Scottish ITers have their say in Glasgow

A few free drinks helped those who attended Thirst Thursday make Computer Weekly's Xtra's networking event a roaring success....

A few free drinks helped those who attended Thirst Thursday make Computer Weekly's Xtra's networking event a roaring success. Martin Couzins reports

On 3 May, Thirst Thursday, Computer Weekly's networking event, touched down in Glasgow. From 6pm IT professionals filtered in to the Pitcher and Piano in the city centre. The mezzanine bar provided comfortable surroundings for the 70 ITers that made it, some travelling all the way from Edinburgh.

The evening followed its usual no-frills format, with plenty of drinking and chatting. There was, however, a first for Thirst Thursday. IT consultant, Brendan Mullan, arrived with his invite on his Palm Pilot, making him the first IT professional in the history of the event - which has been running for 15 months - to present an invite on a PDA.

When asked how it felt to have the honour of being the first, Mullan said, "It's a great honour and a surprise. I use my Palm Pilot for everything; I can't leave home without it."

As usual, the prize quiz was met with a chorus of disapproval, with many suggesting that it was too hard. Despite this, two teams managed to score eight out of a possible 12 points. The teams, Cat's Twat and I'm Only Here For The Free Beer, carried off a bottle of Bollinger for their efforts.

With the quiz marking the last moments of sobriety, those in attendance carried on drinking and networking. It was good to see a mix of new faces and old friends who had attended the Edinburgh event.

By the time the quiz had ended, those that were wondering what the catch was (however much we say it is a no-frills event, readers still don't believe us) had got into the swing of the evening, and felt that they had the last laugh on colleagues who hadn't bothered to turn up. Who said free drink is no way to entice ITers out of their offices?

As well as Linux versus Microsoft conversations, Computer Weekly journalists received stick from Java developers for our lack of Java and XML headlines. There was also a general feeling that Scotland has a thriving IT sector and that there was certainly no need to travel south of the border for job opportunities.

Asked if Glasgow is a better place to work than Edinburgh, IT consultant Mullan responded, "For one, the women - and come to think of it the men - are better looking, there is better football, better Indian restaurants, better pubs, better transport system, better need I go on?"

Whatever the merits of the city, it provided a successful Thirst Thursday. Thanks go to Elan Computing for providing the free drinks and to all those ITers that turned up to make it such a success.

The final word goes to Web developer Michael Begley who writes, "Thanks for a great evening on Thursday, it was definitely worth travelling through from Edinburgh. I felt it was very constructive being able to talk to both the consultants from Elan and also yourselves and the other people from Computer Weekly and see a different opinion on the way the industry is heading.

"I look forward to seeing you all in Edinburgh later in the year."

For details of future networking events go to

Who paid for the drinks?

Thirst Thursday was sponsored by Elan. Elan is one of Europe's largest IT recruitment consultancies, providing a global recruitment service. Elan's Scottish office is one of its fastest growing offices, offering both contract and permanent opportunities. For further information go to

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