OPENSKIMR - Open European
Skill Match Maker
is a project funded by the European Union
that aims to bring together talents,
jobs and learnings to support people
in creating their personal career routes.

“We are pioneers in many areas”

3 Questions to Remo Schmid*, Lead Software Development OPENSKIMR

“What did you think when you first heard about the idea of OPENSKIMR?”

I thought this is a really good idea and very much linked to my own situation. I am from Switzerland, and when I searched for a job in Austria I realized that you must use concrete key words for your job search or you are lost. If you don’t exactly know what job title you are looking for, or if you don’t know how job titles or skills are labelled in other countries, you are lost.

With OPENSKIMR it is completely different. You simply select your particular skillset or related interest and OPENSKIMR presents opportunities to you. This switch in perspective is really interesting.  For many job seekers the information available is like a jungle, and from my perspective, unstructured. OPENSKIMR wants to guide talents and give them new opportunities and perspectives.

“And what is the biggest challenge to technically implement the idea of OPENSKIMR”

First there is the challenge to model the problem. We are early adapters. Everything is moving and we need to be flexible; for example, with the implementation of the matching algorithm. The number of skills is almost endless, it is such a wide field and it is a huge task to match all of them. During the project I also realized that even if you define the exact skills of someone, it is hard to be objective because there is always the subjective perspective of personal comparison. This makes it difficult to measure and we are working very hard to integrate a good self-assessment into OPENSKIMR.

Another challenge, especially at the beginning was to find the same mind set and wording so that the whole team had a common understanding in what direction we want to go. It took us some time to realize this. We have established that direction and are now able to get the vision of OPENSKIMR off the ground.

You always need to ask the question; what is really necessary and what is out of scope regarding your resources. A vision is open ended, resources and time has limits. This is why you need to bear in mind that even if you model the reality, you don’t lose the essence of the whole project, the essential parts.  We are pioneers in many areas and if we manage it, we can also be one of the first.

“What does the expression “to put something into practice” mean to you?”

For me it is normal to put ideas into practice. I am a pragmatic man. The best mentors are always your experiences. It is important to collect experiences and improve your approach frequently. A feedback loop is essential, even the experience from the very first step counts.

You need a structure but you need to be flexible enough to adjust your plans, it is still an agile process. Don’t make the mistake of cementing your plans too early. It should still be fine to switch directions because sometimes you will not have another choice but to alter the direction you are going.


*Remo worked as Senior Java Software Engineer in the area of electronic payments before he joined the OPENSKIMR team as Software Development Lead for PDAgroup. He has many years of experience as a Scrum User. Remo is from Switzerland, father of 2 children and since February 2016 resides in Tyrol, Austria.

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