will transform the current working marketplace?

By Hannah McMillan-O'Brien

In a study conducted by Oxford Economics, it identified four broad areas where skills will be in the greatest demand over the next 5 to 10 years. These include:

1. Digital Skills

Currently employment is experiencing the fastest-growing economy for a high demand in technically skilled workers. In particular, the emergence of social media is putting a premium on developing new forms of digital expression and marketing literacy. Alike, the rapid expansion and investment of the UK tech industry we’ve seen creation and adoption of new digital technologies, which has enabled business software and systems to build internal efficiencies that will remain a high priority, meaning a continued high demand for employees possessing the digital skill.

2. Agile Thinking

In a period of sustained uncertainty, where economic, political and market conditions can change suddenly, agile thinking and the ability to proactively prepare for multiple scenarios is paramount.

To succeed in the changing marketplace of the future, HR executives also put a high premium of innovative thinking, dealing with complexity and managing paradoxes.

Strategic People have used 2019 as a good playing field to adapt the different ways our clients work, in the hope to gain further professional understanding as well as individual consultant success. Recently the team took part in an Agile Day, compiling to do lists and creating visual 3 column tables of the wall, full of colourful posits representing each stage of their task. We tracked the results to compare a standard working day and found an increase of 120% increase on BD calls.  Below is the example of our Agile Board:

3. Interpersonal and communication skills

As a majority rule, most HR executives believe that co-creativity and brainstorming skills will increase in demand, as will relationship building and collaboration. This has already been evidenced in the shift from command and control organisations to more fluid co-working styles. This will continue to align strategic goals, build census and encourage collaboration amongst all departments of work. The exciting challenge will bring a vast variety of geographies and cultures to encompass working enterprises of the future.


4. Global Operating Skills

Reflecting the impetus of firms to expand in markets around the world, the facility to manage diverse employees is seen as the most important operating skill over the next 5 to 10 years. In the UK, companies are embracing the merge of global talent to penetrate new markets, expand existing knowledge and develop as international businesses. There will be a further increase where home market products and services will be tailored to the tastes of overseas customers and then bought back home to mature expanding markets.

With all the current and predicted changes the marketplace is undergoing it is important to align HR strategies with business transformation objectives. Oxford Economics research shows the increasing priority put on integration/synergy as a transformation tool. Though it can be difficult to navigate in times of constant change, aligning business and talent management keeping the above skill sets in mind, will be crucial to future company success.