Solving Progress OpenEdge sourcing challenges

In 2017 Wirtek entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Mark Information A/S to establish a new Progress OpenEdge development and test center in Bucharest. Mark Information has been a loyal customer for 7 years and the purpose of the partnership is to set up a Progress Center of Excellence that serves both Mark Information and our customers throughout Europe.

In order to reach this goal, an important step is to increase the number of colleagues working with Progress OpenEdge technology. There were, however, some challenges that we had to overcome in order to put the right person in the right place. The first and most important being that there is only a narrow Progress talent pool in Europe. And there is a shortage of Progress know-how in Romania, although it has the best ratio for IT&C professionals per capita among CEE countries, according to an annual study by Brainspotting. Additionally, 80% of Romanian developers with Progress expertise are in Cluj-Napoca, while our Progress development center is located in Bucharest. After analyzing the possible solutions to meeting the customers’ sourcing requirements, two options were left on the table: Changing hiring strategies and building competencies in-house.

To fulfill the need for experienced Progress OpenEdge-savvy developers we had to take a different approach to the recruiting process by broadening the search spectrum outside of Romania. We’ve been talking to Progress OpenEdge developers from other countries, including Rodrigo from Dublin. As we found out, he is from Brazil and moved to Europe to pursue an international career in Progress OpenEdge:

“I started working with Progress OpenEdge in Brazil. For many years I’ve thought about moving abroad to have an international work experience – until the day I stopped just thinking about it and decided to do something about it. I started researching all the companies that were using Progress OpenEdge as their main technology. It was then that I found a company in Dublin, Ireland, that gave me a great opportunity to finally move to Europe. I had worked there for about a year when, through a Job Opening on LinkedIn, I found Wirtek.”

He decided to join our Bucharest team because he liked Wirtek’s plans for the future and the fact that he could thrive professionally, as we are building a team around him.  Working closely with Danish colleagues and living in a nice city like Bucharest is a plus.

“The more I started to learn about Wirtek, the more excited I became to join the team. Wirtek is working with cutting-edge technologies – AngularJS, RESTful APIs, Mobile Applications, among many others –  which could give me the opportunity to expand my technical background. And, besides that, Wirtek has a plan to create a Progress Center of Excellence in Bucharest. Being part of this challenge from the beginning, being able to help grow the team, is what motivated me the most to move to Bucharest.”

Learning opportunities

The second solution Wirtek implemented was to teach Progress development in our Bucharest center. This is accomplished by organizing internships that combine in-house training as well as on-site training at Progress Academy in collaboration with Progress Software Corporation, the company behind the OpenEdge technology.

Progress Software Corporation is a company with 37 years of experience helping other companies build applications and the developer community is aging. This generational shift is one of the reasons they’ve been investing in updating their product to meet the market’s demands, and they are also offering great training opportunities through Progress Academy to nurture the next generation of Progress talent.

Last summer we completed the first Progress OpenEdge internship in Bucharest and three of the internship graduates joined the team. Seeing last year’s success and having a constant capacity demand for Progress OpenEdge developers, we decided to organize another internship this year – this time also having Rodrigo on board as a mentor. It will be a 4-week pre-employment training with a lot of cool courses to get developers introduced to the Progress ecosystem. We’ll continue adding new members to the local Progress community and building strong competencies in Progress to adapt to the customers’ sourcing needs.

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