Apadmi hunts for app developer talent in north England

Manchester-based app developer Apadmi closes the skills gap with drive to find technology talent in graduates of all backgrounds

Mobile app developer Apadmi is continuing its hunt for skill staff in the north of England, as it charges ahead with boosting its headcount and contributing to the pipeline for future talent.

Launched in the mid-recession of 2009, the Manchester-based company grew to 25 staff by 2010 and continues to grow its talent base. Apadmi now has over 70 full-time staff and wants to find more.

The company is best known for its work on the BBC iPlayer Radio app, The Guardian Witness app, The X Factor app and apps for Jaguar Land Rover.

Marketing manager Hannah Pym spoke to Computer Weekly about the difficulties of finding good talent: “We are after specialist skills, so it is hard for us to find talent. We take on bright and conscientious people with degrees from a range of backgrounds, not just computer science or programming. Manchester is a good tech hub, so it’s a good place to recruit candidates.

“We have over 70 staff full time now, whereas app developers normally scale up and scale down their staff based on projects.”

Variety of backgrounds

Pym said the app developer sources talent from a variety of backgrounds, not only graduates with traditional computer science or programming education: “People believe there are barriers if you are outside of tech looking in, but there isn’t – I was in sports and media before joining the tech industry.

“We have a graduate from a physics degree background, for example, who was interested in app development.”

Pym said the type of projects the app developer is being asked to create are changing and staff need to learn a wider skillset: “We’re being approached for a bigger variety of projects now, in medical for instance. Apps requests are now more innovative and interesting, where companies are moving on from just their core apps."

Drive to create talent

With requests for projects changing and becoming more innovative, Apadmi decided to take steps to create a pipeline of student talent with its "App in a Day" learning initiative.

The App In a Day Course teaches teenagers in the Manchester area the basics of coding an app: “We go into schools to encourage careers in technology. We provide the equipment so they can have a go,” said Pym.

Having rolled out the initiative to schools in the north of England, Apadmi decided to hold an App in a Day continuous professional development (CPD) workshop for teachers last year, to help them in delivering the computing curriculum.

Mobile data meetings

Apadmi sponsors Mobile Monday Manchester, an event which brings together 200 or more people to hear from a panel of experts about experiences of building and deploying mobile data products and services.

Pym said the firm is working on increasing diversity in its team explaining: “The team has mostly males, but we are growing the amount of females in design and development.”

Pym, along with her colleague partner manager, Sabine Douglas, was recently listed in the Top 30 Women in Mobile by PCR Online.

Apadmi were also named as one of Europe’s top app developers by Recovendor at the end of last year.

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