Software company GAC: 'Young talent brings us a lot'

IT companies are eager for new talent and are therefore happy to do their bit to train students. So does software company GAC Business Solutions. Peter Bosch, director of operations at GAC: 'Ultimately, we need to deliver good IT professionals as business and education. That is what we like to dedicate ourselves to.

GAC is a Partner in Innovation of Fontys ICT. To bundle their innovative power, these Partners in Innovation have united in a cooperative called SPARC: Sharing Platform for Applied Research

What does SPARC do for and with Fontys students?
'We work together with students in our companies and we supply projects to the Fontys InnovationLab, which students can use to do research, for example. Our company GAC is happy to participate in this. We want these students to be able to discover and learn what an IT company like GAC has to offer.

If they get excited about GAC, that's great. But ultimately, it's about students finding out what makes them happy and what the opportunities are.'

What do young professionals entering the field now bring?
'The ease and speed with which they adopt technology and new things, I find admirable. It brings us new insights, especially with employees who are hindered by dominant logic, as we call it at GAC. Employees who stick a bit more to how we used to do things. This generation doesn't.'

Peter Bosch: 'Personally, I am convinced that you don't learn IT from a book.'

Can you give an example?
'Before a project can start, a lot of administrative work has to be done. Work that I felt we could automate. That seemed complex internally. So I asked a student to work on this.

Within three weeks, I had a prototype in which everything was started up in an automatic flow. A prototype that shortly afterwards led to a product, which we are now further optimising. And that together with that former student, because he now works here. So you see, that young talent brings us a lot.'

How do you see the future of the IT sector?
''In the coming years, AI is going to further digitalise, automate and professionalise our industry. Especially with the tight labour market, this offers huge opportunities. AI is going to create more efficient and effective business. Certain types of work can be taken over by AI. On the other hand, new types of companies, functions and projects will pop up. I can't look far into the future, but I'm sure we'll be working differently in ten years' time.

What will that require from employees?
'What seems the best and smartest solution today may already be outdated tomorrow. That is why it is important that someone can handle change well and does not shy away from new things. In doing so, employees should not only focus on IT but also be interested in how companies work and what companies do.

How can IT contribute to a faster and better process? Once you know that, only then can you build appropriate software that actually makes a difference. That requires something like communication skills and the ability to work together. Fortunately, these days they also teach that at school.'

Which parts of the current education system do you sometimes envy?
'Education - compared to my student days - is much more focused on practice. I myself am convinced that you don't learn IT from a book.'