Posts byClaire Fletcher

Sheffield Digital AGM: That’s a wrap!

Reflecting on our first major in-person event since the pandemic.

Company and individual members, plus supporters and friends of Sheffield Digital came together last week for our Annual General Meetup. Held at the Showroom Workstation in Sheffield, we were very happy to see more than 80 members of the community join us at our first major in-person meetup since 2019. In this post, we’ll give

Learn with Paper

New training for user researchers

Learn to do user research Paper’s first course is designed for people who have some experience of either doing user research or working with user research. This might include those working in their first user research role, or retraining in this specialist area. The course will be delivered to a small group, allowing the facilitators

Could you be our new Company Membership Manager?

This is a new freelance, part time role to help us strengthen our relationship with company members.

Sheffield Digital currently has 77 company members and 82 individual and freelance members, plus a variety of sponsors and partner organisations. Our new company membership manager will be responsible for engaging with the organisation’s company members in a way which builds value, awareness and engagement, and for building relationships with companies who are not yet

The Sheffield Digital Mentoring Scheme: looking ahead to 2022

Our new mentorship lead, Sarah Lister, has some important advice and information for mentors and mentees.

Can you provide a brief overview of how the first cohort of the mentoring scheme went, throughout 2021? There has been a really positive response from the community in terms of people signing up to the scheme, and setting up the initial meetings. What we need to work on is maintaining and developing the relationships

BJSS: Sheffield, growth and a new home

The company’s Sheffield workforce has almost tripled in size since moving to Cubo, and is still growing.

BJSS approaches its new offices like new businesses, applying a start-up model to get things off the ground. Mike explains, “As delivery manager, I am expected to run my offices (Mike has recently opened a base in Lincoln, too) like my own business. So, whilst we have the breadth and depth of the BJSS machine

Company spotlight: Tes

The global company is growing its EdTech base in Sheffield.

Tes employs over 600 people in 10 offices across the world, including in London, Sheffield, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, and Dubai. Originally a printed newspaper supplement to support schools and teachers with their work, the company has expanded its products and services over the years, transforming into a global EdTech company. Throughout this transformation, Tes

The positive impact of gaming during lockdown

A new report from Ask4 has shown the significant impact that gaming had on students’ skills and wellbeing during the 2020 lockdown.

Within weeks of the world entering lockdown in 2020, users of online gaming platforms such as Steam and Twitch soared. The popularity of video gaming, and particularly online gaming, increased as many people picked up a controller to help reduce the stresses and anxieties of social restrictions and lockdowns, as well as using online games

Creative, cultural and digital come together at regional networking event

Creative practitioners are invited to a South Yorkshire wide networking event to explore the power of digital in expanding the reach of their industries.

The event is part of a series of South Yorkshire Cultural and Creative Industries Network sessions open to a full spectrum of creatives, including those who work in theatre, TV, film, publishing, arts, design, music, photography and much more. It is free to join and will be held at Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre from 5.30pm

The Sheffield Digital Festival 2022 is coming!

We need your help to make next year’s event the best yet.

Our last two festivals have been entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the 2020 and 2021 festivals, the community hosted over 60 online events, ranging from masterclasses, product demos and virtual exhibitions, to webinars and panel discussions. We are hopeful that our 2022 festival will have some in-person events and experiences, although we

Sheffield shines at northern tech awards

Three Sheffield tech firms bagged awards last week at the Prolific North Tech Awards 2021.

The Awards, which were presented at a ceremony at Manchester’s Science & Industry Museum on 21 October, were judged by an independent panel (which included our very own Chris Dymond) during a two-stage process. ‘Small Tech Company of the Year’ went to Razor, who stood out amongst strong competition including Leeds-based XR Games and Manchester’s

Event to open doors for creative sector

Creative practitioners across South Yorkshire are invited to collaborate with the region's film, music, arts and theatre leaders.

