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So, what happened at CmdR ScotSoft2020?

What an amazing turnout for our first ever virtual ScotSoft event!

With over 1200 delegates registered, and nearly 40 world-class speakers throughout the day we covered an extensive range of themes from AI to data ethics, brand awareness to investment, threat intelligence to space tech.

Finance Minister, Kate Forbes MSP, opened the day by saying “the pandemic has taught us that digital tech is at the vanguard of response to the pandemic… things have changed, and Scotland needs to drive that change.”.  Throughout the day our speakers followed that key theme.

Opening keynote Colin Cook, Digital Director, Scottish Government spoke of the new digital strategy for Scotland with a collaborative vision of the tech ecosystem helping to build a truly digital nation. 

Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro discussed the challenges around cyber security that have been brought forward by the accelerated data usage before we were ready – if data is the new oil, then algorithms are the new refinery.  He explored how the increase in data volume through IOT, smart cities and the recent mass move to home working will mean that the use of AI and machine learning to manage the data will become even more key.

Janet OnyiaTechnology Consultant at Accenture, spoke on how inclusion can drive economic growth, Richard Marshall, talked about what happens to technology when there’s a fundamental change in the world, looking at actual, likely and probable technology trends in light of the current pandemic, exploring how the future of work and social life is going to be irrevocably changed by the current crisis.

 Christian Heilmann joined us to talk about how tooling can make us better developers.  With Olivia Gambelin of Ethical Intelligence and Joseph Crispell, data scientist with ONS, discussing building ethics into the approach to your data project. Olivia began by dispelling a few misconceptions.

Alyssa Miller, Hacker and security advocate, spoke on the importance of DevSecOps teams focussing on threat intelligence. She discussed the history of dev ops and security coming together as DevSecOps but stressing that there is more work to be done to get this set up correctly across the business. 

You can rewatch these sessions, and all of our 36 speakers talks on the platform via your registered link, and will be accessible for anyone to watch on the CmdR ScotSoft website from next week.

St Andrews University student, Ryan Wilson, was named Young Software Engineer of the Year 2020, having developed a tool that helps check a parallel program for flaws when running on a system with so-called weak memory consistency, in the closing session of the day.

With Daniella Ivanova from University of Glasgow taking second place for her AI deep learning programme which can be applied to the restoration of films., and Konrad Dryja, from Aberdeen University, recognized in third place for developing a decentralised blockchain authentication framework.

The Best Engineering Project Award went to Craig Pirie from Robert Gordon University, for his project on using AI vision to identify corrosion in underwater images for inspection engineering applications. 

Find out more about all of our Young Software Engineer of the Year 2020 winners and nominees, and find out what our previous winners have been doing since they were awarded by downloading our guide to YSE 2020 here.

Congratulations also to our much-deserved winners of the Digital Technology Awards, with an extra shout out to our two Unsung Heroes, Monica Richardson of Forrit and Kelly Gardner of CodeBase Stirling.

We would like to say a huge thank you to our speakers and sponsors for all your support in making the event possible, and of course to everyone who came along and joined us for the day.

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