Category Archives: SkillPages News

F.ounders – Dublin 2012

F.ounders is a yearly event that brings together company founders from across the world.  This year was exceptionally well received as over 200 of the most influential tech founders were gathered at the invitation-only F.ounders event on October 18th-20th.

This year Bono was a guest speaker, The Edge lead a pub crawl, composer Eric Whitacre and his choir put on a private performance and for the first time in over 1,000 years a dinner was held in Christ Church Cathedral!

SkillPages was on hand with a photographer to capture all the behind the scenes photos (password: dublin2012) of the fantastic 3 day event.

Speakers at the F.ounders conference; David McWilliams, Bono and Jamie Drummond

Tony Conrad and Paddy Cosgrave (Founder of f.ounders)

BP Fallon & Megan Quinn; Iain Mac Donald & Habib Haddad

Liz Milonolpoulos, Dustin Rosen, Ross Lewis, Lia Gallagher, Paige Craig, Diego Berdakin

View all photos at our F.ounders Dublin 2012 on-line gallery.  Photos by Chris Bellew

70% Of People Will Hire Someone With A Portfolio

We’re always looking for ways to make it easier for people to get found for their skills.  We recently conducted a survey to discover what our members thought was most important when selecting someone to work with on SkillPages.

Key Finding

For 70% of respondents a portfolio was the most important thing on a member’s profile.

It’s very clear from this result that showcasing your skills is the most important thing you can do to get yourself noticed and in return get contacted for new work opportunities.  You can easily build up your portfolio by uploading images, files and videos for potential customers to browse. If you are confident in your work, then showcasing it is the next natural step.  You don’t need to be a professional photographer or videographer, let your work speak for itself!  Work examples not only allow you to stand out from your competition but also tell people why they should choose you for their next opportunity.

The big take away from this is that members with work examples are more likely to get hired. So don’t waste any time in making sure your portfolio is up to date. To give you some inspiration have a look at some popular portfolios:

  • Kerry Robinson a graphic designer from England updates her portfolio with her designed merchandise such as t-shirts, notebooks, key rings, mugs and bags.
  • Kelly Vanfossen a crocheter from USA adds work examples such as her hand made Angry Birds, shawls and other women’s wear.
  • Sunny Wieler a stonemason from Ireland illustrates his progression in his stone projects, uploads photos and videos of his work examples and snippets of publications of is featured work.
  • Sam McFarlane a free runner from Scotland frequently adds videos of his skills in action (I wouldn’t try this at home!).  He also uploads different photos of his performances in events/ festivals and even when he features in music videos.

We are also going to take this insight on-board for our upcoming site redesign, with an overhaul to portfolios which will help to bring your work examples to the forefront.  Stay tuned for more updates on that in the coming weeks!

Other Findings

  • 52% feel that recommendations were very important when considering to work with someone.
  • 49% of respondents wanted to see a profile picture before choosing to work with someone new.

Thanks to all those who have given their feedback.  If you have any questions or feedback to add please let us know in the comments or email us!

The survey polled more than 300 members.

Innovating In The Cloud With AWS

Delivering a product that is used by millions of people on a global scale takes a quite a lot of effort and resources.  At SkillPages, we decided early on that we wanted to put our efforts into creating great software that delivers value to our members and not get overly stretched with building out and managing platform infrastructure.  Of course, the underlying platform has to be scalable and flexible enough to accommodate our requirements as we learn and evolve.  This is principally why we chose to cloud-base the SkillPages platform on AWS.

From the success we have had so far with AWS, Amazon have invited me to share our experiences at their upcoming London event.  The event is an introduction into what AWS can offer your business.  If you’re involved in a start-up looking to scale out your venture I highly recommend attendance.

What Will You Learn?

  • Learn about how AWS helps you get to market faster and also stay agile
  • Discover how to implement AWS to power a lean lifecycle when running, scaling, and iterating your product
  • Learn from existing AWS customers about their experiences with Amazon Web Services
  • Network with AWS technical representatives and executives and local technology leaders

Who Should Attend?

  • Founders, co-founders, technical and business-minded entrepreneurs
  • Startups building scalable, lean applications

When?