The South Yorkshire Cultural & Creative Industries Network has been established after the success of the Cultural and Creative Industries Summit in Sheffield last month. It will offer a collaborative, supportive space for people who work or volunteer their time across the full spectrum of creative industries including theatre, TV, film, publishing, design and music.

Is your e-waste causing a global health crisis?

Unwanted electrical goods including computers, tablets and smartphones are putting the health of millions of children at risk.

According to a separate report produced by the United Nations University (UNU), the ‘Global E-Waste Monitor 2020’, 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated globally in 2019, up 21% in five years. More than 20% of this is made of screens and small IT equipment. The UNU predicts that global e-waste –

BRM Solicitors signs up with Sheffield Digital

We are delighted to welcome the regional law firm as Associate Sponsors.

The team at BRM see massive potential in Sheffield City Region’s digital industries. They want to use their expertise to help more tech businesses, and particularly start-ups, to realise their ambitions and achieve growth and commercial success. BRM’s approach is to work with clients rather than for them, educating them and equipping them with the

An update on the Sheffield Digital Mentoring scheme

Six months ago we launched our first mentoring scheme for Individual Members. So, how’s it going?

So far, 21 mentors have signed up to the scheme, offering many different skills and areas of expertise. We have 12 mentees on the scheme, and some of these have been matched with more than one mentor, giving us 14 matches in total. Our mentees have signed up to the scheme for many different reasons.

Recruiting junior developers? Look no further…

Meet and interview graduates from new developer bootcamps, who are trained to meet the needs of Sheffield’s digital industries.

Why interview a graduate from the Developer Academy? The courses are all completely fee-free to unemployed people in our region, thanks to funding secured from the government’s Skills for Jobs initiative and Sheffield City Council. This, and the fact that no prior tech experience is needed to apply, means the training is more accessible to

Meet the Meetup: Sheffield DM

This successful event for digital marketers is back with a bang in September, with a hybrid format, a new venue, and three exciting speakers.

Why and when did you start the Sheffield DM meetup? Officially, Sheffield DM started in November 2018 as a remedy to the lack of great digital marketing events in the wider Sheffield and South Yorkshire region. In reality, the idea stemmed a good year before that after I tweeted about an inkling of an idea

EyUp launches funding for people to retrain into tech

EyUp has announced a new bursary scheme to support its mission to plug the digital skills gap.

The EyUp Skills coding course will be delivered in partnership with the award winning iO Academy. It is a fully immersive 16 week Full Stack Track, teaching people all they need to know to get their first job as a software developer. Learning in small classes from professional developers with real-life experience, students gain practical

Free developer training for jobseekers

The Developer Academy has announced two free courses for unemployed adults who want a career in tech.

The Developer Academy has been selected to offer a full-time Data Science Bootcamp, as part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs. Fully funded by the Department for Education (DfE), this programme runs over 12 weeks and begins in November 2021. Delivered remotely, it teaches a tried-and-tested data science curriculum to ensure

Company spotlight: Rivelin Robotics

We hear how robotics can transform post-processing in additive manufacturing.

Robert and his team are making near-net-shape manufacturing methods such as casting and additive manufacturing (techniques that produce items very close to their final (net) shape), an attractive option for the volume production of complex, bespoke and time-sensitive components. This is useful for industries including aerospace, automotive, energy and medical. Using robotic technology to remove

Tes launches engineering hub in Sheffield

The hub will create 20 new jobs in the city and will boost Sheffield’s reputation for EdTech innovation.

Tes, which opened its office in St Paul’s Place in Sheffield city centre in 2018, already employs over 200 people in the city. This new engineering hub will employ a further 20 software engineers based in Sheffield. Tes has been actively involved in many education and tech initiatives since arriving in the city, for example

SHU helps SMEs to access higher skills and achieve higher growth

It is now easier for local businesses to navigate the support on offer at Sheffield Hallam University.

