More work to be done to close the digital skills gap: JFrog's Kavita Vishwanath
Business operations fell back on the cushions of technical innovation at the face of the pandemic, which saved organisations from sudden effects of the first phase of lockdown. In fact, with the soaring digitalisation, technology even crossed the boundaries of the professional spaces to intrude into our personal lives starting from virtual house parties and marriage ceremonies to falling in love during the lockdown on dating apps.
Companies operating in the digital space, irrespective of the industry, knew that it was the right time to strike the hot iron with the hammer of digital innovation and give a new shape to the future. With the growing dependence on technology, the prospects for employees in the digital space definitely grew. But have companies managed to fill the skills gap?
People Matters had a chat with Kavita Vishwanath, VP and GM of JFrog India, who stated that there are still a lot of gaps in the talent market especially when it comes to niche tech talent such as full stack developers, Node.js, Kubernetes etc. This gap has widened with increased adoption of technology that accelerated innovation leading to a new wave of products in the market.
Kavita said, “Simple things like interpersonal skills that were once taken for granted have also become an area of work for most people who haven't seen the insides of an office or worked in physical environments next to a team leading to challenges in collaboration.”
Cybersecurity is now basic required knowledge for everyone
With the digital revolution, comes an additional concern in the form of cybersecurity. At workplaces, as employees are logging in from different locations across the globe, Kavita noted, “It becomes the responsibility of organizations to ensure they provide a secure environment that doesn't put the company and its assets at risk. However this is easier said than done. The recent spate of attacks such as Log4j (a vulnerability in open source software that lets a hacker run code on an affected machine) is a stark reminder of how exposed libraries and poorly secured environments are sitting ducks for hackers to attack.”
She stressed that this has prompted enterprises to take security very seriously. It's now moving away from just being the Chief Security Officer’s responsibility, to that of everyone involved to make sure we protect our own data and take accountability for the code and the systems we work on. There are of course tools and platforms to help do this.
Experts are of the opinion that digitisation would have happened sooner or later but at a slower pace, and the pandemic was actually a nudge to move it forward more quickly. Even though people have learnt to live with the virus, hybrid setups will continue to exist in the future with some connecting over Zoom and some in-person. Under such circumstances, in order to prevent remote working employees from feeling left out, HR professionals and leaders need to use the digital platform to enhance the employee experience.
Though Gen Z is technologically ready and comes with many skill sets that older generations may be less equipped with, earlier in an interaction with us, Kavita stated that not all freshers are expected to have hands-on experience of working with the softwares which companies have been using for professional tasks and workflows. So, according to her, a blend of fresh ideas and experience is crucial for the software companies to operate.
Companies need to invest in skills development
Commenting on the investment of JFrog into the skills development of the employees, Kavita noted: “We are a technology company and have always been at the forefront of adopting new tools to work in a collaborative setup across countries. Our L&D teams are working together with every business unit to understand their needs and customize a program that helps them bridge the skill gap. This is an ongoing initiative.”
Kavita added that JFrog has seen significant growth over the last two years with the intensifying digital transformation across the globe, and so the company is now focusing on scaling operations. This has led to a need to increase the headcount. She added, “We have a huge R&D team that does core development work on our platform. Hiring top tech talent to work on interesting products in this domain is an always on initiative and continues to be as we build new product teams in India.”