Skip to content

Tech Talent Redefined: The role of Career Switchers in solving the skills shortage 

This event took place on 28th September 2023

The tech industry is booming. And yet, as the industry grows ever larger, skill shortages are posing a very real risk to growth across many of the industry’s sectors. In a Gartner survey conducted in late 2022, 86% of CIOs reported facing more competition for qualified candidates, and 73% said that they were worried about IT talent attrition. Clearly, when it comes to tech talent, demand continues to outstrip supply. That means that businesses need to get smarter when it comes to sourcing the best new talent – and that’s where career switchers come in.

As traditional career routes fade into the past and “portfolio” careers grow in popularity, Softwire Manchester is teaming up with TechSwitch to host an exciting event, bringing together experts to take a closer look at why career switching may be the answer to closing the tech talent gap. And you will also hear firsthand from career switchers who have successfully made the pivot into tech.

We’ll be keeping things informal, and there will be plenty of time to chat with all the speakers, among others, over pizza, nibbles, and drinks.

Speaker line-up

  • Sasha Burgoyne, Co-founder & Head of Operations at TechSwitch: Sasha changed careers from recruitment to technology, and experienced first-hand how challenging moves into tech can be. Her passion lies in helping to elevate others around her, enabling them to achieve their potential, and celebrating their achievements and skills. Sasha’s recognition as ‘Advocate of the Year’ at the Women in IT Awards 2023 sheds light on the importance of her efforts and unwavering energy in making the tech industry a more inclusive and diverse space. 
  • Sophia Lin, Co-founder & Head of Client Partnerships at TechSwitch: Sophia has over 10 years of experience in helping graduates, career changers, and career returners across the UK and in APAC get into tech. She has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of numerous individuals looking to embark on a career change into tech. Sophia is passionate about encouraging greater diversity and inclusion in tech, and normalising non-linear career paths is something that she is proud to be involved in. 
  • Careena Lau, Software Developer at Angel Trains: Careena forged her early career in process engineering at Technip in Abu Dhabi and Akcros Chemicals in the UK. During her career break, she was inspired by the level of automation and technological advancement in the industry, which prompted her to delve into coding. Eager to contribute to the evolving digital landscape, she decided to pursue a new career in software development, and she did just that! Careena has been thriving as a Software Developer at Angel Trains. 
  • Cara Higginbottom, Software Engineer at Novata: Cara also started her career as a Process engineer, but in the food industry – sandwiched by a year of teaching English in Colombia. However, it soon became clear that this wasn’t the line of work for her. In 2019, she decided to take a career break to travel across Europe in a self-made camper van, and it was while she was on the road that she made the decision to retrain for a new career in software development. She successfully made the switch and has been working as a Software Engineer at Novata. 


  • 17:30 – Arrival, welcome drinks and nibbles 
  • 18:00 – Introduction to the role of career switchers in solving the tech skills shortage from Sasha and Sophia 
  • 18:30 – Break for pizza 
  • 18:45 – Fireside chat with Career Switchers: Cara and Careena 
  • 19:30 – Networking, further drinks and nibbles 
  • 20:30 – Event ends

We hope to see you there!

How to attend 

This event is free to attend, but spaces are limited. Get your ticket now on Eventbrite.