Viennese app venture helps educate university students
Viennese IT firm Tailored Apps is partnering up with the Vienna University of Applied Sciences FH Technikum Wien to help build up the next generation of Austrian app-, web- and mobile programme developers.
“There are not enough skilled developers,” said Maximilian Nimmervoll, one of the founders and the CEO of Tailored Media Group. “There are a lot of developers who say they are competent but often there isn’t so much backing that up,” he commented on the current of the Austrian developer scene. He argues that the Austrian school system still focuses less on programming skills and computer sciences and that “there is no real possibility for educating interested people in app- or web application-development, which is a huge problem.”
That is why Tailored Apps, which develops mobile solutions and wants to diversify into the field of mobile media strategy consulting, was eager to enter a cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences FH Technikum in Vienna. “They contacted us before Christmas and told us they had a new app study programme,” said Nimmervoll. He didn’t hesitate and so they entered into a cooperation with the University. In the new programme of the Viennese University, students can join right after school for three semesters and get training in programming, web design, IT security and PR.
A war for talents
Tailored Apps, well aware that talented developers are difficult to find and especially expensive, will send members of their team as lectors to the college to give students insights from the everyday work of an app developer, and hold workshops. When it comes to the cost of developers, the CEO with a Juris Doctor can tell an anecdote to illustrate how costly good employees are: “Some developers in our team earn very good money; in fact, some of my colleagues from law school make less money than them – as highly educated law graduates.”
Advanced students may later also get the opportunity to do an internship with Tailored Apps. “In the current curriculum, there are only four weeks of practical internship training scheduled. We would like to get the students for eight weeks so that both sides can really benefit from each other,” said Nimmervoll. For the 2010-founded firm, this bears a good opportunity to recruit future personnel as until now, the common way a developer found the way to them was through word of mouth recommendations and recruiting in the personal environment. Its developers shall also provide students with research topics when they are finishing the programme and writing their theses.
Sense or nonsense of short study programmes
When it comes to the basic idea of short-study programmes, Nimmvervoll weighs up the pros and cons of this development: “[On the one hand], I am not sure whether it is the right way to create ever more short-study programmes for very special work fields. On the other hand, I am not quite certain if it is good to send all the interested people to technical studies where they study things where they won’t need the majority of later in the real world.”
Since their founding, Tailored Apps has been profitable. “We experience a revenue growth of 30-40 percent per year, with revenues in the seven-digit area,” he said. The enterprise now employs about 35 people and in the future will stay focused on the DACH region. Asked about growing chances in the East, Nimmervoll remains calm: “It is tempting but we don’t want to do too much at one time. Better make small steps and focus on what we are good at.”