IT, immigration and education for The Register

The Register has just published my piece on why IT departments in Britain employ so many staff from outside Britain (and likewise in the US).

There’s a lively debate already underway in the comments, but rather than immigration, interviewees blame a combination of schools’ lack of interest in coding – now being changed by schemes like Raspberry Pi’s Code Club – and a sense that software engineering isn’t a top-draw job, unlike respectable professions such as, er, investment banking.

According to Eben Upton, co-founder of Raspberry Pi:

It does get bandied about as a theory that an engineer is the guy who comes to fix your central heating, and that nice middle-class people don’t aspire for their kids to become [computer] engineers.

Should say he adds that lack of exposure to programming is the bigger problem – hence Code Club. The full article is here.

The Register has also just published the Geek’s Guide to Britain, a compendium of its series, which includes three of my articles on Goonhilly, Marconi on the Lizard and the Spaceguard Centre. It’s a beautifully-produced book, available here.

Update: Computer Weekly has just published a further article by me, based on document released by Privacy International from its tribunal case against the security and intelligence agencies, on what bulk personal datasets MI5 and MI6 use.