September 26th 13:00-18:00

Check out the AWS events page for registration and full details.  See you there!

We need you…if you’re a designer!

It’s a pretty exciting time for us.  We’ve got a full blown site redesign in the works, codenamed ‘SkillPages 2.0’, (I didn’t say it was a good codename).  Simultaneously we’ve got numerous projects on-going for mobile, user growth, community and much more coming up in our product roadmap.

To date, we’ve had only two designers in our team – they’re pretty great so we haven’t really needed more.  Meet Tony O’Donohoe and Reiner Wendland. Between these two, they have handled the massive task of redesigning the entire SkillPages experience on desktop, and while I don’t want to give the game away before our development team have had a chance to build it, and you’ve been able to use it – we think it’s pretty special.

We’re now looking for another Designer. It’s a role we’re pretty excited about. We’re looking for someone who doesn’t necessarily have huge design experience but is desperate to learn and has the raw talent and desire required to hustle with the rest of our team.

What could you expect from the role?  Well, you can expect to be guided by Tony and Reiner while working on particular pieces of larger projects i.e. the SkillPages 2.0 login process or be entirely responsible for smaller pieces of work, i.e. designing a new homepage for an A/B test, or working on a new email invitation template.  As part of this team you’ll learn, develop and advance a lot further than many other organisations can provide.

We’re pretty big on understanding the role design plays within SkillPages, it isn’t ‘design for the sake of design’, here is a look at our product development and design Manifesto:-

  1. Think users first
  2. Deliver on Expectations
  3. Make it intuitive
  4. Focus on speed to gratification
  5. Less, is more
  6. Ask for effort in the context of the benefit
  7. Be consistent and build trust
  8. Think of the future
  9. Be personal
  10. Data, not opinions

At SkillPages, we’re trying to create a more efficient labour market so that everyone, everywhere can discover new opportunities for their skills.  We’re looking for someone who wants to help us achieve this.

If you’re interested – get in touch.

Ready For Mobile

With the prediction that over 1 billion people will mainly use the internet on their phones by the end of 2012, we realise that mobile is the future and we’re getting ready to provide a better mobile experience for our members. We’re first looking to roll out an iOS App with Android and Windows Mobile soon after.

The Man on a Mission 

Announcing the man behind our mobile mission – SkillPages’ new iOS Developer Karl Monaghan. Karl will be bringing his 13 years of software development experience to bear in developing the app for SkillPages. He has been developing various iOS Apps for the past three years, for himself such as TaxCalc.ie and for companies such as Adverts.ie. Karl is already in the early design phase and is throwing around wireframes and mock-ups like nobody’s business! He’ll be diving into the code mines once he has nailed down the functionality, but that’s an ever moving target at the moment.

Karl has big plans:

“It’s an exciting project as the idea behind SkillPages lends itself very well to mobile – location based instant searching is what mobile is all about”

Be sure to keep an eye out for updates in the coming months and in the mean time you can see what Karl gets up to in his spare time by following him on Twitter at @karlmonaghan and checking out his blog.

We’re Hiring – Front End Developer Wanted

SkillPages is looking for a Front End Developer for its Dublin office.

Skills & Requirements

We’re looking for a smart cookie who has done (or can do!) the following:

  • Accomplished UI Developer with demonstrable expertise and experience
  • Skilled in developing to the highest quality standards – cleverly and pragmatically
  • Have a hands on approach to all aspects of GUI development
  • Be experienced in developing large scale, high-performance internationalised web applications using .Net technologies

Tech stuff you should be comfortable with:

  • 2+ years solid experience in .Net development (C#, ASP.NET, MVC, REST)
  • Extensive experience in web based front end development (JavaScript, AJAX, JQuery, HTML, and CSS)
  • Expertise in addressing cross-browser compatibility challenges
  • Strong debugging and troubleshooting skills
  • Solid understanding of supporting technologies e.g. webserver, DNS, SSL, Cloud Infrastructure etc.

