A global technology consultancy has recruited a high-profile North East tech ambassador to its Sunderland team, as it continues investing in the region.

Saggezza, a Sunderland Software Centre-based company that provides software solutions for clients, including one of the world’s largest private investment banks and a global credit card brand, has appointed testing specialist and podcast host Russell Craxford, 39, as head of quality management.

The appointment aligns with Saggezza’s ambition to continue investing in its UK head office over the next 12 months, after employing 40 new staff during the pandemic and seeing demand for its automation and digital transformation services soar.

Having previously spent six years as quality and release manager at Sage, managing 20 teams, Russell’s most recent role saw him work at fellow North East software consultancy Scott Logic, where he worked as delivery manager.

The move to Saggezza, however, will once again give Russell the opportunity to build and manage his own team over the coming years, which the company hopes will see its testing division increase to over 30.

Russell said: “The offer to join Saggezza was one I just couldn’t turn down.

“Not only has it presented me with the chance to build my own team and continue building up the North East’s testing sector, but it has also given me the opportunity to test my skills working with some of the world’s biggest brands.

“The North East tech sector has grown rapidly over the last decade or so and is showing no signs of slowing down with so many global companies and fast-growing start-ups now looking to invest in the region.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved in the sector and I’m delighted to be playing a part in helping drive the industry forward as we look to the future.”

As well as boasting 12 years’ experience working in testing, Russell also hosts regular meetups for fellow testers in the region, as well as being one of the four founding members of Testing Peers, a fortnightly podcast discussing testing practices, leadership and industry developments.

Launched in May last year, the podcast has already amassed over 6,000 downloads and is hosted by fellow testers Chris Armstrong, QA strategy consultant at Provar, Simon Prior, senior test manager at EasyJet and David Maynard, group lead at Cambridge Consultants.

Russell added: “Since making the switch to a career in testing 13 years ago, I’ve seen first-hand just how rapidly demand for software testing is growing and have made it my mission to help as many people as possible explore careers in the field.”

“Not only through the local meetup and event scene, but also by co-hosting the North East’s first ever Test Conference last year I’m confident that, with its unrivalled benefits in terms of cost of living stunning coastlines and countryside and ever-growing tech sector, then there is no reason why the North East can’t compete with any other area in Europe when it comes to tech.”

Saggezza is currently recruiting for a host of roles at its UK head office in Sunderland as well as its London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham offices.

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