Finding out what people in UK tech think

From anecdote to evidence — what do the UK’s tech workers actually think about how technology is changing society? Doteveryone is finding out.

Image: James Barclay

While there is an increasing number of articles from major publications that feature anxieties felt by those who are creating technology, many of these articles are based on a few interviews with high profile individuals or the concerns of a particular company.

What we don’t know is whether these thoughts and feelings are reflected across the whole of the UK tech sector. We also cannot confidently say what the people making our tech products or services think is the future of their industry or how they envision it could be better for everyone.

This is why at Doteveryone, we’re looking to uncover the sector’s key concerns. We also want to have more definitive evidence as to the opportunities and challenges of implementing responsibility within the technology development process and make responsible technology practices an industry-wide accepted way of working.

We know solutions will be different between companies and between the various stages of the development cycle. We also know that the concerns and needs of practitioners will be different from those of directors and founders. So that’s why, with this research, we intend to find out what the understanding, motivations and best solutions are for each of these groups so we can be confident we’re co-creating the best and most appropriate solutions for each.

What we’ve done so far

In recent interviews with those responsible for projects or products, for a business or technology department, and those who support the work of technology businesses, we’ve been asking for their perspectives on responsible technology, in particular:

  • What they understand about it and what it means to them
  • How they think it may impact their work, if it hasn’t already
  • The importance they place on adopting a responsible approach and what their motivations might be for doing so
  • The methods they would use to introduce it

We’ll be sharing some of the common emerging themes from these soon. So stay tuned!

What else we’ve got planned

We have found these interviews so insightful that we’re planning to continue doing more throughout the rest of 2018.

If you work in the sector and interested in helping to shape this field from the beginning, please sign up to take part in an interview on Responsible Technology.

Finally, we’re commissioning a survey to explore these themes. To build upon our People, Power and Technology research in the UK public’s digital attitudes and understanding, we’ll be asking these questions to people working in the technology sector, or those employed in a technology role within another sector.

We hope the outputs of this research will allow technology professionals to understand the thoughts and feelings of their peers; leaders to make more informed decisions on how to implement change; policymakers and regulators to better shape their approaches; and further the field for those working in the intersection of ethics and technology.

We’re looking for partners and co-funders for the survey. Get in touch with us on [email protected] if you’re interested in supporting this work!

Finding out what people in UK tech think was originally published in Doteveryone on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.