On Furlough? Resources for Tech Talent

Temporary layoffs are unfortunately a reality for many of our clients and candidates currently. Many haven’t been affected at all – still hiring, but in certain sectors, the situation hit hard, and furlough has been inevitable.

It’s not a reflection on ‘how well one does as a business’ or ‘how good one is at their job as an individual’, it’s the harsh reality of this situation we are in as the result of an economic downturn. Furlough doesn’t discriminate. But what to do during this time?

Firstly, volunteering. As a B Corp, we can highly recommend having a look here. Although, you may also want to stay on top of your professional game.

There’s no doubt about it, this is a tough time. The government’s furlough employee retention scheme goes some way to helping with this and we’ve been speaking to Tech Leads across our client base to find out what resources they’re giving to their developers to keep them engaged and help them upskill.

Here, we’ve collated a few that we hope will come in handy for your reference…


  • A lot of developers that I talk to rarely have time to answer community questions or upload new ideas on to sites such as Stack Overflow, Github and others. So this might be a great time to learn from others, boost your profile and support other developers by sharing your knowledge.
  • Pluralsight is offering free access to all of their online courses for the month of April. Oracle is giving 50 hrs free access to online courses.
  • If you’ve been looking to cross-train or find out how easy it would be to pick up another programming language or tool then this is a great opportunity. There’s plenty of other free and low priced resources available too including the 1-week fundamentals courses offered by TechTalent Academy as well as the likes of Udemy, Codeacademy and Free Code Camp.


Some blogs and sites that we’ve been told are useful include –

  • CodePen Blog – Read blogs, experiment, learn examples from other developers
  • Scotch.io – Video courses, tutorials, trend news and an excellent community section.
  • Sitepoint – News, tutorials and community sharing.
  • DevOps.com – News, articles, webinars, chat and more.
  • David Walsh – JS blogs, views and resources.
  • Planet PHP – latest news, tips, questions answered and a directory of other PHP blogs.


If you have your own website already, then now could be a good chance to update it, maybe using new technology in order to practice your skills with it. If you’re more front-end focused then the same could go for your portfolio. If you do come to look for work, you’ll probably regret not taking the time now to do it!

After a few days of enjoying the sun with no work to do, maybe you might just feel like building something in order to practice your skills or maybe challenge yourself with a new language or technology. If it goes well, then you could be adding real value to your employer when you return, or at least adding value to your own experience if you need to look for work.

If you’re feeling a bit concerned that furlough could turn into redundancy, then it could be a good shout to update your CV. Drop me a line if you need any help with making it look incredible.

Tech Online Meetups

There’s been plenty of online tech Meetups already in the last 3 weeks and they’re a great way of learning new skills, connecting with other developers and finding out more about where our industry is going next. Ones that have been recommended to us include:

Volunteering – using your tech skills

We are hearing of a few opportunities to put your coding genius to great use in fighting Covid19 and supporting the frontline services. Details change by the hour but you might be able to apply your talents to such a vital cause. Some recent posts on this to stay close to; Computer Weekly and Code Motion. A new slack channel with 35 open projects and 3500 developers can be found at Helpful Engineering.

I hope you find something useful in this blog to pass on. If you have any resources to add we’d love to hear from you.

Written by

Head Of Tech (Permanent)

CTO/Leads, Developers, GreenTech

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Mike Harley