You like sports? If yes, then continue reading. If no, then continue reading anyway because this is about the new stars of our generation.
Last week I visited the training ground of Tottenham Spurs (the English Premier League team which came 2nd this year). It opened a couple of years ago to help build the best football (soccer) team in the UK and the world. Football is the world’s most popular, and thus most competitive, sport with the teams and athletes on a never-ending quest to perform better. According to FIFA, the World Cup reached 3.2Bn people making top football players superstars for a global audience.
It made me think. One of the few activities that come close to the same reach and popularity is mobile services and apps with over 2Bn users including social networks, messaging, travel, banking, news, education, and health used every day. The people behind these services are the true superstars of today.
They are the entrepreneurs, designers and developers that are passionate and obsessed about delivering great user experience, innovative, beautiful and reliable services with great performance that always work. That believe user research, prototyping, coding, A/B testing and behavioral analytics is cool. That spend their free time reading, learning and experimenting with new technologies and methodologies to improve their performance and output.
Every year we vet thousands of developers and designers to hire a combination of the brightest, fastest, most creative and experienced people. There are no agents involved (other than in Silicon Valley where aquahires is a popular recruitment tool), but it’s extremely tough competition. The best mobile experts have a choice and they want to work in a place where they can apply their skills to deliver amazing products, not get bored, learn new things and personally make a difference.
But it’s not enough to hire externally. As a team we also have to train and develop our own superstars from the rookies. Through our trainee program Moville and internships, we bring on fresh talent, train, challenge and mentor them to make them future stars. This is a long-term investment because we believe that our industry is still only at the beginning of the mobile revolution.
Developing and maintaining superstars requires great tools. Choosing, customizing and optimizing the tools makes a huge difference for the individuals’ and teams’ performances. This includes research tools, prototyping frameworks, project planning, resourcing, collaboration, development, backends, content management, data analytics, SDKs, automotive testing, build, deployment and reporting tools just to name a few. And the tools need to be updated, maintained, reviewed and optimized every year to ensure the team stays on top.
Finally, to bring all of this together, we have a Premier League of our own. Throughout the year the best teams and players in our industry go head-to-head on client pitches, innovation projects, thought leadership and delivering the best mobile services. In addition to this, Forrester, Gartner and Clutch rank us based on what our customers say. At the moment, the top league consists of some of our most respected competitors such as frog, Fjord (now Accenture), Sapient, AKQA, Razorfish, ustwo, Y Media Labs and R/GA, but as with any sport team you are only as good as your last game.
Join me in applauding and celebrating the superstars and teams of the mobile revolution. They might not be on TV, but they have a huge audience of billions of mobile users whose lives they improve every day. This is your time and we want you on our team to win.
Magnus Jern, President DMI International
P.S. We’re always looking for innovative thinkers to join our team! Check out our careers website today and land your next big career opportunity!
Disclaimer 1: This is obviously a simplification as a winning team includes a lot of other key roles and skills such as Managers, Project Managers, Quality Assurance, Data Scientists, Product Owners, Operations Engineers and support functions including HR, Finance and Marketing.
Disclaimer 2: This article may be considered slightly impartial as I head up the international arm of DMI, but we also celebrate our competitors.
Football photo from Shht!, developer photo from TechCrunch (CC BY 2.0)