However much it feels sometimes like we live and work in a bubble – maybe a sort of Eden where the computers always work perfectly and the rivers flow with coffee – no Softwire is an island. We have a responsibility to society to participate and do good, wherever that takes us.
We take our corporate social responsibility very seriously here; it’s a big part of our culture, and though we have loads of amazing schemes we do already, there’s plenty more to be done.
So, here are six promises we at Softwire want to make: not just to make Softwire a better place, but wider society too.
We’ll use our expertise in places that need it most
Software is our bread and butter, and we like to think we’re pretty good at it. So as well as building software for our clients, we love giving our time and skills to charities who need them most. We often teach our interns and new starters the ropes by training them on pro-bono projects: wins all round!
We’ll spread our skills by teaching
We’re keen to open doors into the tech industry for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to get involved, so we run weekly after-school Code Clubs at local schools for pupils and teachers alike. We’ve also worked with youth groups to teach programming to young people living in deprived areas. And we offer work experience placements to underprivileged students, run CV workshops for the young unemployed, and host school visits in our own workplace.
We’ll strive to become a more diverse environment
Tech has a reputation for being notoriously monochrome, but the future is colourful and we want to be at the forefront of making software more diverse. We’re planning a women-only internship scheme in the winter of 2017, and we participate actively in access schemes. We launched the Minimum Viable Diversity Pledge together with WES and the 30% Club. We also have sponsored several conferences aimed at representing the underrepresented, including Diversity in Tech.
We’ll contribute to open source
As software developers, we get very excited about sharing code. We think that open source makes tech a better place, for makers and users, so we’re keen to give something back by contributing to projects and taking part in programmes like 24 Pull Requests.
We’ll donate to charity
At Softwire, charity giving is part of our everyday work. We’re particularly proud of our Payroll Giving scheme, where Softwirians give a set percentage of their salary directly to charity. We also run regular Charity Saturdays, where we give up a Saturday to work for free and all the money earned that day goes straight to good causes.
We’ll spend our spare time having fun and doing good
Auctions, blood donation drives, and our annual quiz are just some of the events we hold to raise money for a range of charities. Softwire has a budget to match donations on fundraisers from individual employees, and everybody has a number of days per year which can optionally be spent on charity events – be it teaching programming to 5-year-olds, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or doing a spot of community gardening!