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Early in December, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet unveiled the photographs the newspaper has chosen as the best of 2020. In his introduction to the series, Baquet opined that some years are “so eventful they are regarded as pivotal in history” and said 2020 will be considered one of those fateful years.

It’s hard to argue with that analysis. Everything has changed this year: the events of 2020 have forced everyone to look at the world with a new perspective — something that is true in the technology and digital industries as it is everywhere else. …

Ever since the idea of Brexit surfaced in the UK, one of its major criticisms has been that it will make hiring in the technology sector much more difficult. Now that the United Kingdom has finally, properly, left the European Union and a trade deal has been reached, there are mixed signals.

UK technology and digital industries are some of the most international and most competitive in terms of workforce recruitment and retention. With EU-UK freedom of movement ended, and significant bureaucracy and paperwork added to the process, many thought that the UK tech sector would take a big hit.

Finding a job amid coronavirus is obviously a difficult time for all involved and it’s likely to remain difficult while the world recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some ways to get ahead.

The very first thing to focus on is mindset and approach: if you remain positive and committed to building a personal brand, work you put in now will help get your name in front of the right people in the short, medium and long-term.

If like so many people, you’re stuck at home and out of work, the best thing to do…

We are undoubtedly living in a strange and precarious situation — no need to hammer on about COVID-19, we all know what it is, and are all trying our own different ways of dealing with the situation around it. However, it’s necessary to address that, unfortunately for many, it has led to a fair number of people either being let go — whether for economic reasons, or because the work has dried up, as well as a large number of people left working on shaky ground in certain industries, such as travel, sport and entertainment.

I think one of the…

New tax rules for contractors in the UK are likely to have a big effect on the tech job market, both on the business and contractor side. The rules — known as IR35 — mean that some businesses which currently use contractors will have to decide their status and whether they need to become full-time staff.

That means they would have to pay national insurance and businesses would have to provide benefits like paid holidays. According to The Register, it is estimated that about 170,000 self-employed contractors will be hit by the changes.

That’s important news for the IT industry…

This week is National Coding Week — a charitable, volunteer-led attempt to get more people into the digital world by giving them the skills to get into coding.

Redcat Digital recruits for a wide variety of roles that involve a highly-skilled, senior professional level of coding. And with coding being touted as one of the major skills that we should all learn, and with an increasing number of courses available that teach adults to code, it’s clear that the issues around how coding is taught and how it is applied in the workplace are not far removed.

The people behind…

Last week marked the end of London Tech Week — the annual festival celebrating and promoting everything that the UK’s capital has to offer the tech market.

This year’s London Tech Week was by far and away the biggest yet, officials said. The festival — and it is a festival, rather than one individual event — attracted 58,000 attendees, according to Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.

An international city

That’s a significant number, which Shaw says that it’s indicative of the strength of the market in London and in particular, the strength of the culture. …

There has been a spate of recent news about some real-world applications of blockchain. These stories are often floating about, but a recent surge of announcements — which include investment in the technology by some of the world’s biggest companies — suggests it’s time to take another look at how the much-hyped distributed ledger technology is coming along.

It’s not just the wealth of blockchain adoption news that’s worth taking a look at, it’s also the wide variety of industries that have entered the arena. Take retail, for a start. …

A recent article in Forbes cited research which found that the Fintech industry is changing the way young people are handling their money. Rather than borrowing from the “bank of mum and dad”, as the article puts it, 18 to 22-year-olds have utilised modern finance apps and technology to help them build savings that past generations did not have at that age.

Generation Z, the research said, no longer need to rely on their parents to help support them during that time, with 35% of those in that age group and 52% of millennials having more than £1000 in savings.

A recent study by the United Nations cultural body UNESCO has called for changes to be made to voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, which use female voices. The use of women’s voices for these assistants, combined with their subservient attitudes, the researchers say, dangerously entrenches existing views about the role of women in the workplace and society more generally.

The research, entitled “I’d blush if I could” — after the response that Siri gives in response to a particular sexually provocative phrase — notes that the companies which have built these systems, such as Apple and Amazon, are overwhelmingly…

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