Scotland's first digital skills academy appoints Harvey Wheaton as CEO
CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital software skills academy, today announced the appointment of Harvey Wheaton, as its first Chief Executive Officer. Wheaton will play a key role in launching CodeClan in Edinburgh, and leading it to success as it prepares to open its doors in October to the first cohort of students.
With 25 years experience in software development, Harvey has worked for a broad range of companies including ICI, Astra Zeneca, Cap Gemini, JPMorgan Chase and Electronic Arts.Most recently Wheaton has coached a wide variety of software development teams around the world, from video games companies to large financial institutions, helping them transform the way they develop, test and deploy their products and services using Agile methodologies.
At Electronic Arts, Wheaton held a number of senior roles, including Chief Operations Officer and Senior Development Director. He set up EA’s UK Fusion Group and was also responsible for managing the creation of Harry Potter games across all platforms including PS2, XBOX, GameCube and PC.
Energetic and results focused, Wheaton brings a collaborative management style and track record of delivery in complex, fast paced environments.He has a strong background in building new teams, having helped open JPMorgan Chase’s first office in Scotland in 2000, growing it from 20 to 300 people by 2003. He also helped launch high growth start-up SuperMassive Games, running a studio of over 100 developers working for customers Sony and the BBC and listed in 2012 on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 as one of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies.
Commen ting on his appointment Harvey Wheaton says: “CodeClan embodies everything that I care about – technology, education, start-ups and Scotland – so I am delighted to be joining the team.
“Just now, the digital sector in Scotland is experiencing unprecedented growth, with the emergence of international brands like Skyscanner and FanDuel and ambitious start-ups launching every week. But if we don’t do something to bridge the digital skills gap in Scotland soon then the extraordinary growth we are seeing will be under threat.
“CodeClan offers practical help, a real solution to this problem, and it is a privilege to be part of this exciting venture.” CodeClan is one of a new breed of immersive academies emerging around the world in New York, Berlin and London.
The aim is to create a new generation of software developers that will allow Scotland’s vibrant digital sector to flourish and drive the economy. CodeClan draws on an untapped resource of talented individuals who have an aptitude for coding but need a route into the industry.
An Oxford graduate, Wheaton studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics before moving into technology. Coming from a non-traditional background himself he wants to encourage others to make the switch and start a career in digital.
Rebecca Heaney of CodeClan comments: “Harvey has a very specific blend of experience and knowledge coupled with the passion and vision needed to make CodeClan achieve its ambitious targets. He has first hand experience of working in start-ups as well as international giants and understands the needs of both. This makes him uniquely placed to lead CodeClan as it strives to create the talent desperately needed by all types of business today.”
The academy is being launched amid a global shortage of digital skills affecting businesses in many different sectors of the economy. Forecasts suggest Scotland alone could offer up to 11,000 job opportunities a year in the digital sector, rising by 2,000 every year. Skills-starved employers are currently offering upwards of £23,000 to £25,000 to recruit entry-level developers.
Industry led and Government backed, the academy’s curriculum has been tailored to fit real time market demands in Scotland and is working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), to offer its graduates ‘Professional Development Awards’ in Software Development.
Wheaton is also Chairman of Scrum Alliance, a membership organisation that encourages and supports widespread adoption and effective practice of ‘Scrum’, a key Agile software development methodology for managing product development.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”