Developers need to join Team Vancouver
On Thursday 28th November TechVibes hosted 300 keen Vancouver techies and several of the hottest tech start-ups in Vancouver to match make. Leaders from Unbounce, Mobify, Clio, PlentyofFish, Payfirma, BuildDirect, CodeCore Developer Bootcamp, Trulioo and A Thinking Ape had 3 minutes to present their case, asking developers to consider them. This is a switch on roles. Tech company are in real need for people to build out world-class capabilities. Large companies like Amazon, Facebook, Mozilla and others are coming in and take a large chunk on the talent available leaving smaller companies with fewer choices.
Mayor Gregor Robertson opened the event by saying that there is serious buzz right now about Vancouver in the start-up world and there are over 80,000 jobs in tech right now with 4,000 new jobs being created every year. More capital is coming to town and more opportunities are being created daily. The start up ecosystem is getting stronger as well. There are incubators, entrepreneurs and connectors that bring influential investors into town, from Silicon Valley and other areas, as well. People are starting to pay close attention to Vancouver as a hub for amazing talent more than just one of the most livable cities in the world.
Boris Mann, local start-up ecosystem pioneer and Managing Partner at angel-stage investment firm, Full Stack, followed the Mayor with his thoughts on the situation. It’s clear that he isn’t happy with how Vancouver tech resources are being treated, “My general feeling is that the developer and designer talent that Vancouver does have are treated like raw resources. Like our logs and other natural resources, we do very little “secondary processing”, and the best are shipped off elsewhere.” He sees this being compounded by the following three facts
There are few companies for top / senior talent to work at in Vancouver. This is changing (HootSuite, Mobify – and as of recently, Salesforce and Amazon).
People are underpaid here compared to the rest of Canada, and really underpaid compared to anywhere in the US. More local competition will raise the bar here.
We have lots of great juniors who come from our local universities and other institutions. Many get better paying jobs elsewhere (#2), or leave once they’re intermediate since there is limited room for career growth (see #1).
(taken from Boris’ blog article ‘Vancouver’s Talent are Like Raw Resources’)
Boris stated adamantly that we are building more talent in Vancouver but hiring is still hard and that companies cannot just find people easily to help elevate their businesses to the next level. He made a call out for companies and tech people alike to help ‘level up our talent’ by providing mentorship, real opportunities that are rewarded and a tech ecosystem where there are linkages across companies, investors, incubators and entrepreneurs to connect like minded people and help realize your value in the Vancouver tech scene.
Gregor and Boris on TEAM VANCOUVER, as are the start ups. I’m also on the same team. I feel that this city will get even stronger in the tech and design sector in the next 5 years and really go from strength to strength but we will need to work together. Developers, both newly graduated and experienced, need to have faith in Vancouver, what we have to offer and contribute to our overall success rather than just chasing the big names.