HSHG is delivered in partnership by Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College and RNN Group, and is part-funded by the European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020. SMEs, start-ups and microbusinesses in Sheffield City Region can access a tailored business package to support their innovation and to help them develop new opportunities. The programme offers a diagnostic

Company spotlight: Hydra Creative

We speak to Hydra Creative about awards, SEO, and the approach that has helped them to weather the storm.

Founded over a decade ago by owners Ryan and Gemma Daniels, Hydra Creative is now a 19-strong team of digital professionals. As a full-service digital agency, the team is made up of experts in UX, digital marketing, multimedia, 3D Design, software development, account management, SEO, videography and graphic design. Despite the company’s growth, Hydra Creative

Discover speech & language technologies at the UoS

See PhD research, hear from leading practitioners, and find out how you can innovate in speech and language tech, at an online event next week.

The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Speech and Language Technologies (SLT) and their Applications is a collaboration between UKRI (the UK’s national academic research funder), The University of Sheffield, and industry partners. Through an eight year funding period, approximately 60 PhD students across five cohorts will complete a unique four year training programme

Company Spotlight: CityFibre

Our newest company member is laying the foundations to make Sheffield a Gigabit City.

Our new company member, CityFibre is building full fibre networks across the UK to transform cities through world-class digital connectivity. Residents and businesses in Sheffield will, over the course of the next five years, benefit from faster and more reliable internet connections, after CityFibre began building the city’s new digital infrastructure earlier this year. What

An Accounting and Finance Bootcamp from Shorts

To mark Sheffield Digital Festival, Shorts is helping tech businesses get to grips with their finances, from early growth stages, through to preparing to sell.

The video guides you through the lifespan of a tech business, from the early stages, through to growth and maturity, and up to the stage of preparing to sell the business. Throughout the journey, you are given practical advice and suggestions about how you can use and manage your finances to support growth and business

Playground Returns

Sheffield’s interactive digital exhibition for children is back this July at Site Gallery.

Playground Playground has invited some of the world’s most innovative artists, developers and companies specialising in creative and interactive play, to show their cutting-edge projects in Sheffield this July. Playground is aimed at 5-12 year-olds, however everyone is welcome to visit during Site Gallery’s opening hours, to make some noise, enjoy yourselves and have fun.

Company Spotlight: Disputed

We speak to the legal tech company about growth, funding, and happy teams

Steve Shinn was based in London and working as CTO for a digital agency when he had the idea for Disputed’s first solution, CaseFunnel, in early 2018. He noticed a trend in mass claims and class action lawsuits, like the high profile VW emissions scandal, and cases against price-fixing in the football shirt industry. This

A safe return to co-working in Sheffield

How are the city’s co-working spaces making people feel safe and at home as they reopen?

Sheffield Technology Parks Sheffield Technology Parks was keen to safely reopen its co-working space – The Cooper Lounge – as soon as possible following last year’s lockdown, and this year was no different. Chief Executive, Tom Wolfenden, comments: “The New Year lockdown was disappointing news for our staff and customers. As we’ve said before, many

Member spotlight: Emily Dreimann

We hear from Emily about squiggly careers, getting creative with data, and beehives!

Can you give us an overview of your career to date, and how you got to the role you are now in? I was recently introduced to the term “squiggly career” by Sophie, Sheffield Digital’s Community Manager, which is definitely the ideal description of how I made my way to my current role! I studied

Institute of Technology bid asks: What are your skills gaps?

Share your views about how new education provision in the region could support your business’s future growth.

What is an Institute of Technology (IoT)? The Department of Education, IoT Wave 2 prospectus gives the following description: “IoTs are a new type of institution, with a prestigious and distinct identity delivering higher level technical education with a clear route to high skilled employment. IoTs will strengthen and grow provision to help bridge a

Evoluted shares big plans for 2021

The digital agency made a strong start to the year, securing new clients and welcoming new faces to the team.

