Shoreditch goes searching for young techies

Silicon Milkroundabout Shoreditch 2011

A JOB MARKET in a brewery; now you’re talking. Beer may not be not made there but it’s certainly sold at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane E1 6QL and if such a hip venue helps young skilled techies to get a job, who could object? (Principled teetollers?)

Yep, propeller-heads are in demand. Silicon Roundabout/Tech City, the hi-tech and entrepreneur hub around Old Street roundabout, thought the need was so great that last May it set up its own milk round, as employment fairs are sometimes known. Pete Smith, of Songkick, one of the roundabout’s resident companies, said: “We had been moaning about how hard it was to find great [software] developers.”

Software-engineering graduates did not always think of applying to a start-up, he said, hoping to work for a corporate such as Google, which has premises in Tech City, or for one of the multinationals in the adjacent City.

But there are more entrepreneurial pathways and the next road to the future spreads out at the old brewery this month. Last year’s attracted 1,500 or so would-be employees, and this year, on the employer side, Smith hopes that 100-plus companies will be offering 700 or so jobs.

He adds that there is also great diversity, from “companies spanning financial services to the music industry”. Some entrepreneurs might even be looking for a co-founder:  a job offer, rather than come with a high salary, might include “a big slug of shares”.

* Silicon Milkroundabout, the Old Truman Brewery, T1 space, entry at 81 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, Sat 26 May 2012, Sun 27 May 2012, noon-5pm. Homework for hopefuls: see this interactive map showing the 1,125 IT businesses of Tech City and their Twitter influence.

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