Trust in SODA is delighted to have surpassed 100,000 followers on LinkedIn.
This milestone made us think about our journey as an organisation and how far we’ve come; from creating two successful community networking initiatives, to travelling across the globe and continuing to empower and build diverse teams that reflect the digital world we live in. Let’s go back through the last few years and find out how this fizzling can of refreshing digital recruitment evolved.
2013: SOCIETY OF DIGITAL ADDICTS
It was in June of 2013 when the Trust in SODA (Society of Digital Addicts) was born. ‘I remember being super excited walking out of Farringdon station and into the Office Group Building on Greville Street,’ founder David Young said. David, along with co-founder Ashley Lawrence wanted to revolutionise the recruitment industry, with a mission to put people first and amplify the importance of diversity in tech. ‘Our office was tiny – but I loved it and felt an enormous sense of pride,’ David added. As SODA began to splash its way onto the web, David spoke about the powerful brand presence which had already been noticeable from day one, ‘our website was awesome, our branding was slick, and we had a fantastic team who were the foundations for our amazing culture.’ This initial team included Hayley Killengrey and Sam Taylor, both of whom are now Associate Directors and full-fledged members of the SODA Squad.
2015: ARE YOU READY FOR A DIGITAL NETWORKING REVOLUTION?
By 2015, the infinite craze of meet-up groups was at its peak. OG-Sodalite Sam Taylor explained how SODA managed to successfully join this tidal wave of buzz, becoming one of the first recruitment companies to do so.SODA Social was born; a pioneering, networking initiative dedicated to empowering and bring together diverse communities within the digital world. ‘I’d be lying if I said I knew what we were doing back then,’ Sam admitted, ‘we might have had a glitch or two along the way, but we just had to roll up our sleeves and make it happen.’ SODA Social now boasts a following of around 5,000 members and has been lauded by industry experts for its high-quality scale events and online webinar sessions, ‘I love SODA Social events. I love how sociable they are and how I get to meet lots of different people from a multitude of backgrounds,’ said a previous attendee.
2017: IT’S TIME TO CLOSE THE GENDER GAP
It was April 2017 when our very own Lauren Langdell founded and hosted her first Women in DevOpsmeet-up. Frustrated with the lack of diversity for women in the DevOps space, Lauren set upon herself the task of hosting a meet-up community where women and other minority groups could converse and meet like-minded people. The initial 12 attendees from 2017 are a far cry from the 9,000 members that now exist. Women in DevOps has become a global movement. ‘It’s just gone from strength to strength, we’ve had support from incredible allies in the tech business, such as Google and Facebook who have helped us leverage,’ Lauren said.
Women in DevOps continues to thrive, with luminaries from the tech world showing their support, and often becoming panel members for events and online discussions. With over 30 in-person and online events in the can, as well as partnerships with the likes of JFrog, Coding Black Females – and more recently, Apple; it’s clear that Women in DevOps is here to stay, ‘we’re looking to take things to the next level – watch this space!’
2018: TO MANCHESTER, DUBLIN, RIO AND BEYOND
By 2018, SODA had hit its stride. The expansion to England’s chic, urban second city of Manchester became the second office location. This was shortly followed by the opening of our Dublin office. Coined as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Ireland, SODA now had the opportunity to expand into Western Europe.
Aside from this exciting extension, SODA also began winning a multitude of awards and accreditations. The LinkedIn, ‘most socially engaged award,’ was won for a consecutive year, as well as the ‘small recruitment agency of the year’ at the Recruiter Awards.
As well as this, Women in DevOps made their first global appearance in Rio, Brazil for the DevOpsDays conference in November. When speaking about this opportunity, as well as delivering a talk to over 200 attendees, Women in DevOps co-founder and SODA Marketing Manager Lucy Neal said, ‘I was given the support and freedom to step out of my comfort zone and represent Women in DevOps globally. It was incredible. This, along with travelling around various islands, spotting spider-monkeys and drinking plenty of Caipirinha’s with the locals, made Rio a truly unforgettable experience.’
2019: SODA GOES STATE-SIDE
Less than a year after our Europe expansion, David, Ashley and the SODA Squad set their sight on Silicon Valley. Home to a juggernaut of tech companies, operating in Los Angeles seemed like the appropriate way to solidify SODA’s global footprint. In August Lauren Langdell and Hayley Killengrey were appointed to steer the ship to Los Angeles, helping build and scale a team of refreshing Sodalites across the pond. On moving state-side, Hayley said, ‘being able to live and work internationally was a dream come true. It was definitely one on the bucket list, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. The technology scene in L.A. is incredible and I'm keeping up the tradition of Taco Tuesdays!’
2020: STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, STAY SODA-IFYED
As the pandemonium of the pandemic irrupted, SODA Social continued to stay one step ahead of the game by introducing virtual webinar events the following May. From computer vision in production, to design trends and diversity in data; SODA Social has produced over ten online networking initiatives in the past year and due to the triumphant success of the online webinars, they will remain as a permanent fixture in the post-pandemic world.
2020 also saw SODA celebrate several achievements and accolades as part of Trinnovo Group, raising over £100,000 in charitable funds, winning ‘Best Recruitment Company to Work for – 20-50m,’ at the Tiara Awards, and setting up a Diversity Innovation Team.
2021: TO THE FUTURE!
Despite the enormous success over the past eight years: SODA is not slowing down. Managing Director Kavi Nowzari spoke on SODA’s exciting future, explaining there is now the chance to ‘redefine the new normal across the staffing sector,’ while working in partnership with many high-profile clients, ‘we want to give our clients access to stakeholder training, competitor analysis and digital onsite solutions – as well as helping them access diverse social communities.’
Internally, SODA has now bought learning and development in-house, creating opportunities for personal growth, knowledge-building and putting people first, ‘we are looking to create a legacy by changing our people’s lives for the better’ says Kavi.
The tech landscape continues to evolve, with exciting changes in AI, data technology and computer vision to name a few. SODA is evolving too, with plans to continue to grow the SODA Squad, while continuing to host a plethora of networking initiatives and achieve global recognition in the process.
Amid all this transformation, there is one thing that will never change: we will always be addicted to digital.