DevOpsGuys launches specialist academy to close digital skills gap

Cardiff-based software company DevOpsGuys has launched a specialist academy in the capital aimed at nurturing and developing Welsh technology talent.

Called the DevOpsGuys Academy, it’s on a mission to reduce the “chronic shortage” of technology skills in the country and boost Cardiff’s position as one of the UK’s fastest growing tech hubs.

The announcement comes as the firm has just moved into new offices at Capital Tower in Cardiff. It’s also made a commitment to double its current headcount within 18 months.

Since launching in 2013, the firm has grown massively and is set to double its turnover of £5 million. DevOpsGuys has contributed in excess of £14 million to the local economy through wages alone.

To make the academy possible, DevOpsGuys has formed a strategic partnership with Cardiff Met and the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. They, too, want to close the skills gap.

Courses are accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS) and combine standard qualifications with hands-on practical training. Attendees are taught by the DOG Academy experts.

Stephen Thair, founder  and chief product officer at DevOpsGuys, said: “Upskilling the Welsh workforce and helping the country itself compete more effectively on a global stage is one of the main reasons we moved our operations from England to Cardiff.

“Quite simply, Agile and DevOps based skills are the future for the technology sector… but these skills just aren’t being taught sufficiently at present. This results in a chasm between the skills that graduates have, and the skills actually needed in business.

“What we need to see before we can compete effectively as a nation is a skills boost throughout Wales.”

James Smith, founder and CEO of DevOpsGuys, said: “One of the biggest challenges we have faced in scaling up so quickly is talent – it’s one of the reasons we’ve chosen to work in Cardiff. From our hub in the city centre, we have access to graduate talent pools from each of its universities.

“The DevOpsGuys Academy is located within our new building. In it, we help train graduates, interns and apprentices on the skills they need to succeed in the new world DevOps is creating. It’s an essential facet of our long-term vision.”

Alun Cairns, secretary of state for Wales, said: “DevOpsGuys is a remarkable success story … It’s growing at a fantastic rate. The tech sector across the UK and Wales is growing rapidly, and firms such as DevOpsGuys are making sure that knowledge in this field stays in the local area.

“I’m delighted that DevOpsGuys has flourished and is addressing challenges in digital transformation, and provides vital training and support to interns and graduates, strengthening the local economy.

“The UK Government is committed to investing in digital infrastructure which has for too long been a barrier to economic growth across Wales.

“I’m pleased to see an increase in research and development funding – by £2bn a year by 2020/21 – which will help Wales build on its strengths in this field and make it a more innovative economy for the years ahead.”

Ken Skates, Welsh Government cabinet secretary for economy, infrastructure and skills, added: “I am delighted to see DevOpsGuys continuing to grow – to strengthen and expand.

“The tech sector in Wales is very strong at present, it’s in no small part due to the partnership which we have developed with entrepreneurs, academia, and businesses willing to invest in their people.

“As we move forward with our national strategy, Prosperity for All, [it is key that] we identify the industries of the future, and at a local and national level, invest in them and the foundations of our economy.”

Image credit: Quentin Meulepas