KMS Gives Participates in Habitat for Humanity

Pledge 1%As a part of our commitment to giving back to our community, KMS Technology joined Pledge 1% in 2015, promising to give 1% of our time, 1% of our services, and 1% of equity through our KMS Gives program. Our President and Co-Founder, Josh Lieberman, has spearheaded the initiative with his substantial involvement in Per Scholas Atlanta, and has recently been named Chairman of the Board in Atlanta.

Per Scholas AtlantaFor 2017, KMS has been dedicated to ensuring we reach and surpass our goals for Pledge 1%. Our first major project for the first quarter was an exciting build job for Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta! Seven of our local employees joined the cause and participated in a Hab 2 project, where a previously owned Habitat for Humanity home is renovated from the inside out and prepared for a new owner. We worked on various projects, large and small, including painting the exterior of the home, landscaping, minor electrical work, and installing the kitchen cabinets.

KMS Gives painting Habitat for Humanity House
KMS Technology employee’s Crystel Saturday and Drew Williams painting the siding of the house.

It was an amazing experience for all those involved, and quite rewarding too. The new homeowner was present and participated in the renovation work. She had her hand in everything from painting the front door to installing baseboards to ensure it was up to her standards and that she achieved everything she had dreamed about for her first home. Her excitement for the new home for her and her son was contagious and heartwarming.

At the end of the day we all gathered around for a dedication of the home, formally presenting it to the homeowner with representatives from Atlanta Habitat who came out to Jonesboro for this special occasion.

For KMS Technology, this was only the start of our pledge to community service for 2017. We recently started our second clothing drive for the upcoming graduating class at Per Scholas. We previously ran a professional clothing drive in November of 2016, and have decided this will be an ongoing initiative. Per Scholas regularly graduates

KMS Technology for Habitat for Humanity
KMSers Mary Kate McAuley and Matt Rubenstein at start of home dedication.

students ready to enter the professional workforce from being unemployed and underemployed. KMS employees are happy to provide professional clothing for interviews and first days for those who may not have suitable attire. We hope to expand the reach of the drive beyond KMS to our local community.

Working with Per Scholas and Habitat for Humanity have been amazing experiences and wonderful ways to jumpstart KMS Gives for 2017!

James Bach’s First Time in Vietnam

After a few questionable trips to other Asian countries, James Bach wasn’t sure he was ready to visit another one. KMS invited Bach to teach a workshop and while he was initially uninterested in the opportunity,  his colleagues Lee Copeland and Paul Holland convinced him to go based on their past experiences. He finally took the plunge this summer and hopped on a 747 to Ho Chi Minh City to keynote the HCMC Software Testing Conference and conduct a Rapid Software Testing Workshop.

James Bach Speaking HCMC Conference 2016Bach’s experience in Vietnam was surprisingly delightful. He expected it to be similar to the other countries, where their government made basic things like business travel very difficult. He appreciated the flexibility of the Vietnamese government and their willingness to make business travel a breeze. Upon arrival, Bach was given a cell phone, taxi cards, and a data stick by the team at KMS, immediately making him feel taken care of which was deeply appreciated.

When traveling to Asia in the past, he had occasionally been given a translator when teaching. When he didn’t receive one in Vietnam, he anticipated a scenario that occurred in the past: teaching an entire exploratory testing class then being asked questions like, “Would you explain exploratory testing?” It was disheartening for him because they wasted their time listening to what they didn’t understand. However, in Vietnam, this wasn’t the case. Attendees were engaged and active listeners and weren’t afraid to get into long passionate debates with raised voices, challenging Bach throughout the session. They had an assertiveness that he didn’t expect, but welcomed as it rung true to KMS’s people being innovators, consultants, and problem solvers versus blindly following orders.

James Bach and KMS TeamNot only did Bach enjoy the business side of his trip, but he also enjoyed learning about the culture as well. One of his favorite aspects of the trip was the friendliness of the locals and how the city felt young and vibrant, evidence of the thriving economy. The variety of food available was rich in culture and flavor. Bach enjoyed learning all about Pho, a widely recognized Vietnamese dish, and eating plenty of it. It wasn’t hard to get good food as the locals paid a lot of attention to him at meal times; it was important to them that he ate and was well fed – something every client or colleague we send to Vietnam is impressed with. The fresh spring rolls, wonderfully smooth coffee, and all of the Vietnamese soul food on every corner were warming to his spirit especially being away from the familiarities of home.

Bach’s perception of Vietnam changed dramatically from a country he had no intentions of ever visiting to a destination where he thoroughly enjoyed his stay. Bach made it clear that he will return to Vietnam in the future, and that Vietnam’s technical talent is on the rise.

Why We Love Vietnam (And You Should, Too!)

Vietnam is a small country with humble beginnings, having very few (if any) IT companies a mere sixteen years ago. Now, Vietnam has been named an emerging market, making great waves in the technology and offshore industries. They have grown to become a major competitor and alternative to the offshore industry giants India and China, with plans to build Saigon Silicon City, the world’s next Silicon Valley.

Vietnam Economy Growth - KMS

 

The idea of tech companies running to set up shop in Vietnam makes you wonder: What is so great about Vietnam?

Many companies and investors are drawn to the small country over India and China for a number of reasons, a few of which are why we chose to base our offshore organization in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

  • The lack of direct competition in the country makes us stand out as a leading offshore firm and a desirable workplace for industry top talent.
  • Project value won’t be lost in translation. Vietnam has a 96% literacy rate and most professionals are 100% proficient in written and verbal English.
  • Reliable, world-class infrastructure allows for a stable and fast Internet connection with no blackouts and manageable traffic, a problem common in India where projects can come to a complete standstill due to regular blackouts.
  • Socio-Economic stability is key in choosing an offshore provider. Vietnam has had over 40 years of political stability and a rapidly growing economy. With the government’s strong commitment to growing the tech industry, policies have been put in place to entice companies, such as tax breaks, grants, and software parks for improved infrastructure.
  • Vietnam IT Services Workforce Vietnam provides a promising workforce with improved education programs tailored towards the IT sector to ensure the workforce remains current. Companies can partner with universities and high schools to improve tech education so that there is never a shortage of qualified workers to employ. Offers like our KMS Launch program arm new graduates with the knowledge, experience, and technical expertise in offshore services that IT students need to hit the ground running when starting a new career.
  • Value! A low cost of living, a large IT talent pool, and labor costs up to 90% less than the U.S. is a recipe for great value for companies and employees. Employee loyalty is high keeping attrition low.
  • Low turnover rates means less time and resources are wasted on impractical tasks such as re-training, knowledge transfers, and team rebuilding/restructuring. Companies that work with an offshore team in Vietnam don’t have to worry about eating the cost of losing a trained resource.

The surge in businesses arriving on the shores of Vietnam have contributed to the economic growth of the country, coming up from being one of the most poverty stricken nations in the world. Companies have started to take notice of the benefits of outsourcing to Vietnam versus the current industry leaders, and this rise in popularity is boundless in what it can do for the nation and its citizens.

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