After overcoming the challenges felt through the industry and beyond in 2020, Evoluted is excited by its strong start to the year. The client wins are two long-term retainer contracts with Mountain Boot Co, a distributor of outdoor brands, and Talasey, a UK supplier of landscaping products and solutions. Both companies have partnered with Evoluted

Introducing the Sheffield Digital Mentoring Scheme

Our new scheme will help Individual Members to develop and achieve their career goals.

Why mentoring? After consulting with our Individual Members about what they wanted from their membership, we could see there was demand to create a scheme where people could develop themselves and work towards a career goal. And what better way to do that than tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experience that exists among

Three wins for Airship at UK Dev Awards 2021

The hospitality tech company is celebrating being named Dev Team of the Year.

Sheffield-based hospitality technology company Airship has won three awards at the UK Developer Awards 2021 – including the prestigious Dev Team of the Year accolade. The team also won Project of the Year and Innovation of the Year awards in recognition of the speedy development and rollout of Trck.to, a track and trace solution for

Introducing our new campaign to open up the tech sector

Uncovering the exciting opportunities in Sheffield’s digital tech industries.

About the campaign Even in the midst of a global pandemic, our Jobs Board has stayed busy. Week after week, we are posting amazing opportunities to join the region’s most innovative and exciting companies. This is all great news, so why the campaign? The jobs exist, but we are not connecting the dots to help

Career change: becoming freelance in the tech sector

Making the move to self-employment is a big step, so what do you need to know?

“When you become a freelancer, you’re not just taking on one role, you become the project manager, the accountant, the CEO, the client manager… freelancing is running a business.” We took this quote from a very handy and recent blog post published by Creative Boom. We love it and have included it here because it’s

National Digital Skills Audit 2020

Digital tech companies throughout the UK took part in the Digital Skills Audit last autumn, what did they say?

Trend 1 – Remote Working Unsurprisingly, 43% of the businesses who responded plan to offer full time remote working over the next 12 months. In addition, 29% have reduced their office space and the percentage of businesses who described themselves as “office only” dropped from 24% before the pandemic to 4% at the time of

Company Spotlight: Mina

Find out how this young company’s tech solution is helping to get more electric vehicles on the roads.

Mina was started by Ashley Tate and Chris Dalrymple. After meeting through Sheffield Digital, Ashley and Chris combined their expertise – and a shared passion for increasing the number of EVs on the roads – to create a unique tech solution. Ashley, an entrepreneur and founder of several businesses including Split the Bills, understands the

Games Ed 21 is coming

An event for games studios, educators and recruiters will tackle the challenges of training and hiring talent into the games industry.

The Summit is organised by the BGI and is just one of the events happening during Games Careers Week, designed to inspire people from all backgrounds to discover careers in one of the UK’s fastest-growing creative sectors. As the tech sector and UK games industry adjust to new immigration rules (explained in this post), which

Volunteer virtually to inspire the future

You can help young people to engage with the digital industries from the comfort of home.

How does it work? Inspiring the Future from Education and Employers has a free online portal for schools and colleges, and for individuals who want to volunteer. On signing up, teachers can publish specific opportunities, search for volunteers that meet their criteria, and invite them to participate. Volunteers can use the portal to search for

Getting to grips with new immigration law

Immigration law specialists from Fragomen Sheffield explain what the post-Brexit rules mean for those working and hiring in the digital sector.

Most people would agree that the end of 2020 came as a welcome relief, but the start of 2021 is already bringing its own challenges in the immigration world, underscored by the much-anticipated overhaul of the UK’s immigration system. The headline news is that freedom of movement has now ended for new arrivals to the

Ecosystem Update Autumn 2020: Focus on – Sheffield’s Start-Up Ecosystem

The focus of this edition of the Ecosystem Update is on the support available to people who want to start their own business in the Sheffield City Region.

