Scotland has seen a sharp increase in the number of international businesses wishing to do business on its shores, in particular within the technology/software development industry. All great news for our economy, but maybe not so great for our small software houses.
The Software Developer role is listed on the UK Shortage Occupations list by the UK Visa Bureau.
When conglomerate businesses parachute in, they want experienced, well-trained people on board. While this may be totally reasonable, the only place this talent can be sourced from is the locally-based software house that has nurtured the talent of our diminishing numbers of Computing graduates.
These small software houses offer stability and interesting (often enjoyably problematic!) projects, which require agile development, creative thinking, problem-solving skills and collaborative R&D. They traditionally do not have employees sitting in cubicles coding for hours (with no say on how and why) without any human interaction (although this can be appealing to some employees).
A survey by the TUC found that employees in small businesses are the most satisfied at work. They also found:
- Increase in commitment and loyalty
- More engagement
- Fewer reports of bullying
- Lower stress levels
- Freedom to choose working patterns
The Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said "In terms of the way they treat their staff, small businesses consistently out perform their bigger competitors. Small business owners know that the greatest asset is their staff and they are more likely to treat them as individuals and recognise their needs. By having a committed and loyal workforce that has a say in how the organisation is run, the smallest business has a bigger advantage."
Back to my point that small software houses are the ‘bee’s knees’ to work - biased I know. They offer the flexibility to influence product development, company direction and culture.
There is no place to hide, and you are engaged, committed and part of the company. The benefits outweigh any negatives that may come from not being a household name (even though we are working for household name companies).
If you don’t want to be a small fish in a big pond, look to all the amazing small companies in Scotland and see what they can offer.
If you are interested in eLearning design and/or development in any format then get in touch with us - firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a growing business always looking for really good talent to join the team. Favoured skills are:
- Software Development
- Graphic Communication (UI & UX)
- Multimedia Design
- Project Management