The annual festival of ideas and innovation, brought to you by ScotlandIS


What happened at ScotSoft2018

This September, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre was once again host to not only Scotland’s top developer talent, but many of the world’s finest speakers on leadership, development and testing. And one very sociable robot, keeping everyone supplied with chocolate.

This year’s theme, ‘From good to great’ was reflected by speakers from across the world of tech, dev and leadership.

Have a look at each of the tabs to find out more about what happened at ScotSoft 2018 – and we look forward to welcoming you all back and to meeting more new faces in 2019.

A unique thought leadership event, the Forum offers a packed programme for visionaries, business leaders and managers; highly rated by delegates, this is the must-attend technology event of the year.

300+ attendees, predominantly a mixture of CEO’s/Managing Directors of Scottish companies and IT Directors/Senior Managers from blue-chip organisations in financial services, energy and the public sector.

The Leadership Forum began after lunch with an energising talk from Dave McCann, VP AWS Marketplace at Amazon, outlining how Amazon Web Services is revolutionising the marketplace for new tech – both for developers and firms looking to benefit from innovative new technology.

Chloe Seddon, MD, Accenture Interactive, outlined how digital technologies and insights could transform both customer and business experiences. David Farquhar, CEO at Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd gave an inspiring presentation on company transformation.

The Leadership Forum keynote, delivered by Eric McAfee, looked at the issues facing the sector, and where investment, technology and entrepreneurship will go next.

With a total of 24 speakers and sessions available over the day, the developer strand of the conference (including, for the first time, a stream dedicated to testing) offered a comprehensive look at the issues facing developers in 2018. Mapping, blockchain, voice technology, digital in the NHS, the transformation of Microsoft and much more besides – the breadth of content offered something for everyone.

The Developer Conference kicked off with the morning’s keynote from Dylan Beattie, CTO at SkillsMatter, whose look at how to create a happy and engaged dev team set a positive tone and really underlined the ‘from good to great’ theme for the day. Martin Hinshelwood at Naked Agility then looked in detail at how Microsoft had made this transition itself, while Dr Alistair Hann, at NES for the NHS outlined how Scotland’s healthcare system is set to make this change.

The developer conference continued across the afternoon, alongside the Leadership Forum, with speakers including Stu Hirst from Photobox and a range of experts looking more closely at testing, including Dan Ashby at eBay, who closed the stream with a talk on continuous testing in Agile.

The evening’s event saw over 590 people attend a dinner and awards ceremony in which University of Dundee student Can Gafuroglu took the top award for his project using artificial intelligence and machine learning to support early diagnosis of dementia.

Radostin Stoyanov from the University of Aberdeen came in second place for his work on migrating data in cloud computing while Nikita Samarin from the University of Edinburgh won third place with an innovative project investigating the use of an ECG-based biometric signals for personal authentication.

Recruitment and investment entrepreneur, Paul Atkinson was also recognised with the Outstanding Personal Achievement award for his services to the technology industry in Scotland



Dave McCann

VP AWS Marketplace, Amazon Web Service

Eric McAfee

Chair, Cagan McAfee Capital Partners

Kate Forbes MSP

Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Scottish Government

David Farquhar

CEO, Intelligent Growth Solutions

Chloe Seddon

Managing Director, Accenture Interactive

Dr Greig Paul

Communications and Security Research Engineer - University of Strathclyde

Dan Ashby

Head of Software Testing - eBay

Maria Kedemo

Founder - Black Koi Consulting

Peter Kedemo

Software Developer - tretton37

Nadia McKay

Testing Services Director - Edge Testing Solutions

Adi Mazor Kario

Google Mentor

Dr Alistair Hann

CTO - NES Digital

Sharon Lindsay

Infrastructure Manager - Leidos

Stephen Ingledew

CEO - Fintech Scotland

Colin Hewitt

CEO & Founder - Float

Stu Hirst

Head of Security Engineering - Photobox Group

Marc Wickenden


Martin Hinshelwood

Founder/CEO - Naked Agility Ltd

Nicola Marham

Principal Solutions Architect - Sopra Steria

Dr Murray Collins

CEO - Space Intelligence

Jacob Cordran

Senior Engineer and Team Lead - SwarmOnline

Thomas Leiritz

Dylan Beattie

CTO - Skills Matter

Ulrich Meyer

Senior Engineer - KAL

Richard Paterson

Head of Testing & Application Security - SAS R&D Scotland

Alan Keir

CTO - Wallet Services

Federico Charosky

Managing Director - Quorum Cyber

Fraser Kirkpatrick

Technical Project Manager

Dr Ed Mitchard

Senior Lecturer - University of Edinburgh


About the event

ScotSoft is the leading tech conference in Scotland. It’s an annual festival of ideas and innovation that showcases the best of the Scottish technology sector and brings you sought after speakers from far flung locations. 

Running for more than 20 years the event includes a full day Developer Conference, a half day Forum and a chance to meet the next generation of talent at the Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards Dinner in the evening. 

Over 1300 delegates enjoy a packed day with speakers drawn from all corners of the world, this year including Eric McAfee, an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist based in Silicon Valley and Dave McCann, VP of AWS Marketplace. 

So why not join your peers across the community to explore, share and be inspired by great speakers and contributors. Use the event to conceptualise, share knowledge and collaborate in new ways.


Our great 2018 sponsors

YSE Awards Dinner Sponsor
Forum Sponsor
Developer Conference
YSE Video
Complimentary Gift
YSE Prize
YSE Brouchure
Mineral Water
YSE Prize
Lanyards and YSE Prize
Cathcart Associates
Dinner Menu
Lunch Sponsor - AVAILABLE
CW Jobs
Champagne Reception
ePlacement Award
After Dinner Speaker
YSE Prize

Charity Partner

Digital Xtra Fund is a Scottish charity committed to inspiring the next generation of designers, developers, and digital technologists. 

Working with businesses, organisations, and individuals with a common will to help young people succeed in a digital world, Digital Xtra Fund provides grant awards for exciting extracurricular initiatives which inspire young people to understand and create with technology, not just consume it. 

The Fund also links our Partners with supported initiatives giving young people and employees the opportunity to connects, providing a clearer understanding of the future career opportunities these skills provide. 

Since 2016, Digital Xtra Fund and our Partners have enabled 33 initiatives – such as Code Clubs in Scottish Libraries, F1 in Schools Challenge, and Apps for Good – to increase their impact in Scotland and engage nearly 20,000 young people in digital technologies. 

You donation will be part of the next cohort of supported activities, helping enable another 15-17 initiatives to inspire young people across Scotland in 2019.