Without a doubt, none of us could have imagined how different the world would be in 2020. When we published our first “Quarterly Briefing” in October 2019, we fully expected to be producing regular updates on the state of Sheffield’s digital industries. Instead, we find ourselves 12 months on, grappling with the long term impacts

Ecosystem Update Autumn 2020: “Recovery through collaboration”

We hear from Cllr Mazher Iqbal about the impact and recovery from Covid-19 in the latest Sheffield Digital Ecosystem update.

Writing this in October of 2020, the economic impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic are at the top of everyone’s mind and do not feel like they will be resolved for a long time, but I am proud of the collaboration that is at the heart of Sheffield’s response, across all sectors. A Business Response

Ecosystem Update Autumn 2020: Headline Info and Sector Priorities

In this edition of the Sheffield Digital Ecosystem Update, we focus primarily on data relating to our community, including events and recruitment.

Sector Priorities Increase engagement in R&D-led funding opportunities, as Sheffield doesn’t claim as much as it should for the size of its economy. Create a city-wide tech careers engagement strategy. Bring all the startup, scaleup, funding and business support infrastructure together in an annual conference and expo. Develop a region-wide digital transformation agency, which acts

Member Spotlight: Mark Wrigley

In this interview, Mark shares his love of physics, disruptive technologies, and encouraging young people into STEM through maker activity.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do now and the career you’ve had? A few years ago I decided to downsize and become financially independent. I sold my house in Hampshire and moved back to my home town of Sheffield, mortgage free! I had been widowed a few years earlier, the last

Donate your unwanted devices this new year

A new campaign is asking businesses to donate unwanted computers to support at-home learning for underprivileged children in Sheffield.

The campaign estimates that 11,000 children in the city are living in households without access to a laptop, tablet or PC. This includes 160 pupils at Athelstan Primary School in Sheffield which is one of the first to benefit from the scheme. Headteacher Deb Halliday said, “We expected to get 58 laptops from the government

Company spotlight: KDA Web Services

Our newest company member tells us about being climate positive, celebrating 20 years in business, and having a new local focus.

KDA Web Services provide a variety of services related to internet and web infrastructure to small-medium sized businesses throughout the UK and in some cases, worldwide. Services range from basic web hosting, domain registration, email and application hosting, through to high speed connectivity and complex private cloud solutions, along with advice and support. The majority

New partnership to drive digital growth at Tickets for Good

The social enterprise has teamed up with The Curve to help scale its digital capacity in preparation for the return to live events.

Tickets for Good works to make events more charitable and inclusive by providing free event tickets to charities and social groups through The Ticket Bank. Throughout the pandemic Tickets for Good has continued to provide this service virtually through online events and resources, to support the mental health and wellbeing of people at risk of

Responding to the pandemic through innovation and creativity

The tech sector was quick to respond to the impact of COVID-19. Here are just a few of the innovations born out of the pandemic in Sheffield City Region.

Airship backs hospitality industry with new tech and financial support Airship developed a platform to help the hospitality sector open its doors after lockdown, whilst fulfilling the NHS Track & Trace requirements. Trck.to provides an onsite data registration system, capturing the details required by the NHS if a positive case of COVID-19 is identified at

Career Change: sideways moves and squiggly careers in the tech sector

Shared experiences and advice from people who have made one or more moves to different roles in the tech sector.

What are sideways or squiggly career moves? First things first, let’s bust some jargon. A sideways (or lateral) career move is generally considered to be “similar in responsibility and pay to the one you already have” (according to Indeed), and this can include moves within your existing company, or to a different place. The term

Help make cyber skilled kids the next tech superstars

This national programme helps to prevent young people from committing cyber crime, directing them towards a career in tech, instead.

The Cyber Choices network was created to help young people make informed choices and to use their cyber skills in a legal way. Its work is delivered under two main strands, the first being to raise awareness of the Computer Misuse Act by delivering talks and presentations in schools and community settings. This helps to