Keynote: Colin Cook
CmdR ScotSoft2020

Colin Cook

Digital Director, Scottish Government

Click play above to watch the opening keynote session from Colin Cook.

We live in a digital world. It is changing the way we work, do business, entertain, deliver services, shop and keep in touch with our family and friends, as well as the work of government. Back in 2017, the Scottish Government set out a vision to ensure that Scotland is recognised throughout the world as a vibrant, inclusive, greener, open and outward-looking digital nation. In 2020, the context in which we are working has changed profoundly, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the prospect of no-deal Brexit, and it is time to revisit and refresh this vision. The Scottish Government will shortly be consulting on a new Digital Strategy for Scotland, already shaped by contributions received during the Digital Nation challenge run in conjunction with ScotlandIS. Find out the plans laid out in the new strategy, and how to help shape them, at this session with the Scottish Government’s Digital Director, Colin Cook.


Colin Cook has been Digital Director, Scottish Government since May 2017. His portfolio covers the roll out of broadband and other forms of connectivity, data strategy, digital transformation, the delivery of Scottish Government’s shared IT service and CivTech, Scotland public services business incubator. Colin previously headed Scottish Government’s digital transformation and digital connectivity, economy and participation divisions. Colin’s previous roles include Marketing Director, British Army Recruiting, where he introduced an award winning online recruiting process and both Marketing Director and Service Specification Director of Royal Mail’s core Letters Business. Colin is a trustee of  Royal Caledonian Education Trust, a charity that supports the children of current and former service personnel to maximise their potential.

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Welcome from Cabinet Secretary for Finance

Opening Keynotes

Rik Ferguson, Global VP, Security Research, Trend Micro 

Colin Cook, Digital Director, Scottish Government 

Kate Forbes MSP



Session 1

Open source tools to find security vulnerabilities within applications

Building an Enterprise Data Marketplace to Shop for Data as a Service

Organisation Refactoring and Culture Hacking – Lessons from Software

Skills Development Scotland Report Launch: Neurodiversity in Digital Tech



Mark Goodwin

Mike Fergusson

Andrew Harmel Law

Bev Harrow, Lee Hutchinson and Chris Hughes



Session 2

In the Midst of Fire – The Chaos of Ransomware Attacks 

Towards Application Driven Infrastructure

How inclusion can drive economic growth? 

Restart and Prosper: Tech trends emerging from the pandemic

Chris Yule

Kief Morris

Janet Onyia

Richard Marshall



Session 3

AI for Good Mapping land cover to support Natural Capital Asset Index tracking in Scotland 

Collaborating across clusters

Look! There’s a Threat Model in my DevOps

Sharpening the saw – how tooling can make us better developers



Dr Murray Collins

Dr Poonam Malik, Ben Shorrock, David Dunn, Jane Morrison-Ross

Alyssa Miller

Chris Heilmann



Session 4

Ten Traits that Differentiate the most Trusted Advisors

Getting value from data – productionising data science

Innovating with Immigration.



Austen Mulinder

Dr James McMinn

Jamie Kerr

Tech challenges coming out of Open Banking and the GOFCoE project

50% of AI is easy, we just don’t know which half


Gavin Littlejohn

Alex Bell and Petur Einarsson



Session 5

Overcoming and handling bias in data: ethical and practical considerations 

Building brand awareness for your tech company 

Start up, scale up


Navigating Venture Capital


Olivia Gambelin, Joseph Crispell

Kathryn Strachan

Peter Proud

Brian Baglow

Paul Neeson and Andrew Noble


Session 6

A Fyne future for graphical development

Launching terrestrial tech into the space marketplace

Tales from the Crypt(o)

Serverless Architecture


Andrew Williams

Dr David Alexander

Matt Summers

Julian Wood



Closing Keynote

Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President – AI & ISV Engagement at Microsoft Corporation 


Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards

The YSE Awards recognise the best undergraduate software projects, drawn from across all students studying computing science and software engineering in Scotland.

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