A while ago, I wrote a post on how Skillwell helped us to secure our first soft dev assignments in Finland in which I mentioned some of the local IT networks Unity Group participates in.
Our Finnish partners have since asked us a lot about these organisations, so let me now introduce our cluster called ITCorner. Read on to learn how it can help you to secure the right soft dev skills for your next project.
Founded in 2012, ITCorner (ITC) is formed by software houses, digital agencies and IT consultancies from the region of Lower Silesia in Poland. Since the very beginning, its main goal has been business cooperation, exchange of experiences and pursuit of synergy between cluster members.
As Unity Group we joined the ITCorner community 2,5 years ago and now Grzegorz, one of our Managing Partners, also serves on its Board.
But enough of this organisational babble, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, i.e. how ITCorner can help you to deliver your next IT project.
Taking a closer look at the ITCorner Cluster
First, let the numbers speak for themselves. ITCorner currently comprises over 60 affiliated companies, employing more than 1600 experienced developers, project managers, sales & marketing specialists, UX/UI designers and HR experts.
In terms of specialties, the ITC list obviously covers a wide range, including mobile & custom software development, DevOps and QA services. ITCorner companies work with technologies and frameworks, such as PHP, SQL, Python, .NET, Scala, Symfony, Ruby, NodeJs, React Native, SAP & Hybris or Meteor… to name just a few.
Some of our members specialise in digital transformation and e-commerce development, others do mobile apps, while others focus on big data, IoT, BI, fintech, medtech or delivery of custom SaaS solutions.
So what’s in it for me, you might ask?
Well, one of the fundamental rules of the cluster is that of collaboration. This very often translates into creating a common pool of talent and skills for projects run by ITCorner members. When a given company handles a project and at some point lacks the required talent resources, it first seeks help from other firms from the cluster.
To demonstrate how this works, let us use an example from Unity Group’s experience.
In the beginning of 2017 we found a message on ITCorner’s Slack saying that one of the members – a mobile app agency – required help with a project for one of the leading express coach operators in Europe.
Since their specialty lies in iOS & Android, they knew they’d have to rely on a partner to deliver the rest of the assignment (web app & site). That’s where we stepped in. The result of our collaboration – a cross-platform ticket sales system for the Finnish Onnibus.com – was launched in April 2018.
This is to say that if your project specs come to one of ITCorner companies, chances are that even if they can’t deliver it on their own, they’ll invite other members to collaborate. Or even pass your enquiry on to other member entities if at the given moment they lack the capacity to take it on.
In other words, you’ll have it done, most probably not only on time, but also at the right level of quality and at a reasonable price.
How trust and skills are built in ITCorner
This type of business of course wouldn't be possible without high levels of trust between cluster members. It sounds obvious, right? But it's quite a thing in a country like Poland, which sadly keeps scoring below the OECD average when it comes to levels of social trust.
ITCorner aims to change this situation and build bridges not only between its affiliated members, but also in relation to local communities, NGOs and institutions, such as ARAW in Wroclaw or SIBB e.V. in Berlin.
This takes place both in terms of creating space for the meeting of ITC management & staff, but also providing numerous opportunities for education and growth. And yes, there's parties and other types of social dos, too.
The cluster organises regular seminars and events attracting the attention of the wider IT community, such as the ITCorner Tech Meetups or ITC Summit, but it also partners Boiling Frogs Software Craftmanship Conference.
Collaborating with local universities and student unions, ITCorner helps to run ITPopcorn – a recurring internship & mentoring scheme for young people willing to enter the new tech sector. Many of the programme alumni later on proceed to work for the cluster's affiliated companies, so our tech staff numbers are continuously going up.
Okay, so that's ITCorner – thanks for reading! And if tapping into this pool of IT talent tickles your fancy, then, well, you know what to do. Get in touch with Harri's team and let's get the ball rolling!
Ewa Balazinska, Marketing Project Manager, Unity Group