Softwire Blog


Softwire West CSR Report


29 December 2016, by

After another year of great work and fantastic contributions to our Corporate Social Responsibilities, the CSR Committee at Softwire West wanted to make a report that not only detailed our achievements for the year and highlighted the headline figures (such as raising a total of £2858.80 for various charities!), but also demonstrated all the great events and causes people had committed to, organised, prepared for and attended. Something that showed the hard work our staff had put in to help others whilst having lots of fun! Therefore, we created this video (with music!) to thank everyone and give them something to smile about as we approach the end of the year…

Pancakes for Mind Charity


10 March 2016, by

We decided to use Shrove Tuesday as a perfect excuse to both stuff our faces with delicious pancakes and raise money for the excellent mental health charity Mind. Every year one in four people will experience a mental health problem and Mind help by providing advice and support. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental illness. With the help of my glamorous assistants we were able to cook enough pancakes to feed the hungry hordes in the Bristol office and between the deep pockets of our colleagues and Softwire’s generous charity matching we raised over £200, all of which will go to supporting the invaluable work that Mind do. Thank you to all of you who came and ate and particular thanks for my wonderful helpers Emily, Olly and Thea without whom I would not have managed.

For more information on Mind you can visit www.mind.org.uk

Tea, cake, beer? Softwire are recruiting!


24 October 2014, by

A few weeks ago here at Softwire we had various media outlets banging on the doors keen to get a piece of Gareth, our colleague who became an overnight Twitter sensation after Ed Miliband repeatedly made reference to him in his party conference speech. It was however easy to miss in all of the excitement that Ed didn’t just have something to say about Gareth himself, but he also had some very kind words about Softwire and the team we employ here.

Ed said ‘I didn’t just meet him, I met his colleagues as well. And that software company, the thing that shines through about it for me is that it is full of bright savvy young people, full of great enthusiasm.’ Now Ed may have only bumped into us briefly at our annual picnic, but we’re definitely proud that he got that impression from us.

Softwire have always placed a great emphasis on employing the right people and building a great company full of friendly, smart people who really love their work. This means that our recruitment process involves properly getting to know the people who are applying to work here. Whilst that does include the usual interview processes, we believe a great place to start is with our recruitment events which this year we’ll be running at Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol and Bath Universities.

These include the traditional recruitment fairs thrown by many a university, but we don’t like to just turn up and hand out fliers, we like to offer potential recruits a chance to meet and talk with our current employees. This year we’ll be hosting open drinks evenings and Tea & Cake afternoons in Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, so please come along and meet us!

The locations of this year’s events are listed below;

Oxford

Tea & Cake at The Art Café – Tuesday 11th November from 16:30 to 19:00

Drinks at The Mitre – Tuesday 11th November from 19:30 to 23:00

Cambridge

Tea & Cake at The Copper Kettle – Tuesday 18th November from 18:00 to 20:00

Drinks at The Maypole – Tuesday 18th November from 19:30 to 23:00

Bristol

Tea and cake at The Cosy Club – Tuesday 4th November from 16:30 to 21:00

Drinks at The Cosy Club – Tuesday 4th November from 19:00 to 22:00

Softwire West goes up in the world!


16 September 2014, by

On June 25th we celebrated the two-year anniversary of our Bristol office, by moving from the 4th floor of Colston Tower up to the 13th floor. Ric Hill, General Manager for Softwire West, opened the office in 2012 with 5 Softwire employees. By the beginning of 2014 however, it was clear that we were about to outgrow the half-a-floor we occupied in Colston Tower.

After visiting a number of options with our newly appointed Office Manager, Antonia Reynolds, Ric finally settled on the 13th floor of Colston Tower. We then set to work remodelling the space to reflect both the professional and playful sides of the Softwire West team.

A number of companies were invited to visit the new office space and to submit quotes for fitting out the 4,200 sq. ft. space. Following a considerable amount of deliberation however, we selected OEG Interiors, a local Bristol-based company. Their enthusiasm and vision was obvious from the start, and the resulting light, spacious, yet functional office with its relaxing chill-out area, is everything we had hoped it would be.

We’re already growing into our new office. From the 5 people we started with in 2012, we’ve quickly grown to over 20 and have several more signed up to join us this year! This growth was initially made possible by continuing to help out on projects run from the London office. Latterly however, Softwire West has become largely self-sustaining by taking on local projects for companies based in the South West and Wales.

