I have just received a nicely printed document called “Developing the Future” from Allison at Microsoft UK Academic Alliance. This is a summary of a report produced by the British Computer Society, software firm Intellect and Microsoft. The report is produced every year and takes a look at the way the UK Software Industry is going. If you are interested in the business I strongly suggest that you take a look at the summary. It makes lots of good points about the future. The full report is even more interesting (but is also 128 pages). Points that I took away were:
- The UK is still a great place to start a software business, with access to venture capital, a good tax regime and a public who provide a ready market for new developments. (although you might get bought out by a large multinational company if you do well – which might not be too bad I suppose). Other countries are starting to compete though, with targeted incentives for particular fields – notably Game Development in France and Canada.
- Whilst Small, Medium and Large software development companies are doing well, there has been a decline in “Micro” companies, with less than 10 employees (although the small company sector has got bigger – so perhaps the Micro companies are growing).
- There is still a “Knowledge Gap” in the Software Industry. Although there are many Computer Science courses in the UK, some are having difficulty recruiting students and there is a feeling amongst employers that not all software graduates have an appropriate skill set. Which leads to a good jobs market for those that have.
I read this with my “Hull University, Department of Computer Science” hat on of course, and I like to think that the graduates we produce are useful and have good employment prospects. Past experience seems to bear this out, and (not wishing to blow our own trumpet or anything) the fact that we are presently ranked sixth in the country for graduate employment bodes well.
You can get the summary, and the full report from here: