4 Issues Surrounding Workforce Development for Technology Companies

The Arizona Technology Council released a report from a survey that the University of Phoenix and the Technology Councils of North America recently did on Software Development Competencies to better understand workforce development issues in software development occupations. Asking the following Questions. (Three Roles: Mobile, Application and Web Developer)

1. What is the primary reason for the reported talent shortage in the software development sector (quantity or quality)?
83% of respondents indicated there is clearly a talent shortage.
51% stated the most significant cause is the local market does not have an adequate supply of available works entering the field (quantity).
27% stated the most significant cause is available workers do not have adequate skills and education to occupy the roles (quality).

www technologycouncils org site publisher files UOPX TECNA Software Development Survey Results for Distribution pdf e1408933416197 4 Issues Surrounding Workforce Development for Technology Companies

2. What 3 to 5 most critical skills must individuals have to perform effectively in there high-demand software development roles in the next 2 to 4 years?
The majority of respondents saw User Interface Design, Architecture and Java as key skills in the next 2 to 4 years.
Programming, Web Design and Data Warehousing were seen as necessary skills for all roles.
88% of the respondents felt “Soft Skills” were equally or more important than technical skills.

3. What education and certifications will be required by individuals in the next 2 to 4 years to preform successfully in three high-demand software roles?
45% felt less than a bachelor’s degree was necessary for web/mobile development.
Only 7% felt greater than a bachelor’s degree was necessary.
Less than 30% felt industry certifications were valuable.

4. What are employers doing to cope with future anticipated skill gaps in three high-demand software development roles?
Only 69% of employers are doing something about it.
68% plan on conducting internal training
64% plan on offering internships
53% plan on retraining employees
51% plan on network building

Report summary: UOPX-TECNA Software Development Survey Results.

What is Next?

Gangplank has been wildly successful on a number of fronts, but we always push for more. It is in our DNA. Recently Gangplank Chandler has been struggling with defining what an anchor is, what social obligations exist and how to operate without an appointed leader. These are things all locations have or will struggle with at some point. It was time for a retrospective of sorts. We asked for help from Kim Kressaty of Future Pull Consulting (and a Gangplank Board Member) to facilitate a discussion on What is next?

The full report can be found at Gangplank Report.

The TL;DR version.

Top Priorities

  1. Show the world how a shared leadership model can work at scale.
  2. Live the Gangplank manifesto in every Gangplank community.
  3. Message the Gangplank manifesto.
  4. Build the Gangplank Network out with an emphasis that Gangplanker’s work together regardless of location.
  5. Leverage the Gangplank community for optimum effectiveness both locally and globally.
  6. Be Dangerous. Really. For Real.
  7. Emphasis on youth programs to break the cycle and restore creativity.

 

Five Day Plan

  1. Finalize details necessary to kick off the Community Builders Program.
  2. Push out plan for newly implement Google Groups strategy to facilitate communication.
  3. Start a migration path to remove the concept of anchors and define something much more powerful.

 

Thirty Day Plan
Community Builders. Let’s build it together.

Ninety Day Plan
Community Builders. Let’s build it together.

We should all be asking ourselves, “How can we drive towards these priorities?”. As a first step towards starting to message the manifesto we have started the Dangercast. Where we will be talking about the manifesto and culture that makes Gangplank work. We expect community participation in it. The first episode is available (and transcribed) at “Dangercast #1 : Collaboration over Competition“. It is also available on iTunes at “Dangercast“.

So if you love Gangplank and want to go deeper let us know you are interested in becoming a Gangplank Community Builder.

Yes, I am interested!

Be Dangerous. Be Excellent.

Gangplank Richmond Kicks off UX workshop series

GangplankLogo rev on plank Gangplank Richmond Kicks off UX workshop series

 

I had the honor of hosting Gangplank’s first UX workshop in Richmond on July 11th. The meet-up invite filled very quickly for the 15 available slots.
The topic was an Intro to Design Studio. Many of the attendees were local Gangplanker entrepreneurs who, coincidentally, fit the persona profile I used in our design challenge (to design Gangplank RVA’s web presence)

 

.Persona Stuart Gangplank Richmond Kicks off UX workshop series

 

I was first introduced to Design Studio for digital design at an IxDA event where Todd Zaki Warfel explained the technique in rapidly prototyping the user experience. I’ve learned different versions of this process through sessions held by Adaptive Path and Will Evans at Symantec Foundry. As a matter of fact, It was Will’s session at the Agile 2012 Conference that inspired me to “spread the gospel” and teach it to non-designers. See his reference links at the bottom of this post.

 

I’ve since found the technique a valuable component in all of my client projects. Not only does it rapidly sift through design possibilities, surfacing the “innovation of the crowd,” it’s an effective method of truly involving the client in the design process.

Sketch Round 2 Gangplank Richmond Kicks off UX workshop series

 

I opened the session with a fun exercise of drawing a ‘self-portrait as a robot.’ – a great way to meet and learn something interesting about members of the class.

 

prototype cycle 150x150 Gangplank Richmond Kicks off UX workshop series13 year old Dominic Vizdos joined in on the action giving the group a fresh perspective on design possibilities given his passion for online games and the social structures that support them.

 

The groups rapidly sketched through 3 iterations and each pitched their final masterpieces to the room with Mike Vizdos as the judge.

planning Gangplank Richmond Kicks off UX workshop series

Great ideas emerged and proved that brilliant designs can manifest within the span of 90 minutes using the design studio technique. Hopefully we’ll see many of these concepts on Gangplank’s web site.

 

More to come in our UX series. Stay tuned…

 

Reference links:

Introduction to Design Studio Methodology

Design Studio and Agile UX Process and Pitfalls