As IT professionals, we're following closely what is said about the development sector. One of the core aspect of our beliefs that seems to gain steam those days is that a software company has only one asset: its developers, and the skills that they possess - or are able to learn. While not (yet?) omnipresent, this vision seems to be increasingly present in blogs, studies or even in books.

It seems that finally, on paper at least, the days of the so called "software factory" are numbered. While presented as a productive and positive model - companies able to deliver software as one would delivers cars or shoes - on time, with great productivity and consistency, it was actually quite destructive on the worker level, pushing the idea that developers were machine pieces, identical and interchangeable parts. This emphasis on the process left as irrelevant any notion of skill or differentiation.

Our vision is a Software Development sector where individual skills could be easily recognized and valued, where companies could have the needed view of their competencies to be able to tackle their future with efficiency, and where competency evaluation would be based not on the person writing or bragging skill but on actual work.

We're convinced that the current skills management tools and process are vastly inadequate to the software development sector.  Long Excel sheets with list of buzzwords, mixing softwares, packages, technologies or framework without difference, that become outdated the minute that they are published are not exactly good way to reinforce and encourage learning.

This is about to change. In 2012, 8th color will release its first product, Sybil - a skill profile search engine dedicated to software companies and departments. As we are strong believers in the "show, don't tell" principle, we'll also deploy a public version to demonstrate Sybil capabilities.

We will talk more about Sybil over the next weeks. Until then, if you are interested on being part of the beta, just let us your mail on our landing  page.