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back to article UK's tech capital named: Read it and weep, Tech City startup hipsters

Wokingham is a town that's not famous for anything in particular. But that could be set to change after it was named the unlikely tech capital of Great Britain. A report by accountancy firm KPMG claimed the mundane town boasts a proportion of tech workers which is five times the national average. The municipality, located a …

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statistics

So 5000 people all working in Thames water's complaint call centre makes it a competitor for silicon valley?

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Re: statistics

Meh its better than giving Steve Bong and co a load of money to piss away on cloning instagram.

The whole Silicon Roundabout really shows how stupid and narrow minded the politico's are about the world outside of London (AKA Here Be Dragons). Lets start a new Silicon Valley, now where to put the funding:

* The F1 belt and its associated tech businesses?

* Wokingham and others

* Somewhere not normally tapped for this sort of thing (Cornwall, Wales?)

* London!!!!!!!

Because if there is surely one place in the uk that will never get redeveloped unless there is some incentive it is London, not like the place is super expensive and short of space or anything ( which usually guarantee's some form of private redevelopment)

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Pint

Re: statistics

Re Statistics - can we now also say that IT work is a healthy job?

Roll on, coffee, booze, late nights and misuse of statistics

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Re: statistics

Since it was a slow afternoon I've downloaded the bean counter's PDF and had a read. They base their definition of a 'tech job' on just five Standard Industry Classifications (SICs), namely

■ Software publishing (SIC 582).

■ Computer programming, consultancy and related activities (SIC 620).

■ Data processing, hosting and related activities; web portals (SIC 631).

■ Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products (SIC 26).

■ Manufacture of electrical equipment (SIC 27).

I'm fairly sure that this would exclude a lot of the consultancy and R & D outfits in, say, the Cambridge area for a start.

Electronics and computing are just so 20th century anyway - what about biotech?

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Pirate

Molly Millars Lane

Back in the late Jurassic, I started my IT career working for a software house on Molly Millars Lane in Wokingham, which had a few tech companies even then. 1983, I think it was.

I had my suspicions at the time that this cluster was mostly due to the number of decent pubs within a short walk of the place, these being the happy, carefree days when the IT industry was mostly pissed a large percentage of the time.

GJC

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Pint

"...happy, carefree days when the IT industry was mostly pissed a large percentage of the time"

Thanks for the reminder

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Pint

Re: Molly Millars Lane

Eh the Molly Millar, rings a few bells with the brain cells that still work, although we were barred from there on and off for the 2 years I spent locally

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Re: Molly Millars Lane

I spent some time working in Wokingham for different s/w houses back in the late 80s and mid 90s. You're right, getting pissed at lunch/morning/afternoon was a necessary feature. The necessity of doing this seemed to disappear about ten years ago. Maybe we all just got older.

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Re: Molly Millars Lane

Was your software firm where they've built the new Lidl?

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Re: Molly Millars Lane

Well, that rather depends on where they've built the new Lidl. I've not really been back since 1985ish.

It was Safe Computing, which IIRC was the first office building on the left-hand side at the Two Poplars end of the Lane.

GJC

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Wokingham is famous for hosting Obama's pub crawl

That completes the list of things I know about Wokingham.

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Anonymous Coward

Err... Thames Valley Park, Wokingham?

Whoever wrote this report needs a map, I know loads of people who work there, not a single one would describe where they work as Wokingham, it's Reading. The council boundaries may say otherwise, but Wokingham are part of RE3, the three Reading councils group.

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Re3 is just a recycling/waste disposal joint venture between Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell borough councils. A "three Reading councils group" exists only in your imagination.

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Sadly the article seems a bit confused. TVP and Suttons are most definitely not in Wokingham! Despite that though, Wokingham does definitely have a very large proportion of IT companies.

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They are in Woodley, which is part of Wokingham Borough Council, although in reality a suburb of Reading, so technically in Wokingham rather than most definitely not.

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Actually, Microsoft's campus is technically in Sonning, still part of Wokingham Borough, not sure about the rest of Thames Valley Park.

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M7S
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"not a single one would describe where they work as Wokingham"

To (mis)quote Mandy Rice-Davies, "they wouldn't, would they?"

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Angel

> They are in Woodley, which is part of Wokingham Borough Council, although in reality a suburb of Reading, so technically in Wokingham rather than most definitely not.

If you live there, it is most definitely Wokingham and NOT Reading.

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Small pond

.. and some fish. That doesn't make it "fishier" that a larger pond with proportionately fewer fish.

However, following the same statistical misdirection that only accountants would consider valid - OK, maybe lawyers, too - , I nominate my house as a technological hotspot since every worker there is in IT.

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Re: Small pond

does she who is indoors count as working

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Joke

Are they sure those figures dont include every tech worker stuck on the motorway during their "counts"?? Some of them may get counted 10-12 times during their slow, unsteady journey to work.

(On the basis the motorway system around London is so slow, several councils are thinking of charging council tax on cars sat in their borough for so long.)

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Plus all the ones packed into stationary trains at Reading* following a signal failure at Slough.

* Technically, neither the M4 nor the GWML pass through Wokingham, but it's still a good joke.

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When I lived in Bracknell...

... Wokingham was the promised land. The badly paid IT bods (such as myself) lived in Bracknell, the better paid in Binfield and the pointy haired boss class lived in Wokingham.

Even the PHBs were jealous of the people who lived in Ascot though...

