Over 50 professionals, including parents and alumni, plus Bradfield Computer Science pupils gathered in market-leading identity service provider, TrustID’s stylish Reading office for the first Bradfield Society Tech Community networking event in February. The aim of the event was manifold; alumni and parents sharing their experience and advice with current pupils; younger alumni seeking advice from those more advanced in their careers, whilst at the same time being able to advise pupils on university options and first jobs as well as business networking between the attendees.

Pupils were invited to the venue in advance of the main networking event so that they could learn about what it was like to work in a tech business and TrustID in particular. The insight started with a training session on how to ‘spot a fake passport’ with TrustID’s training manager, something that the pupils were naturally curious about and was a good ice-breaker before moving on to a brief from TrustID’s Tech team; the CTO, a Software Development Manager, and a Product Owner on the software development side of the business. This brief was tailored to provide them with some context for their curriculum based knowledge and the pupils were very engaged in the practical exercises with all teams solving the problem and qualifying for the prize at the end.

I was very appreciative of the opportunity to learn so much about the tech industry. Meeting the different professionals gave me a good insight into the tech workplace and I received many helpful suggestions. Key takeaways included the iterative nature of product development and the use of the AGILE methodology, the many roles that exist, each with their individual purpose, and the crucial importance of teamwork in business

Tony (E)

With the pupil insight session well underway, the tech professionals started to arrive and had the opportunity for a bit of professional networking and to sample some of the tasty canapés prepared to go by Bradfield’s fantastic catering team. Once the pupil session had finished Al MacEwen, Director of Bradfield Society and Development, welcomed all attendees to what he hoped would be the first of many events of this kind that attract the talent within the Bradfield community to share their experience for the benefit of other members. Al then handed over to Trust ID’s CEO and former parent Tony Machin and COO Matt Green-Armytage (E91-96) to address the assembled with a slick insight into their business as well as the challenges and the opportunities of working in tech for the benefit of the pupils. Appetites whetted, the main networking session of the evening began and TrustID’s office was filled with the hum of conversations about experiences, advice sharing and knowledge exchange.

Thank you so much for an excellent event - I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was excellent to meet the pupils and I could really sense how valuable the evening was for them to gain an insight into the world of work. Thanks to our hosts at TrustID and to Bradfield for your warm hospitality.

Oli Barrett (F 91-96)

From the College’s perspective it was a great evening giving the attendees many different touch points on which to interact and lots of new connections were made. Post-event all professional attendees were invited to join the Bradfield Society Tech Community and encouraged to continue their conversations. If, as a reader you would also be interested in joining this group visit the Bradfield Society online. The College would also like to offer huge thanks to TrustID for allowing us to take over their office for the evening and for sparing the time of their staff to speak to Bradfield pupils; they were fantastic hosts.

It was a pleasure to host the tech networking event in our office, the Bradfield team were very efficient and it was a great opportunity for us to do our bit for the community and also make some great connections.’

Matt Green-Armytage (E 91-96)

The next networking event will be our ‘Creatives Networking Event’ hosted in Bradfield’s beautiful Art Schools on Tuesday 18 June, 7:30 – 9pm.