Global software firm SAP needs 100 new developers for their team in Vancouver and to get the job done, they held an open house at their downtown lab. The local lab has already played a major role in product development and is now the hub for SAP’s data analytics and cloud computing technology, translating into heightened demand for developers in what is already a hot tech job market.
“Vancouver is the hotbed for technology and this is where we have our chief analytics expertise,” SAP Labs Managing Director Kirsten Sutton said. In particular, they’re looking for developers who will code for their cloud for analytics products – which requires a different mindset than your typical coding gig. “Deploying immediately to millions of people at once rather than to one person at a time is very different. It’s about being flexible and focusing on timely delivery. It’s about having empathy and understanding for users, putting in ‘design-thinking’ philosophies during the design process and internalizing and voicing customer business needs during development.”
“Vancouver is the hotbed for technology and this is where we have our chief analytics expertise.”
SAP has long been a big player in the tech sector, but as technology itself changes, their business model and hiring needs have also changed, Sutton notes. “There’s extra impetus now for flexibility with the change of technology. The customer is at the center of everything, telling us what they want and we need to do that. We’re not driving it anymore – we’re being driven.”
Those who don’t know SAP well or perhaps have an older impression of what the company is about may be surprised at this change. “SAP was born as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) company, digitizing business processes, so people think of SAP’s product as a backend system of record. That’s not the SAP of today, but it did make us experts in what we do. Now it’s about improving people’s lives, not just about the back office. We have a new perspective and a new kind of value.”
It doesn’t hurt that developers looking for their next big opportunity here could look forward to working in a newly-renovated, Silicon Valley-style facility with stand-up desks, giant life-sized chess boards, walls you can write on and more – what they’re billing as the workplace of the future.
Part of the hiring initiative involves their Autism at Work program, for which SAP has committed to hiring one percent of their employees within the autism demographic. “They can have skills that work for our technical environment, including attention to detail, the ability to find patterns and the focus to work through repetitive tasks, which are useful for analyzing analytics, marketing campaign metrics and more,” Sutton said. “In Canada, we should achieve our one percent goal by the end of 2016, about four years ahead of our initial goal for getting there by 2020.”