For many years, Manchester-headquartered Godel has been leaving its mark in the capital, from networking events, connections with London-based IT leaders and being partnered with many leading southern businesses.

Matthew Strachan is a Client Director at Godel, and recently took the opportunity to take his growing sales experience and embark on the next chapter of his Godel journey and move to London. In the short time he has been there, Matt has been busy settling into his new life down south and immersing himself in the prospects the Big Smoke offers, as he explains below.

How long have you been in London?

I moved to London about 4 months ago. My girlfriend is from the South, and I’d always thought living in London would be fun, so when she suggested moving down, I was excited to try it!

What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed between living in the north and living in the south?

I think the biggest difference is the time it takes to get anywhere. I went to go and see some friends the other day, who on a map looked close, but in reality were not very close at all! It took the best part of 2 hours to get there! The weather is much better too.

What is the tech market like in London?

It’s the biggest tech market in the UK, attracting the likes of Engineers, Product Managers and other tech leaders from all over the country. Likewise, it’s also one of the biggest tech markets outside of the US, so it also attracts people from all over the world! I think I’ve had conversations with tech leaders from every corner of the globe who now call London home, which is kind of cool.

It’s a very vibrant and innovative market, which in tough times like we are in now, does its best to forge ahead.

Would you say the way in which people connect is different in London?

In a professional setting, I think there is more of an expectation that meetings should be held in person, and networking is a lot more popular. I imagine it’s because the scene is naturally a lot larger, so there are more events, and more people regularly attend, which breeds even more events.

I’d say the biggest difference is the way people connect outside of work, specifically after they have just finished for the day. I think the post-work social scene in London is unlike anywhere else in the world – it seems to be fundamental to how the city works (not quite sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing!).

The UK remains a leading tech hub, but how has the economic crisis influenced new technology?

I think there is an overwhelming feeling of caution in the UK market as a whole at the moment, not just in Tech.

I heard someone say recently that the fear of interest rate rises is actually a more powerful deterrent to consumer/business spending than the interest rate increase itself, which I think is very true.

This puts us in a tricky spot, as there is a general feeling that rates could further increase, so businesses act accordingly in a cautious manner. However, when this nervousness settles, I think we’ll see both Tech and the wider UK market bounce back very quickly. Much quicker than the rate at which interest rates will come down.

Have you noticed a skills gap in the South?

There is definitely still a skills gap within London, but it’s not quite as acute as it was 18 months ago. Interestingly, this is having quite a big impact on how some technology leaders view software delivery partners. 18 months ago, we were often viewed as a mechanism to quickly grow an engineering team, as a result of fierce competition for talent in the UK. Today, this has changed slightly, and we’re often viewed as a method of diversification and reducing long-term delivery risk.

Have you learnt any London slang yet?

Still working on this, but my cockney walk is coming along nicely!

Where’s your favourite place to visit in London?

I live in North London, so I’m a big fan of all the local parks.

What have you got planned for the remainder of the year to grow your network?

I am excited to be hosting a few networking dinners on behalf of Godel. We’ve got two provisional dates in the diary, one in October and one in December. It’s going to be a really informal event where we try to discuss a few key themes in technology. I say try, as the conversation is often derailed by the weekend’s football.

Why is a London presence beneficial for Manchester-headquartered Godel?

London is the biggest Tech market in the UK, so having a presence here has obvious benefits (proximity to clients, part of the London tech ecosystem, etc).

I think as Godel continues to grow, we’ll steadily grow our London footprint due to the opportunity the city poses.

And finally, time to settle the debate… does the North/South divide really exist?

I’m not a big believer in it if I’m honest. I was brought up in the Scottish Highlands, studied in Edinburgh, then moved to Manchester and finally London, and the only thing that really changes is what people call their brews… or is it a cuppa?