An unsustainable industry
The Norwegian newspaper Finansavisen just published their list of the largest 500 tech companies in Norway. In this list, Shortcut achieves a position pretty much in the middle of the list, with at 30% growth over the last year. We are very happy with and proud of our success, but our growth is not what drives us.
At Shortcut we follow a really simple strategy, focusing on just two objectives:
- We want to create the best apps in the market
- We want to be the best place to work for tech people in Europe
If we achieve this strategy, we believe everything else will fall into place. Our clients want us to help them build apps that set them apart in the market, and our employees want a place to work which gives them opportunities to grow in a good culture.
Our biggest challenge over the last few years has been to find enough tech people for the projects we are working on. In another article in Finansavisen, headhunters in the tech sector warn that the main challenge for tech companies in Norway is finding the right people. There is no longer a lack of capital in Norway. As companies in all industries are becoming tech companies, they are all looking for the same people: Norwegian-speaking specialists with several years of experience. The headhunters warn that this is not sustainable; there simply aren’t enough Norwegian speakers with several years of experience. If small to medium-sized companies are the only ones investing in building competency, we simply aren’t going to have enough tech people to build all the digital solutions our society needs.
In order to reap, we need to sow.
Having been in the tech industry in the Nordics for many years, and seeing an exploding demand for tech people, we are working on building the professionals of tomorrow in several areas:
We teach the professionals of tomorrow. Shortcut has been teaching app development both at Høyskolen Kristiania in Oslo and at DTU in Copenhagen for several years. With the rapid pace at which technology is evolving, it is difficult for universities to keep their curriculums and teaching staff up to date. This is why our colleagues have been teaching app development on highly popular courses, where the students get to learn what it is like working with app development in practice.
Every year, we have student groups doing their assignments at Shortcut both in Denmark and in Norway. By working on projects with our clients the students get hands-on experience both with technology and actual project work. For us, as a company, this is a great opportunity to get in touch with some of the stars in tomorrow’s workplace. Every year we hire several employees straight out of school. We invest in their competency development, building the competencies our society needs in the years to come.
We have employees at Shortcut who changed the direction of their careers and started working with apps at Shortcut. Among our employees, you’ll find former carpenters, hairdressers, entrepreneurs, bankers, opera singers, and diplomats, and the perspectives they bring based on their experience in other industries is immensely valuable for our clients and us. As we live longer and changes in society and technology create entirely new professions, we think we will see more and more people pivoting their careers. Similarly, we think people re-entering the workplace after some years of caretaking are a really valuable asset for companies such as ours.
We have also had the pleasure of welcoming new colleagues from all over the world who come to the Nordics to work at Shortcut. With the current number of digitization projects going on, we simply do not have enough people in Scandinavia. Experts moving to Norway is a key ingredient in building the tech sector in the Nordics. Shortcut Sweden even has a fast track at the Swedish immigration authorities, where it takes less than a month from we sign an employment contract with someone from outside the EU until they are working from our Stockholm office.
Lastly, we also have colleagues who live outside the Nordics, working on projects for our Nordic clients. In Bucharest, we have a team of 10 developers and designers working in cross-functional teams with their colleagues for Nordic clients.
Shortcut currently has 150 employees, but over the last 14 years, hundreds of people have built their competency and career within Shortcut. We are proud of this contribution, and we are looking forward to building the next generation of app developers and designers in the Nordics. We will keep challenging our clients to help us in this important work, by accepting specialists with limited Norwegian skills, welcoming juniors to the team, and by trying out team members in a remote location.
Because we together have the responsibility for a sustainable tech sector in the Nordic countries.