Digital experts join forces to create “Scottish Tech Army”

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A “Tech Army” of software experts who cannot work due to the pandemic has been established to help support digital coronavirus projects.

The Scottish Tech Army will link technically skilled volunteers to schemes in the public sector requiring support.

The project is aimed at those who can’t work for their companies because they’ve been furloughed or because they have lost their jobs due to the market downturn.

Instead, Their skills will be harnessed to support public sector organisations that are developing digital projects to help tackle the outbreak of the virus and the management of the recovery process.

Photo by Andrew Neil on Unsplash

Many hundreds of companies and organisations have already offered their support to the Scottish Government in the form of products and services they are willing to provide on a pro-bono basis.

Kate Forbes, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance said: “Our tech community can really support the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I know how much talent and skill exists within the tech community and this welcome initiative gives volunteers the chance to play a valuable role while continuing to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

The Scottish Tech Army project was co-founded by Edinburgh based entrepreneurs Alistair Forbes and Peter Jaco just over two weeks ago.

Alistair Forbes, formerly Head of Software and Internet at investment firm Mercia Technologies, said: “Scotland’s tech community is ready to join this fight.

“Public and private sector workers – from health and social care staff through to food supply chain and logistics workers – are out there risking their lives to battle this pandemic and the Scottish Tech Army gives our digital community the chance to demonstrate that we’ve got their backs.

Alistair Forbes – image supplied

“Data and digital technologies are key weapons in the fight against the coronavirus and we’ll be able to rapidly deploy the resources and skills needed to tackle the outbreak and support the people who are being affected.

“We see the opportunity to deliver three-way benefits – providing support to the people and organisations on the front line, delivering meaningful impact in the communities around Scotland and giving the volunteers a sense of purpose and achievement in what are very challenging times for them.”

Paul Atkinson, Founder of recruitment firm Head Resourcing, which is supporting the Scottish Tech Army, added: “Staying at home to save lives is exactly what we need to do during this outbreak – but there are better ways to spend our time than just playing Call of Duty or binging on Netflix boxsets.

“The Scottish Tech Army will not only help the public sector to complete vital projects but will also give participants the chance to keep their skills sharp for when it’s time to return to work.

“When you’re in a fight, you don’t want your top people sitting in their bedrooms playing computer games or vegetating on the sofa in front of the television – you want them putting their digital skills to good use and that’s exactly what the Scottish Tech Army will do.”