Written by: Larry Goodfellow
Building our experience management platform during the tech boom was no easy task. So how did we find skilled, experienced software developers during the high-tech boom? The following is our story.
Our software “Insightrix Communities” was developed internally, initially for our use in managing a 20,000-person panel for research purposes. This started in 2012 and was later expanded to provide surveys, discussion groups, analysis, reporting and bulletin boards, multi-language capability, and multi channels communications beyond emails.
For many years, we have sponsored immigrants through the SINP program which helped us to obtain researchers and developers. There were pros and cons with the delay in getting approval and their moving to Canada. Currently we have developers from Iran, Mongolia, and Vietnam through this program.
We found it almost impossible to find persons who would meet these criteria when trying to hire regionally from central Canada. We borrowed on an earlier ten-year experiment where we had successfully opened an Australian office to provide a regional presence to our clients.
In order to have a presence in our target region, we located an employee with extensive international expertise to move to Bangkok, Thailand. This coincided with the Thai government creating infrastructure to attract and support technical companies. Here we were able to source designers, software team leads, software developers, salespeople, and other special talents. This was done in Bangkok but also in Taiwan, Mexico and Chile. By locating in Bangkok, we were able to solve the issue of time zones. Being 13 hours ahead of Saskatoon, allowed windows of time to contact with North America and serve South-east Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, and Singapore.
Another key learning was the availability of expats in their 20's and 30's, attracted to the beaches and lifestyle that Thailand is known for. These people have excellent English, with extensive applicable experience such as videographers, acting, finance and sales and marketing. Expats we have hired come from Germany, South Africa, and Britain.
This has allowed a Saskatchewan research firm to speed up software development, at a reduced cost, and adopt an international presence, exposure and reputation.