Hey, another year is gone. It seems like it was yesterday that we were writing about Y2014 numbers on closing, but it’s not! A whole year has passed and many things have happened during this last year.
It has been faster, more schedule-packed, challenging, thrilling and exciting than ever… and humbly, I must admit that we nailed it.
The tech sector is really hot. All market and wages analysis I read so far tell the same story: tech people are a scarce resource, and is getting scarcer, so the market is driven more by candidates than by companies. What does it mean? It means that companies must fight for the best talent showing that they are really attractive and challenging. Also, and more importantly, it means that companies must struggle to retain the best talent, and this is not (only) a matter of money. As Sir Richard Branson said:
Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.
We’re really motivated to hire the best talented individuals and to maintain them on the top, so let’s look at the facts and not the words. Our investment on talent improvement during 2015 has been:
- investment on team training out of CAPSiDE: 74.555 €
- investment on internal team training: 3.640 hours
- investment on free research and innovation: 4.060 hours
- average salary increase across all the team (Jan ’16/Jan ’15): 20%
In our understanding, that’s what really reflects the company culture. As a close friend of mine once told me:
if you’re growing fast, you must choose if you want grow fast or grow well. Fast, good and cheap doesn’t exist. If you choose to keep growing fast, then you’ll hire what you find, not what you want.
The bottom line is that, if your choice is to grow well, you must discover what is the maximum growth speed that you can afford. It can be hard to identify when it’s time to take a break in order to avoid breaking your team or lowering service quality too much. I’ve seen this happening a lot of times, and you can sense it easily just checking some fast growing companies on LinkedIn.
Look for people that have been in that company before and analyze how much time they spent in it, on average. Is it less than 2 years? Then that is a problem for a service company which relies on the knowledge and capacities of its team.
We continue to hire the best talent as fast as we can, but we are not sacrificing quality over time. Is this a mistake? I don’t know, but our bet is that this is the right thing to do. On average, only about 5% of the candidates we get for tech positions get hired. This translate into a lot of work invested in interviews and selection processes. But in the end, the chosen ones will join a really high-performance, driven and committed team. And that’s fantastic.
Another challenge we faced last year is the lack of advanced knowledge on distributed systems, cloud computing and “hardcore software engineering”. It doesn’t mean professionals or customers aren’t doing the right things, in any way. It’s just that technology is advancing very fast, there is more than one vendor with a high pace of innovation, the pressure on tech companies is higher every day and they have to focus on their core… It all ends up with a problem: how to be really efficient and good on something that is dead before you have practiced enough?
Repetition is the path to excellence, but there is no time for enough repetition anymore, so this leads us to an even greater hyper-specialization if we want to really know something. And in the end of the day, in our industry, it really hurts systems reliability.
What can we do to solve that problem?
We think that we can do 4 things:
- Train others
It’s quite simple. The more people know, the more savvy our clients will be. The more savvy our clients are, we can provide them more value and the most they will value our top-notch services.
- Be transparent
We don’t want to lock you in to our “knowledge”. We want you to learn more with us. So, while we can take care of everything in your behalf, we can also tell you about all the nitty-gritty details and resolve your doubts. We love to teach and learn, and not hiding knowledge.
- Automate critical DevOps workflow processes
We are starting to release part of our internal technology making it available for anyone who wants to use it, and it doesn’t matter if you are a client of our managed services or not.
We have recently released ENZiME, an impressive and useful product to manage blue/green deployments with canary testing, that can be used both for production deployments and for testing and development teams. It has been tested for a selected group of our clients during last year, and now it’s been deployed to our whole customer base and offered as a SaaS tool for anyone interested on it.
Since then, we are happy and impressed on the good reception we are getting from customers. This is only the first of a set of tools that you will get to know during this year. Stay tuned!
- Help to stay secure: Welcome Ackcent cybersecurity. Welcome CAPSiDE Group
On August 1st, 2014 we created a new company. We didn’t announce it too much, and we have been a bit stealth on that. Altogether with a highly experienced team of cybersecurity engineers, with more than 50 years of aggregated experience on this field, we created Ackcent cybersecurity.
Ackcent is a cybersecurity firm focused on protecting Critical Digital Assets. Their team sits together with CAPSiDE’s engineering team, sharing best practices across the two companies, so we can both improve our services and team capabilities.
During this year we have been working in a cybersecurity product that we expect to release to our first customers during second half of 2016, and we have been offering our Ethical Hacking, PenTest and cybersecurity advisory services to some companies, including: banking and finance, energy and utilities, legal, and mass-media companies, in Spain, Brussels, London and Mexico. We expect to expand our customer base during 2016 across EMEA, LATAM and USA. Our growth goal on this area is over 100%.
Our mission and vision
During the last years, our mission has been “To help boost our customers businesses through the design, deployment and 24/7 management of smart Enterprise Architectures”. Which is not bad, but it doesn’t fit anymore. It doesn’t fit with our training activities, neither with cybersecurity or software products development. But most important, it’s not a moon-shot, it’s not ambitious, and it doesn’t reflect our willing to make a better world. So we thought about it. We thought about what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and what we want to do. And we set a new vision for CAPSiDE group for the next decade:
To make the world more reliable through the design, automation and operation of Critical Digital Platforms.
Yes. The world is operated by software. And nowadays, almost every software has an API. So the world has programmability. It means more systems integrated (more complex interactions), more security risks and attack vectors, more complex architectures, lots of pieces interacting together which means that in case of failure of one of the components many other may fail in unexpected way if the architecture is not fail-proof enough and the operations model is not reliable and agile enough.
And what happens with those parts of the world that have the really important problems like hunger, diseases, lack of access to education or healthcare… they are not reliable. That’s why we are dedicating part of our profits to MSF (for second year now) to contribute with our grain of sand to make the world more reliable, at more levels.
We have a very ambitious mission for the years to come, and it’s both exciting and humbling. Do you want to make a better world? Why don’t you join us to help make it happen? We could improve the world with you!
I will keep you up to date with all these stuff. A lot of thrilling news are awaiting this year. And now, let’s get back to work. We have a bold mission to achieve, we have to help making the world more reliable for everybody.