Emily-Jayne Crittenden

Finalist category: Tech Volunteer of the Year


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Finalist, Tech Volunteer of the Year Award, 2017

A major tech force in Norfolk

In just three years, this volunteer has had undeniably huge impact on tech in Norwich and the wider region.

Emily-Jayne Crittenden, runs two local tech businesses. She entered the industry in 2014 after volunteering to organise Norfolk Developers, a technology community group based in Norwich. Since 2014, she’s been a major force behind Nor(DEV):con conference.

She supported Norwich making a placement in the Tech City report in 2015 by adding extra tech businesses to the Tech Nation report questionnaire as one of the tasks given to her by the founder of Norfolk Developers, increasing the chance of success in being placed and recognised as a Tech City for the first time as a joint effort between other groups like SyncNorwich.

“Emily herself is an example of community spirit, by offering her expertise and running Digital East Anglia for the benefit of the community, and not for any personal gain,” said Martin Payne of Soft Apps.

“She is inspiring others by giving access to technology skills for the greater good of her community, and not for herself. By enabling developers to improve their knowledge and skills and providing access to skills to the “non techie” community, she is also enabling other to use tech for good.”

As a volunteer for Norfolk Developers, she organised over 90 events and workshops with some of the most famous names in software development, like Uncle Bob Martin, who helped write the agile manifesto, Michael Feathers as a Keynote for NorDevCon in 2016,  Jon Bradford from TechStars and Tech Nation and Russel Winder from ACCU.

These workshops are pivotal in keeping the local digital & technology community skilled and relevant, which in turn breeds innovation. This directly impacts start-up growth, as well as enabling traditional businesses to understand what technology can do for them. It increases the economic impact of the technology sector in a positive way for Norwich & Norfolk and the whole of the UK.

After her success with Norfolk Developers, she has now kicked off a whole new venture called Digital East Anglia. She wants to inspire younger developers, engineers and creatives to connect with established counterparts in the wider community. To do this she is collaborating with Norwich Ruby User Group and hopes that by sharing tech skills they can emulate the success seen in other digital hubs like Cambridge.

In less than three months Emily-Jayne has organised 10 events with Digital East Anglia providing hands on skills in hardware hacking, software making and digital topics like Amazon Echo, GRAKN.ai & GitKraken. On June 7th Norfolk was listed as the 7th The Things Network Hub bringing LoRaWAN to Norfolk; putting it on the IoT map on a national stage in collaboration with Paul Forster of Microsoft, who has driven this communities creation in the East of England, with Emily-Jayne co-organising events, advertising the group and providing a home for TTN Norfolk in her offices by housing a LoRaWAN gateway and hosting events under the banner of Digital East Anglia.

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