We’re not just about business though. We’re also finding ways of giving back to the local community through our involvement in a number of local initiatives such as Home Start, Sefton Park Primary School’s Code Club, and Youth Moves. Aside from devoting our time to these causes this year, we also donated much of the furniture from our old office on the 4th floor. The call went out to charities across Bristol, and we had 4-5 different charities coming to get our stuff, including Youth Moves, before the remainder was taken by the Sofa Project.

We’re always on the lookout for how we can add value to the community, from providing top quality Developers to companies in the private and not-for-profit sectors, getting involved with local charities and sponsoring or speaking at local events such as Bristech. If you haven’t met us yet, we’re always happy to give people a guided tour of our new surroundings! For a taster of what our new abode looks like, here are a few photos to whet your palette!

Chillout_facing_inwards
Chillout_facing_outwards
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Floor_13_second_view

Softwire sponsors Bristech


4 August 2014, by

Softwire is proud to announce that we are now sponsoring Bristech. Founded in 2013, Bristech provides a Meetup Group for like-minded people in Bristol to get together once a month for informative talks about new and innovative things in software development, followed by informal food, drinks and networking. Aimed at a technical audience, meetups were originally held at The Island in central Bristol. Thanks in part to Softwire’s sponsorship however, they have now relocated to the Engine Shed, next to Bristol Temple Meads station.

The membership profile of Bristech is very varied, from recent graduates looking for a mentor, to more experienced coders looking to learn something new. One of the great things about Bristech is for the range and variety of the talks – all they need to be is interesting and on something new. Past talks have included one on Agile Project Tracking by Ric Hill (Bristol General Manager), one on Modular JavaScript by Tim Perry (one of our London Tech Leads) and others on topics such as Big Data and the Cloud, Angular JS, Clojure and Data Visualisation.

You can find more information about Bristech (and join) on their Meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/bristech/

Are we nearly there yet? Practical tracking on Agile Projects


28 May 2014, by

In April 2014  Ric Hill, the founder of our Bristol office, gave a talk at Bristech, a monthly meetup where developers are encouraged to give informative talks about computing.

This is his talk on Practical tracking on Agile projects.

BrisTech


13 November 2013, by

A bunch of us from the Bristol office went to the second BrisTech, a new tech meet up in Bristol. As well as free beer and pizza there were a couple of talks, including one by our very own Tim Perry.

The first talk was on cross platform mobile development, from HTML 5 based frameworks to solutions like Adobe Air. The talk was very good, and centred on Property Cross an example application implemented in a variety of frameworks. In essence these save time, but there is still effort in making the apps behave as you’d expect from the platform. On top of that supporting Windows Phone is generally far more difficult as it both has worse support amongst the frameworks, but also making the apps feel native requires a totally different design.

As a bonus the speaker Colin Eberhardt did a second, short presentation “What’s Wrong With Green“, about the startling lack of green in App Store screen shots, and other useful results of data mining Apple.

Tim’s talk was on modular JavaScript, in particular the benefits of RequireJS for websites and CommonJS if you happen to be writing JavaScript in a non-browser context. It’s well worth a watch, as ever Tim is a highly engaging speaker.

 

Bristol Narrowboating


13 September 2013, by

To celebrate the August heatwave us Bristolians took to the canal last week and spent a relaxing morale afternoon narrowboating.  We picked up a hire boat in Bath at lunchtime and pottered up the Kennet & Avon canal Eastwards.  Pimms and cider were drunk, the sun shone (mostly), we ate ice cream, we didn’t go very far, and we didn’t crash (too badly).  Nice.

Here are some pictures showing how pleasant it is in the South West…

Bristol boating

 

Bristol boating

Bristol to London Bike Ride


28 January 2013, by

As you may know, a group of us were recently inspired by the opening of the new Softwire Bristol office and decided to cycle from one Softwire office to the other! Conveniently Action Medical Research provided an organised cycle from Bristol to London and also provided a worthy cause to raise money for in the process, so we entered. The route was to be 116 miles. By way of preparation, some of us put in the odd bit of training here and there, Mike and Jenny bought themselves brand new racing bikes, and Jonathan briefly considered riding a bike with more than one gear (nah). And so on one bright weekend in August, we were ready.

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Bristol tour


30 October 2012, by

To celebrate the opening of our Bristol office in June, we decided to learn a bit more about our new surroundings and held our first ever morale event over the summer: a tour of Bristol! Here’s what we got up to..

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