It is still proving impossible for Swisscom to find enough DevOps specialists in Switzerland. DevOps engineers are highly specialised software developers responsible for ensuring the consistent use of agile DevOps methods. They enable Swisscom to respond more quickly and flexibly to market needs or new technology developments, thereby increasing the company’s competitiveness and safeguarding existing jobs in Switzerland.
Since October 2019, therefore, specialists from all over the world have come together at the DevOps Center Rotterdam to work on software projects for Swisscom. The center currently has around 30 employees and will soon be welcoming a further 60.
Based on this positive experience, Swisscom has decided to diversify its DevOps Center concept within Europe and open another location in Latvia: the DevOps Center Riga. The site evaluation is currently underway – and the first employees are expected to start work from the beginning of 2021. In the first phase, around 40 jobs in software development are planned by the end of 2021.
As in Rotterdam, the positions in Riga will not be replacing jobs in Switzerland. Vacancies will continue to be advertised in Switzerland first. However, competition in the domestic labour market continues to make it difficult to recruit enough specialists. After an in-depth evaluation of various European locations, Swisscom concluded that the Latvian labour market offers the best prospects of recruiting the required numbers of DevOps specialists to plug the skills shortage on the Swiss labour market.
Besides accelerating software development, the center, in contrast to the one in Rotterdam, also promises cost savings owing to the competitive pay level in the region. The center is financed by the internalisation of tasks that would previously have been performed by external service providers.
Christoph Aeschlimann, Head of IT, Network and Infrastructure and member of the Group Executive Board at Swisscom, explained that this move was necessary due to the cut-throat competition for skilled workers. “Technology cycles are accelerating and innovations are having even further-reaching effects. We also need to react with greater speed and agility on the market. This is the only way to increase our competitiveness and secure jobs, especially in Switzerland. We rely heavily on DevOps methods to meet these challenges and it is therefore vital that we have appropriately skilled workers. Although we provide intensive internal training and recruit from within the Swiss market, we are still not managing to recruit the numbers we need. The DevOps Centers in Rotterdam and Riga are helping to plug these gaps.”
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