Scotland’s vibrant tech scene places demand on skills

Talented web and mobile software developers will be highly sought after in 2017 as the Scottish technolgy industry continues its growth.

Gordon Kaye and Sam Wason, joint managing directors of specialist recruiter Cathcart Associates, have a unique insight into the hiring plans of many of the country’s top tech firms and they are predicting another busy year ahead.

“From Skyscanner’s £1.4 billion acquisition and FreeAgent’s IPO to the news that Edinburgh has been voted the best place in Europe to start a digital business, 2016 has been a big year for Scottish tech,” said Kaye.

“Scotland’s vibrant start-up scene has resulted in hundreds of innovative tech companies springing up across the country this year and this will certainly continue into 2017.

“The skills gap has been an issue facing the UK tech sector for a number of years now and as demand continues to outstrip supply, the shortage of talent will continue to have an impact on the sector in 2017.’

Wason said: “Our consultants are seeing the biggest need for web and mobile software developers and the appetite for people with those skills shows no sign of slowing. Javascript and full stack developers are in ferociously high demand and we expect that trend to continue over the next 12 months.”

They say growth areas include FinTech, the mobile market – as an increasing number of graduate developers begin to seek jobs in the industry – and big data, which is now much more accessible to companies in the UK thanks to the strides being made in technologies such as Splunk, Hadoop and Hive.

Wason said: “What’s evident is that the need for skilled IT workers means that the best developers can have the luxury of being picky about where they work. Importantly though, it’s clear that businesses don’t just want good coders.

“They need good people who can code at the same time as understanding the real life application of what they are doing. Business savvy, young, bright developers are very valuable.”

Cathcart Associates are specialist IT recruiters focused on recruiting high calibre IT professionals into a wide range of exciting, fast-paced roles within the tech industry. Founded in 2009, the firm is headquartered in Edinburgh with offices in Manchester, Hamburg and Bangkok.