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Life at Deloitte
Introducing the Technology Guild Program
Tapping into the potential of emerging technologies
November 14, 2019
Machine learning, cloud native development, and blockchain are part of a growing list of emerging technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work. We have already started to see the impact of these innovations in the education, healthcare, transportation, and retail industries. Text and speech recognition, online shopping experiences, the spam filters in inboxes, and the way transactions are conducted, have all been shaped by emerging technologies.
Deloitte’s Technology Guild: At the center of emerging technologies
As with anything emerging or relatively new, there is usually some level of uncertainty and ambiguity. That's where Deloitte's Technology Guild Program aims to create clarity through a center of learning and experience.
Modeled after guilds from medieval times, where skilled artisans came together to share experiences and high-quality standards were upheld, the Technology Guild Program brings together Deloitte professionals to foster a self-managing and collaborative community, where professionals can master their craft, ideate, and build a collection of reusable assets.
"The idea is to cultivate groups of specialists and passionate apprentices that can dig deep into emerging technologies that are disrupting our clients' businesses," shared Bill Briggs, Deloitte LLP’s Global Chief Technology Officer.
Cultivating culture and community
The program, which launched in 2017, has three main domains, including machine learning, cloud native development, and blockchain. The Machine Learning Guild, which was the first to be launched, has amassed more than 2,500 members. The Cloud Native Development Guild and Blockchain Guild both launched this past summer.
Over the last two decades, Bill has seen the use of technology shift from a supporting role to one of the key components of Deloitte's client strategy and culture. As one of the executive sponsors of the program, he has helped to support the growth and development of the Guild by allowing Guild members to shape the program.
"The Guild program represents a chance for people to broaden what they already know and do and to follow their passions,” shared Bill. "We are seeing that our people want to learn more about emerging technologies and how they can use it to shape their client strategy.”
Technology Guild member journey
Although there is often a steep learning curve associated with emerging technologies like blockchain and machine learning, the Guild is aiming to remove that barrier by connecting people at all stages, so they can learn from each other.
The Guild is open to anyone at Deloitte, across all levels and geographies, from beginners to more advanced professionals. There are many opportunities to learn and grow. Guild members participate in workshops, briefings, contests, and create thought leadership pieces like white papers, demos, and prototypes. The Guild also has a social good component, where members volunteer with non-profits and work together to solve real-world problems using emerging technologies.
“We are taking the fear factor away for folks that don’t have a deep technology background but want to learn about new technologies,” shared Bill.
To cultivate a community of specialists and thought leaders, each participant goes through a unique Guild journey. Along the way, they are guided by the Guild’s virtual Clubhouse and Schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse helps new members to advance their skills through a structured, tiered learning program and a curated self-guided learning, while the Clubhouse seeks to build a community of people with an interest and passion for innovation through hackathons, competitions, in-person meet-ups, and webinars. If they decide to join the structured learning program, members have the option to grow their skills to advance from an Explorer to an Apprentice and finally a Master.
Vision for the future
"There is a level of passion and sustained engagement with the Guild because the emphasis is on hands-on learning to get people involved and solve real-world problems," shared Bill.
As technology continues to evolve, so too will Deloitte’s Technology Guild continue to grow. More areas of focus will be added in response to the unprecedented opportunities that emerging technologies present. Ultimately the growth and continuation of the Guild rely heavily on its members, who are shaping the path and direction of the program through their thirst for knowledge and innovation. We look forward to sharing their stories on the Life at Deloitte blog.
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