The Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast team were compelled by events to deviate from their usual light-hearted approach to enterprise business-to-business technology in the first few months of the year. They discussed the war in Ukraine with the help of Computer Weekly’s security editor Alex Scroxton on a couple of podcasts, one of which is highlighted in this list. The cyber warfare aspect of the conflict was to the fore in these episodes, along with the general IT industry boycott of Russia.

Otherwise, women in UK technology, alongside diversity, was, again, a huge topic for the team, discussed across the year and culminating in Clare’s presentation of the announcement of the 2022 list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology, and its associated event, Diversity in Tech, which Computer Weekly runs in collaboration with Nash Squared.

Caroline’s two main topics of focus on the podcast were the ongoing saga of the IR35 reforms and the energy crisis, as it pertains to the datacentre market (as well as green IT more generally, including the launch of the Computer Weekly Green IT think tank that she masterminds and shepherds).

And Brian was back in the air in 2022, attending Dreamforce in San Francisco, Oracle Cloud World in Las Vegas, and an SAP press trip to the Bay Area coterminous with SAP’s TechEd.

This year, Cliff Saran, Computer Weekly’s managing editor (technology) did a series of episodes within the framework of the podcast. These featured one-to-one interviews with leading IT industry thinkers and executives on topics ranging from quantum computing, through the metaverse, and on to developer well-being.

One of these featured, as a case study, The National Archives’ deployment of a semantic data platform, provided by MarkLogic, to support the UK government’s drive to improve transparency in the justice system.

Cliff closed out his podcasting for the year with a conversation with Stewart Buchanan, a research vice-president in Gartner’s CIO team, about how CIOs can manage through the current economic crisis, with IT budgets effectively cut due to inflation. That conversation has granular advice for IT leaders.

Meanwhile, the perennial podcast power trio added some light to the shade throughout the podcasting year, including natters around Halloween and the advent of Christmas.

Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcasts of 2022.

1. Ukraine: Cyber warfare and IT industry boycott of Russia

In this episode, Computer Weekly’s security editor Alex Scroxton joins Caroline Donnelly, Clare McDonald and Brian McKenna to discuss the cyber war dimension to the war in Ukraine, and the IT industry’s response to the Russian invasion, including a boycott of Russia and humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. Because this is the most serious of subjects, this episode of the podcast is devoted just to this topic. 

2. Energy crisis impact on datacentre market

Caroline Donnelly, Clare McDonald and Brian McKenna reflect on the current energy crisis by way of the Sungard AS UK collapse, and the role of software and data analytics in the wind turbine industry. They also talk about the findings of the annual Computer Weekly/TechTarget IT salary survey, which finds IT professionals more in control of their working lives than before the pandemic, and back to pre-health crisis wage levels. 

3. The metaverse and women in software

Clare McDonald and Brian McKenna were joined, in the temporary absence of Caroline Donnelly, by Cliff Saran to discuss the metaverse, the Makers Women in Software Power List, and how CIOs should relate to the details of enterprise technology. 

4. Does quantum matter?

In this special edition of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Ilyas Khan, CEO of Quantinuum, discusses the quantum computing revolution.

He believes the UK is leading the way, just as it did at the start of the first industrial revolution. The CEO of Quantinuum, the organisation formed from the merger of Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum Computing, the company Khan founded in 2014, says the UK is one of the leading countries, if not the global leader, in quantum computing. 

5. Koch’s networking

Here, Matt Hoag, CTO of Koch Business Solutions, discusses networking as a service.

The idea of “lift and shift” makes no sense in the cloud. Matt Hoag, chief technology officer (CTO) for Koch Business Solutions, points out that while lifting and shifting workloads may work as a short-term measure, as organisations buy time to develop cloud-native software, enterprise networking simply cannot be lifted and shifted to the cloud. 

6. Developer well-being

A wide-ranging special with Capital One bank’s CTO, Brad Miller.

Brad Miller lives in New Jersey and, due to the pandemic, has the flexibility to work both out of his home and from Capital One bank’s New York office. Miller has been CTO of Capital One for two years, where he is responsible for the bank’s enterprise products and platforms technology organisation. 

7. Top 50 women in UK tech, IR35 Truss fiasco

Caroline Donnelly, Clare McDonald and Brian McKenna reflect on the announcement of the 2022 list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology, and its associated event, Diversity in Tech, which Computer Weekly does in collaboration with Nash Squared. 

They also discuss an aspect of the brief premiership of Liz Truss that was under-covered in other media: the scrapping and then the rescinding of the scrapping of the IR35 reforms.

8. Coding at Bet365

In this podcast, Alan Reed, head of sports development at Bet365, discusses the technical and business challenges of scalability.

Computer Weekly last spoke to Alan Reed a few years before the pandemic. During the Covid-19 lockdown, the head of sports development at Bet365 says the online betting firm needed to adapt to live sports stopping and the shift to home working.  

9. Justice transparency

The National Archives has deployed a semantic data platform, powered by MarkLogic, to support the UK government’s drive to improve transparency in the justice system.

John Sheridan, digital director at The National Archives, defines semantic data as a formal conceptual model to describe data. At The National Archives, a semantic data platform, powered by MarkLogic, is being used for the Find Case Law service. “We are preserving court judgments in the digital archive for the future,” he said. 

10. AWS mutes trash talk at Re:Invent

Caroline Donnelly, Clare McDonald and Brian McKenna reflect on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Re:Invent partner and customer conference in Las Vegas, an initiative for getting more young women into the cyber security profession, and recent SAP and SAP user group events – in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Birmingham.

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