software productivity centre

Glasgow Systems and Software Engineering Centre

The Glasgow Systems & Software Engineering Centre was one of the first major IT employers in Glasgow, Scotland, during the 1980's. Constituting one of British Telecom's three main UK-distributed software Centres (including London and Belfast) it was one of the first organisations in the UK to attain the well-known BS5750 quality standard for its service delivery capability. It also provided an unsurpassed training ground for a large number of graduates from the main local universities, Glasgow and Strathclyde.

A vision of John Marshall, a senior manager within British Telecom, it was first led locally by John Swinney, supported by an initial team of around twenty professional staff and opened in 1988 in Exchange House, George Street.

Eventually growing to a staff base of nearly 200, GSSEC was a workplace populated by an extraordinarily wide diversity of individual including ex-rock stars and Scots language experts. A number of staff went on to forge high profile careers in the burgeoning Scottish IT dot-com industry of the late 1990's including Eddie Anderson, John McGuire, Mark Logan and Paul Murphy.

GSSEC was also well known for its sense of community and extra-curricular activities including inventing the concept of the Treasure Crawl (a sort of scavenger hunt while consuming Olympic quantities of beer); gssec.pish - a local Usenet discussion group that allowed philosophical discussion of everything from geo-politics to obscure musical artists; and the manning of the telephone lines in earlier years of BBC's Children In Need.

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