Nice to haves:

  • Familiarity of HTML5 and CSS3
  • Experience of developing mobile web sites and mobile web applications
  • Experience of frameworks such as jQuery, NodeJS, Ext JS etc.
  • Understanding of deep Facebook integration and application development
  • Prior experience of working in a high growth environment
  • A Bachelor’s Degree or higher in related field

For an insight into working at SkillPages check out our Inside SkillPages blog.

Interested? Apply Now

Two Major Milestones For SkillPages

Today, we’re delighted to announce another major milestone for SkillPages.  We’ve just passed the 5,000,000 members mark and we’ve closed a $9.5 million Series B funding round. Importantly however, SkillPages as a platform is working better than ever at unlocking new opportunities for our 5 million members.  There are thousands of people getting contacted about new opportunities every day and we’ve started highlighting some of these stories on our blog.  Helping our members find skilled people and get their skill found is the focus of SkillPages and we’re committed to continuing to improve SkillPages in this area.

Our funding round will allow us to continue to invest in technology and a team that helps unlock new opportunities for people everywhere.  The recent implementation of the “SkillGraph” technology is an example of this commitment to improving our members experience through a total focus on relevance.

Having 5 million people join the platform since we launched in January 2011 is both humbling and exciting.  Our additional funding will help us to increase our focus on continuing to accelerate our user growth in order to make SkillPages a platform that is useful for many millions of people around the world.

We’re still only just getting started at SkillPages, all the team here would like to say a big thank you to our 5 million members and say again that we’ll continue to do everything we can to help you find the skilled people you need, and discover new opportunities for your skills.

Onwards and Upwards!

We’re Hiring – Data Analyst Wanted

SkillPages is looking for a Data Analyst for its Dublin office.

We’re looking for someone who lives and breathes data analysis.  You take raw data and transform it into presentable insights in to user behaviour in order to drive growth, engagement and revenue generation across SkillPages.

Responsibilities

  • Data investigation, analysis and communication of key operational metrics from across the business including user behaviour, revenue and user acquisition.
  • You’ll be responsible for producing analytical KPI dashboards through which stakeholders make key business decisions daily.
  • Extracting and compiling the data using database tools from multiple data sources.
  • Producing ad hoc requests for data, reports or research insights.
  • Developing the fundamental guidelines to ensure consistency across reports and dashboards.

Requirements

  • Analytical orientation. You will make decisions and recommendations based on your confidence in the data and your objective interpretation.
  • Capable of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team as required.
  • Comfortable looking at multiple facets of the business including user acquisition, revenue generation and user engagement.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Highly proficient in MS Excel including pivoting and analysis modules.
  • Background in SQL.
  • Experience SSAS including cube design and interrogation using MDX a distinct advantage.
  • Highly experienced in BI tools including Tableau.
  • B.A. in Mathematics, engineering or other technical field is highly desired.
  • Experience in large data sets involving user behavior preferable i.e. gaming/online consumer industry is important.

SkillPages Partnership With Clarity Research Centre

If you’ve read the previous post from our CTO Mike you’ll know that we worked together with the Clarity Research Centre at University College Dublin to create The SkillGraph.  SkillGraph is at the very core of the SkillPages platform, underpinning everything we do.  Essentially it’s a market matching skill relevance engine, connecting people looking for skills to people who have the relevant skills in a more accurate way than was previously ever possible.

Check out the video below for more about SkillGraph and working with UCD Clarity.  Plus, you’ll also get a sneak peek into the SkillPages HQ and see the Engineering team hard at work.

Get Opportunities Relevant To You

Manage Your Opportunities

Among the recent changes to SkillPages there has been one very important addition – choosing what opportunities you get notified about.

After hearing from members it was apparent that your opportunity preferences vary widely, even from one skill to another.  As opportunities are getting more varied it has become invaluable to know what type of opportunity it is so we can notify the most suitable people.  Whether you’re interested in one off paid work or want to find part time collaboration projects you can now tailor this for each of your skills.

Each opportunity that is created must specify whether it’s paid, unpaid, collaborative, a business deal or any combination of these 4 opportunity types.  Along with knowing whether it’s full time, part time or one off we now only notify you about the opportunities that you’re interest in.

You can set your preferences for each skill separately – first go to ‘Your Skills‘ and choose a skill to update.  The more types you choose the more opportunities you will receive!