How to find the ”Lionel Messi” of software development?!


By Christoph Neumann
January 2019

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Where do I find a good developer? Which skills do I have to look for? Which technology shall we use? Am I paying a fair price? How do I know I get quality software?

Do these questions sound familiar? You are not alone! Over the last months, I’ve consulted several companies and heard these exact same questions over and over again. Don’t get me wrong: finding the “Lionel Messi” of software development has always been a challenge. But is there a shortage of developers? No! Actually, it has never been easier to find them.

But what does it take to attract the right developers, product managers, UX/UI designers, and data scientists for your projects?

Get ready for the "Gig Economy"

In the United States alone, an estimated 55 million workers or more than 35% of the workforce are either freelancers or work part-time in the new “Gig Economy.” A trend, which is also growing in Europe. Especially Millennials and the Generation Y value the benefits of the Gig Economy, such as flexible income opportunities and the possibility to working from anywhere at any time. They prefer flexible working hours, agile processes, and feel held back by rigid outdated working styles. In a study conducted by PWC it was found that over 25% Millennials now expect to have six employers or more, compared with just 10% in 2008. In the same study, 41% said they preferred to communicate electronically at work than face to face or even via telephone. To leverage this growing talent pool, you have to put (agile) processes in place that enable freelancers to integrate seamlessly with your organization.

Enable remote work

Now that every industry has realized that digital transformation is a necessity for survival, the demand for digital talents outweighs the supply in most western countries. As technology is a global phenomenon, companies focussing on local talent search do witness strong difficulties to recruit. Moreover, up to 92% of all Millennials are keen to work remotely, but many businesses still haven’t embraced remote work. Reasons being lack of trust in the quality of remote workers, a lack of agile tools and processes, or uncertainties regarding the legal and contractual setup. Yet, successful companies such as Mozilla, GitHub, or Citrix prove that remote is not just a “perk” for employees, but a competitive advantage. Cisco for instance expects savings of $277 million each year from productivity gains related to remote employees. Companies offering remote work fit the needs of digital natives, attract the best people from all around the world, can access knowledge just-in-time, and get work done with maximum agility.

Embrace Agile and Open Source

20 years ago, most software was developed for Desktop PCs using Microsoft tools. Today, 5.8 million developers contribute to 19.4 million open source software projects, libraries, and frameworks. This dramatically reduced the (licence) cost for software development and keeps accelerating technological progress. Of course, this also makes it challenging to find the right combination of technologies for your project. However, the majority of developers wants to work with with the latest open source software. Therefore, it is key that you enable your tech team to integrate open source into your software architecture. Be careful though: in my opinion business should lead technology, and not vice versa. Hence, don't start building your application on technology that the only developer you could get a hold off is capable of. Be sure you have set business goals and choose your technology accordingly. This will not only help you avoid sunk costs but also makes it easier to staff your tech team.

Summary

Digitalization does not only transform what we work on, but also how we work together. To execute your digital strategy fast, in an increasingly competitive job market, you need to put processes in place that embrace freelance, remote work, agile software development, and open source. If you do, finding the "Lionel Messi" of software development becomes much easier. At GetTechTalent, these principles are the core of our company DNA. By doing so, we attract top talents from all over Europe who enable us and our customers to build digital products and/or development teams within days, instead of weeks or even months.

Author: Christoph Neumann, Full-Stack Entrepreneur

Christoph is an expert in IT, product development and operations. Before he founded digitalminds.io, he built tech startups and spent over seven years with The Boston Consulting Group and Accenture, advising leading international technology, media and telecommunications companies.

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