The software development industry is growing with a staggering speed. Its economic impact is surging, adding trillions of dollars to the economy and creating thousands of new jobs every day. New buzzwords are appearing every day. XasS, monolithic architecture, 5G, persistent teams, hyper-personalization, hyper-ledger, hyper-something else. Cloud is getting bigger. AI is getting smarter and VR is giving me a headache.
Running a software development company in the Western Balkans has never been so challenging and demanding but also a lot of fun. Competing with companies all over the world and especially those in eastern Europe is a challenge we are eager to take on.
In my 15 years of experience as an engineer and 6 years of experience in managing Linkplus, I am very confident to say that developers in the Western Balkans and especially in Kosovo and Macedonia are technically as competitive as developers in Western EU countries. We are as productive in every technical skill and knowledge. One thing that is letting us down and an area in which our engineers lack are mostly related to non-technical skills that are rather important nonetheless..
What we did in LinkPlus to decrease this discrepancy is:
Specialize our skills
Together with the movement of the industry, we had to specialize the services we offer at LinkPlus. We started as a simple body leasing business (or as we like to call it “Resource Augmentation”), moved into custom software development, then into projects and product development and in the end, we had to focus into specific fields of ICT which for us include Data, Cloud, and IoT. This is one of the most difficult processes in running a software development company. Change affects every department and every individual. Training and education of the staff are the keys to handle this transformation well.
It could be a daunting task to deal with these data, protect them and to address the concerns of the people using social media. The frantic misuse of these data by many companies led to some infuriating people in the EU. Working with EU clients will sooner or later lead your company to become GDPR compliant. An additional aspect that will definitely help in this regard is the current initiative by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to pass a legislation that will protect the information shared between parties and individuals, based on the EU legislation of the same nature. Plan for architectural and engineering changes ahead. Kosovo is one of the leading countries in Europe in embracing social media. While perceived as a channel that could kill productivity and creativity in youth, it opened a whole new market for companies to increase sales through social media but also we see a big number of companies getting specialized in offering social media management services to clients in the EU.
Proactive, not reactive
Every member of the team, whether it is an agile team or not, should understand the importance of being proactive in the software development environment. Nobody is expecting you to be a product owner or a business analyst but having a feel for the project and taking initiatives is part of the everyday game. Not matter if it’s a simple website or a huge enterprise application, every team member should give their best.
Devil is in the details
There is no industry that this saying fits more than in software development. While speed is essential in projects in the US, working with clients in Germany and Switzerland you need to keep an eye on the details. One wrong pixel can lead to one client gone.
Chief Executive Officer at LINKPLUS IT