Digital conference

Silicon Valley experts join top ScotSoft line-up

Polly Purvis

Polly Purvis: proud of speaker line-up


The digital industry conference ScotSoft, is returning to the EICC this September boasting what it claims is one of the best lineup of speakers to date.

Speakers from Amazon, Google, eBay and Photobox will be among those addressing this year’s theme ‘From good to Great’, charting their growth and achievement.

The event, now in its 21st year, will take place on 27 September and will once again see a full day Developer Conference running alongside the half day Leadership Forum. The Young Software Engineer of the Year awards dinner will take place that evening.

Forum speakers include

Dave McCann, vice president of Amazon’s AWS Web Services Marketplace, catalog services and migration, who will keynote the Forum. He will deliver a speech that will inspire and motivate the audience to look hard at the path their business is taking, find potential collaboration opportunities and understand how they can use the data already held within their organisations to push growth.

Eric McAfee, an exceptional Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist specialising in technology, agriculture and renewable energy, is the final keynote speaker.

He has co-founded and funded several VC and specialist banks, funded more than twenty-five companies as principal investor, and founded seven public companies with a combined high market value of $4 billion. He will share a wealth of experience and knowledge and enlighten the audience on the pitfalls and benefits of VC investment.

Delegates will also hear from David Farquhar who will deliver a ‘warts and all’ look at how the management team transformed Workplace Systems in 18 months, before exit to a NYC private equity house.

Following last year’s Developer Conference, this year the event will once again delve into cybersecurity, the ever-changing world of data, fintech and blockchain technologies and look at trends in software.

Already confirmed is Adi Kario, cognitive science experience expert at Google, who will look at the future of voice tech and how this technology change affects our lives, our culture and the future.

Alongside Adi, security guru Stu Hirst, head of security engineering for Photobox Group, plans to entertain delegates with some war stories from everyday life at the coalface of security.

For the first time ever the Developer Conference will have a stream for the testing community.

Speakers include:

Dan Ashby, currently head of software testing at eBay in London. He also runs the ‘Testing in the Pub’ podcast and the Software Testing Clinic, a free software testing course that runs monthly sessions in five cities across the UK to provide a safe environment to teach people about testing and allow more experienced people to get into mentoring.

Alongside Dan will be  Maria Kedemo of Black Koi Consulting, a teacher, a coach and consultant in software development with a focus on testing. She is also executive-at-large on the board for the Association for Software Testing (AST), a non profit organisation which focus on testing as a skilled activity.

Peter Kedemo from  tretton37 is a developer who has been passionate about programming ever since he was a child. Mr Kedemo strongly believes that pragmatism and finding a good balance between tools and techniques is key to delivering high quality software.

Sue Atkins from digital transformation experts Sopra Steria, has spent 25 years spreading the word about testing – and is currently chairman of the Scottish Testing Group.

Double Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold will be guest speaker at the evening’s dinner, and will announce the winners of The Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: The theme of this year’s conference is ‘from good to great”.  ScotSoft has long brought international speakers to Scotland and I am proud that once again we have secured two experts from Silicon Valley who will look at how to turn a business round, ‘pivoting’ to meet real market need and creating a business that gains real customer engagement.

“It’s one thing to start a business, but quite another to grow it into something really successful. Scotland has a strong track record of doing just this, and we want to inspire and help others to do the same.

“Scotland has a thriving community of developers, technology leaders and CEO’s and ScotSoft offers a unique opportunity for them to meet, share knowledge and inspire each other to think differently.”

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