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Final year software students came together at SDS’s first hack day, a new event to look at labour market information software solutions.

Six groups from colleges and universities gathered to work with SDS’s Digital Services team on 19 November.

Hack days see teams of programmers collaborating with subject matter experts to come up with new ideas for software, fixes or to solve a programming problems.

It’s a chance to explore solutions in a creative, friendly and inclusive environment as well as offering students the chance to gain experience and network.

Innovation and fresh ideas

Teams from Ayrshire College, Forth Valley College, University of Glasgow and New College Lanarkshire took part.

The teams were asked to come up with ideas for the best way to present labour market information to young people on SDS’s career information and advice web service My World of Work.

SDS Director of Digital Services George Boag headed up a judging panel with Kirsty Mitchell, CEO of Digital Connextions, Michael Hayes, founder of Rookie Oven and Alasdair Gunn, Director of Framewire.

The judges looked at four criteria – innovation, the final pitch, the benefit of the final product to the customer and how the teams worked together on the day.

“The enthusiasm, ideas and focus the teams brought to the day was truly inspiring for all of the judges and the wider SDS team. Not only did we get a lot of great ideas to take forward, the students taking part gained valuable experience and made some great contacts.”

George Boag, Director of Digital Services

Winning team

Forth Valley College came up with the winning idea and a prototype of a heat map to display hotspots for jobs in Scotland using labour market information.

The winning team were Bruce Redfern, Christopher Swan, Cameron Morrison, Cameron McCallion and Stefano Frazzetto.

Stefano said: “We were participating together to produce something unique and it was a great experience and one that I really enjoyed. I am ready to do it again.”

Other great ideas included a vacancies app described as a ‘Tinder for jobs’ that users would ‘swipe right’ if they were interested in a vacancy and a ‘jobs of the future’ tool for young people aged eight to 14.

Further hack days are now being planned with Modern Apprentices and a women-only event.

What's next?

If you’re interested in being part of future SDS hack days, want to share ideas or find out more, contact Pat Crook on

Go to My World of Work


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