The past couple of weeks have been big ones in this small, traffic junction heavy part of London. Silicon Roundabout has cemented its position as the centre of the UK’s tech industry. And, under the joint auspices of David Cameron and Boris Johnson, the area will soon get a £50 million make over, creating a centre point for ‘Tech City’, as the coalition likes to call the area.
However, beyond the architecture and headline grabbing names, not a lot is known about this Wild West of UK industry. Many people could list a couple of the big name players, like Wonga and Badoo, but few would be able to tell you what GoCardless or VisualDNA get up to.
So what of the ‘real’ industry? Who are the people that work behind the closed doors on the East London lanes that pour into this now legendary roundabout? In this blog, and the ones that will follow, I will open a couple of these doors, documenting my experiences as a new graduate working in the sector.
The best place to start any introduction to the tech sector is though the same conduit that I have entered this unique social sphere: the Meetup.
Founded not in London but in another Silicon Something, New York, Meetup provides a tool for organising a meeting/talk/gathering with people you don’t necessarily know, but who share the same relevant interest. And it is on these Meetups that much of the networking in the tech sector is based. As such, it was here that I started my tech journey and it is here where you, dear reader, if you are new to the roundabout and its ways, will start yours.
Let’s begin with one of my favourite groups, London Bloggers.