#SMRnov19 unwrapped

About SMR | | 4 min read

Fresh from the first edition of The Round in NYC, Team Silicon Milkroundabout took over the Old Truman Brewery in November 2019 to host the 18th edition of London’s leading tech jobs fair. That’s right – 18! We’re now officially old enough to have a drink at our own bar.

To mark this milestone we planned one of our biggest events ever, with an expanded talks lineup, a huge range of companies from the London tech scene & beyond, a popup cocktail bar, advice sessions from Buzzbar, arts & crafts workshops and a whole lot more.

In a completely original, seasonally-relevant format, let’s take a look back at some highlights of the event by focusing on the numbers!

Conversations with companies about jobs

Hundreds of different companies joined us across the weekend, and it was great to hear feedback from attendees praising the diversity of the teams on offer – from early-stage startups to some of the most recognisable names out there, it was clear that Silicon Milkroundabout is the place to be if you want to know what’s happening in the tech world.

In total there were 2,236 job roles listed on our website ahead of the event, and the most sought-after skills this time around were Front-end, Back-end & Full Stack Development, DevOps and Product Management.

The diversity of roles on offer was reflected in the mix of attendees. Across both days we were joined by 3,700 different job seekers, from all corners of the tech world, at varying stages of their professional careers:

  • 30.9% of attendees were currently in a junior or graduate position;
  • 33.8% were currently working at a mid-level stage; and
  • The remaining 35.4% were Senior or C-Level folks looking for a new challenge to get stuck in to.

That many tech professionals under one roof resulted in an estimated 5110 total hours of conversation. Holy data science! That’s 30 weeks worth.

Speaker’s corner

As part of our talks lineup, we hosted representatives from 7 hiring tech teams to discuss their careers and insights on working in tech in 2019: Greyparrot, Zego, Sofar Sounds, JustGiving, Beam, BBC Design + Engineering & Gousto.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any more insightful, we were back in the auditorium to hear more from two further teams – Lush & Stack Overflow.

On Saturday afternoon Lush took us through the development of their Lush Lens app, and how it fits into their tech for good aims (including the part it played in their 100% packaging-free store in Milan).

Stack Overflow joined us on Sunday for a look at some insights from their 2019 Developer Survey (which had almost 90,000 respondents).

Making Silicon Milkroundabout Sustainable

As a team, one of our main priorities when producing our event is to keep the environmental footprint to a minimum. In an earlier post on this blog we outlined everything we were doing at SMRnov19 to help achieve this goal, and we’re pleased to say that some of these measures really made a difference this time around.

One big changed we made was working with Bagboard to produce reusable, recyclable paper bags. When scanned using the Bagboard app, our Silicon Milkroundabout bags (featuring the fantastic illustrations of Cachetejack) came to life! Bagboard also pledged to convert each scan into physically recycling 100 plastic bags.

The scanning of bags at #SMRnov19 meant that an additional 13,228 plastic bags were recycled – that’s 73kg of plastic kept out of the ocean. Removing single-use plastic from behind the bar and our coffee stations meant we cut down on a further 10,000 pieces, or 55kg, of plastic.

For those observing the upcoming festive season, we’ve worked the equivalent weight for each of the different gifts from the 12 days of Christmas.


That’s equal to: 

🥁 1.8 drummers drumming
🎶 2 pipers piping
🏃‍♂️ 2 lords a-leaping
💃🏽 2.5 ladies dancing
🥛 2.5 maids a-milking
🦢 11 swans a swimming
🥚 38 geese a laying
🐦 1,258 calling birds(!)
🐔 157 french hens
🐢🕊️ 967 turtledoves
or 🐤 257 partridges in 🌳 0.14 of a pear tree

(It doesn’t quite have the same ring as the original but we’re proud of it.)


(Please don’t tell the boss how long I have spent looking up average weights of only vaguely tangentially christmassy things this morning!)

Visiting artists & their workshops

We were thrilled to have the work of Lucy Grainge & Abnormal Design on display in our two exhibition spaces.

A visual artist and designer based in Glasgow, Lucy Grainge exhibited her recent work as well as hosting 2 workshops at the event for attendees & their children. The people taking part ranged in age from 3 to 45 and the results were fantastic.

Abnormal Design is a generative design studio which specialises in design and automation for digital manufacture. They exhibited a great new piece reinterpreting the origin story of the Corinthian Column:

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen at the Choose Love cafe

The incredible team from Imad’s Syrian Kitchen took excellent care of the food for the second Silicon Milkroundabout in a row – and this time they bought a few friends along. Imad has long been a supporter of the charity Help Refugees and we were pleased to be able to support them and showcase some work on their behalf.

The cafe was decorated with a series of different interpretations on the iconic Choose Love logo. These were kindly provided by Print Club London, where you can order originals and prints of some of the pieces.

Imad’s team cooked up 8,664 individual falafels for company reps and attendees, and with £1 from each purchase going to the charity, we were able to donate £1,444 to Choose Love.


Many people’s favourite part of the event, these accomplished pooches are both rated 11/10.

Next up: April 2020 and back to NYC!

We’ll be back in London on 25-26 April, and ticket applications for that event are already open: you can submit yours here. May 2020 will see the second outing of our US sister-event, The Round.

Thanks to everyone that joined us in November! We hope to see you all again in 2020.

Team @ Silicon Milkroundabout