FS Fives: Monday, August 8

First up, we bring you news of the upcoming Turing Festival, which takes place next week at Central Hall in Edinburgh.

Among the talented array of speakers at this year’s festival is one Peter Herlihy, a man who was part of the team tasked with merging 400 departmental and agency websites into one single domain.

GOV.UK has become an exemplar of how to streamline information from an amalgam of disparate and seemingly incompatible sources and turn it into a digital thoroughbred feted around the world.

Herlihy, a product manager with the UK Government Digital Service, explains the backdrop to the service, which superseded Directgov in 2011. “The early days of GDS were very much like any startup,” he says.

“Terrible furniture, horrible offices, brilliant people, and a real buzz. We were flying pretty much under the radar at first, trying to make something to do the selling for us. That was the alpha of what has become GOV.UK — the single domain for all government publishing. There were less than 20 of us back then, and I think one of the reasons we were successful was the focus on “show don’t tell” — we definitely let our products do the talking.”

GDS now has 500 people working for it, so it should be a fascinating talk.

London Vs Scotland

As a tech startup, one of the most importance decisions a founder makes is where to base their business. Michael Hayes, founder of the tech hub Rookie Oven in Glasgow, has offered up some useful insights into his home city as a location versus that of London, where many of his peers chose to relocate upon completion of their degrees. Michael points out that whilst investment opportunities, networking, and wages are all better in London, the cost of living might put many people off, and the trend for distributed working (Slack, GitHub, Skype etc), means tech teams can be flexible as to where they locate.

“Basing your business in Scotland doesn’t mean you can’t still be part of the London tech industry and benefit from the advantages of it,” he says in a very useful comparison blog

Computer outage causes travel chaos for Delta passengers

Delta Airlines, which has flights out of Edinburgh to New York in a transatlantic partnership with Virgin, has been hit by a worldwide computer outage, causing all of its planes to be grounded.

According to the American carrier’s website, a power outage at its base in Atlanta disrupted its flights around the world, resulting in delays and cancellations.

“We are aware that flight status systems, including airport screens, are incorrectly showing flights on time,” the firm said. “We apologize to customers who are affected by this issue, and our teams are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Updates will be available on news.delta.com.

The Data Lab is hiring

One of Scotland’s eight national innovation centres, The Data Lab, is recruiting a second Project Development Manager, to be based in one of its three hubs (in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen).

“You’ll help us manage an extensive project portfolio worth millions pounds with both the private and public sectors in Scotland helping The Data Lab to generate significant economic, social and scientific value to Scotland from big data,” says the job spec.

“You will ensure a wide range of projects are delivered on time and within budget, providing strong project governance and direct project management, delivering analytics projects within industry and the public sector in Scotland.”

This post is fixed-term for 2.5 years and commands a salary of £38,896 to £46,414 for 35 hours each week.

And finally…What makes people feel upbeat at work? Well, you can start by not telling them to ‘be positive‘!


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