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Anyone who works in the tech industry is familiar with the trials and tribulations of hiring tech talent.
Countless articles have been written and surveys conducted on the subject. Cloud computing skills are particularly scarce relative to demand, so much so that at one point it halted some companies’ adoption plans.
While there are a variety of ways to address this challenge, there is one fundamental choice companies can make in their technical strategy that is more relevant than ever in the cloud age. This choice will pay off in the short and long term when it comes to hiring and retaining the best people for the job: embrace modernity, open technologies and standards.
From languages and tools to culture and methodologies, the adoption and use of open technologies – of the type exemplified in many DevOps toolchains, for example – will have a cumulative positive impact on the technology talents of your organization.
Will it solve your hiring and retention problems overnight? Of course not. But it’s an important part of a holistic strategy to attract and retain top talent in your business.
Here are three reasons:
1. People using open technologies can better connect with their peers
Here’s a short-term – almost immediate – benefit of investing in a modern, open technology stack: it gives your current and future teams significant social capital with their peers in the IT industry.
People are excited – and talk enthusiastically – about the tools and technologies they work with. This creates an infectious mix of pride and enthusiasm, which in turn generates a powerful connection with peers who also work (or want to work) with modern tools.
This confirms to current staff that they are part of a current and technically progressive organization. He regularly sends the same message to the professional community.
This is not possible in the same way with highly closed or proprietary technology stacks. With these, when people discuss their work, it’s only really readable or meaningful to other people in that organization. This limits the network effect.
To be clear, a company’s products and services can absolutely be exclusive. That’s how they build, ship, and support these products that can be opened. Here are some good examples golang and Python. Golang is very exciting and growing rapidly; Python is already everywhere. This speaks to a cascading benefit: when you onboard new hires, they can get started quickly, instead of spending weeks or months learning about things like proprietary scripting languages.
2. People see better career progression
Here’s a longer-term benefit: when your tech stack embraces openmodern tools and standards, you offer current and future staff a more visible career path thanks to a set of market-recognized approaches and technologies.
For most tech professionals, this is almost always the safest bet compared to entering a very closed niche system and becoming an island within it. Those in the latter situation may become the few unicorns in legacy ecosystems, but they risk obsolescence, unlike people who learn and develop skills on the job with technologies and methods used by large numbers of people. organizations and industries.
Essentially, you’re giving people the opportunity to grow and progress within your own company – which is absolutely essential if you want to retain top talent – while making it clear to potential candidates that they will gain lastingly valuable experience that they can also mine elsewhere if they wish. in the future.
3. People jump into a large pool for technical validation
It’s no secret that many IT professionals value autonomy. They are often self-taught and/or self-taught. But that doesn’t mean they’re the proverbial lone wolves. They base their learning and their independence on the knowledge and validation of existing expertise in their fields.
When using open technologies, the existing pool of expertise is enormous – and extremely valuable not just to the individual but to the entire organization. This ties in with point 1 above and the large peer group: proprietary tech stacks depend on a cohesive internal community. Open tech stacks enjoy the huge advantage of a global community with unlimited reach.
Smart techs are always looking for technical validation: am I writing this in the best way? Am I using this tool in the best way? Is it secure? Am I using best practices established by a wide range of experts?
In a closed system, the only people who would actually be able to provide this validation would be a small group of peers working with the same proprietary technology. In an open system, the peer group could be massive. (Python is again an obvious example.)
It’s great for individuals and extremely valuable for the organization that employs them. Security, an area with its own high-profile skills shortage, is a case in point: the opportunities for self-learning are immense these days. And hiring managers who embrace open systems will benefit from the fact that security engineers on their teams can draw on proven practices and learnings from security practitioners around the world.
With this in mind, it’s not just about helping you hire one person, but about inviting the knowledge of thousands of other people into your organization. This is the power of open and modern technologies and approaches.
Kieran Pierce is executive vice president of product strategy at Lemongrass.
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