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Re: When I lived in Bracknell...

Do I know you? That perfectly describes a company I worked for! The CEO lived in Ascot. Company moved there eventually.

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Unhappy

Re: When I lived in Bracknell...

Sadly when I was working in Bracknell I was stuck there. Significant lack of pubs, had to go to Reading for a good night out

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Re: When I lived in Bracknell...

What do you mean, there were some great pubs. Like my local, the William Twigg where one of the locals once put his head through the fruit machine and everyone barely batted an eyelid.

Come to think of it, Mos Eisley had nothing on some of those dives....

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Re: When I lived in Bracknell...

Rest assured that the PHB needed that executive car because it takes at least an hour to get in or out of Wokingham from around 3pm onwards.

Wokingham, also home to Azlan (or whatever they are now) who used to do very fine food on their CNE training courses. Proper ginger pudding with custard!

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Anonymous Coward

office?

Physical offices for some types of IT, particularly start-ups, I reckon is diminishing. I suspect more and more developers/entrepreneurs are working from home a great deal, even if their company does have an near empty registered address/office in some town-to-be-seen-in. I wonder if KPMG considered this at all.

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Reading, Bracknell, Camberley, Slough....

Why do IT companies set up in the most depressing towns in Britain?

Such utterly soulless dumps, when they're not geographically tied to anywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reading, Bracknell, Camberley, Slough....

Because they are cheap.

Sent from someone working in one of the (many) shitholes of Brum.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reading, Bracknell, Camberley, Slough....

Cause and effect: IT moves in, most depressing people housed in the worst architecture, doing the most asinine, boring work, town goes down the plughole as a place to live and worse for pubbing. Well, Slough may have been bad already. Shakespeare was unkind about it and Betjeman pleaded for the Nazis to do something constructive:

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!

It isn't fit for humans now,

There isn't grass to graze a cow.

Swarm over, Death!

and lots more in the same vein.

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Re: Reading, Bracknell, Camberley, Slough....

Cheap !!!!!! You must live in somewhere like Chelsea to think Reading etc is cheap. Anyway it can't be that because if cheap was a big factor then the tech firms would all move to Birmingham orHuddesrfield or somewhere equally grim.

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Holmes

Re: Reading, Bracknell, Camberley, Slough....

Confusing cause and effect?

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Mushroom

" Small town east of Reading"

For a moment there I thought it was going to be Slough. Close call.

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Pint

pubage

Local legend has it that Wokingham used to be famous for having the most pubs per square mile in europe. Wokingham is really nice. Bracknell on the other hand....

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Re: pubage

Now it seems it has the highest number of charity shops per square mile.

How times change...

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Thumb Up

"Wokingham is a town that's not famous for anything in particular. "

Apart from being Paul Weller's birthplace.

(*Well, its Woking, but close enough...)

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Anonymous Coward

Almost 20 miles away so not really...

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Pint

Pub culture

From the comments, you could raise the efficiency of this scheme by leaving out the hi-tech support, and just subsidising the pubs.

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But for how long?

Wokingham Borough is indeed home to many techies, with the likes of Microsoft and Oracle nearby; but it's not a hub of innovation. Those dinosaurs arrived in the 1980s and 1990s at a time when London was considered a dangerous urban wasteland with poor schools and high crime. Today's dynamic tech companies (Google, Facebook, even the likes of LastMinute.com) choose offices in central London, and their staff seem to prefer London living to the comparative delights of suburban Berkshire.

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Re: But for how long?

spot on.

lots of techies in and arond reading / brackers - but the big ponderous companies. london is where most of the fun stuff is. which is why i live in london, way too much interest to leave behind

no caps - eating executive sandwich with a hand

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But for how long?

Then there are the likes of me, a techie, who think London is a sinkhole, with rude indifferent people who actually only give a shit about themselves and have no concept of community.

Give me village* life any day

*proper village, not commuter fuck off from Monday - Friday type place .

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Re: But for how long?

True, but living in London isn't conducive to raising a family economically with the cost of living premium... so those of us who have settled down and don't mind working for the giants for some guaranteed income and no travel time are quite happy in the 'burbs.

Although the last time I visited Microsoft I felt old at 31, so clearly it's still attracting young talent.

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Have you ever been to Wokingham? You could have chosen any other of the surrounding towns, from Bracknell, to Winnersh, to Reading, to Farnborough, who have a much better gathering of the "tech" companies you try to allude to. There is a big Tesco's, Asda and Waitrose in Wokingham. There is no big tech hub.

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Anonymous Coward

It turns out that Reading University is technically in Wokingham (it's not) and the ECMWF is[n't] in Wokingham as well.

One hosts a number of startups, the met office, etc and the other some pretty gnarly supercomputing.

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Coffee/keyboard

Harsh... but fair?

Being close to Reading is considered an advantage in the tech world, if not in the real one.

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Trollface

Re: Harsh... but fair?

For some reason, I get the vision of a Laundry operation on Wokingham, with BOFH rappling down to erase SSDs in the name of GREEN ALICE MANILA or something.

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Meh

Wokingham is a town that's not famous for anything in particular

Got a good Fish and Chip store (Better one at nearby Twyford) as well as a decent Indian take out.

Lousy train service and a miserable station with a level crossing. The traffic circulation is weird, too.

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Happy

I uised to live just outside Wokingham, very many years ago. Fortunately I found the railway styation.

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