Build an internal marketplace for learning and growth opportunities within R&D.
About Skill Exchange
Skill Exchange is an internal marketplace to promote and seek out unique, on-the-job learning opportunities for your developers and other members of your tech ecosystem. With Skill Exchange, Backstage becomes a hub for custom learning and growth by sharing existing expertise and fostering meaningful collaboration across your organization.
Codify growth and connectivity
Skill Exchange puts employee growth and collaboration at the forefront of the developer experience. Within Backstage, mentors can connect with mentees, teams can connect with temporary help, developers can pair up to program together, and ad hoc teams can assemble to work on hack projects.
Unlock learnings across your org
Talent, knowledge, and experience can often get trapped inside organizational silos. With Skill Exchange, your R&D community can unlock opportunities for collaboration and meaningful connection, no matter where anyone sits in the org chart.
Elevate existing expertise
Skill Exchange elevates the existing expertise of your current employees, so that your developers and members of your tech org can learn from each other instead of looking and hiring externally. Skill Exchange helps you invest in and develop your current talent.
Skill Exchange features
The Skill Exchange homepage offers search and quick navigation to learning opportunities. The search component allows you to quickly find coworkers with specific skills that can assist you on a project or your learning journey. Or you can explore opportunities to help your coworkers on their learning journeys.
Skill Exchange comes with its own skill-centered profile experience. With skill profiles, you categorize, identify, and display skills such as: “I can help with” and “I’m learning.”
The skill directory is a directory of all the unique combinations of skills that people in your org add to their profiles. You can search across teams to find coworkers that can help you solve a particular problem or find a mentor.
Users can either post an “offering to mentor” or “looking for mentor” details page. Each mentor detail page typically includes contact, location, description, and skill related information.
Embeds are short-term work opportunities on other teams. Users can either post or search for embed opportunities. Each embed page typically includes requested skills, description, and contacts.
Hacks are internal projects driven by developers at a company. Developers typically seek out hacks to grow their skills, work on a passion project, or find folks with similar ideas to collaborate with.
Frequently Asked Questions 🤔
Where can I find installation instructions and technical documentation for Skill Exchange?
All of the installation instructions for the Spotify Plugins for Backstage are public via npm packages. You can find the documentation specifically for Skill Exchange in this npm package.
How is this different from other learning management systems?
Learning management systems are generally centrally managed and geared towards housing and delivering formal learning content. The Skill Exchange plugin is a marketplace created for R&D and engineering communities that offers a variety of engagement opportunities beyond formal learning coursework. With Skill Exchange, anyone can create a learning opportunity or offer their expertise. It empowers individuals and teams to connect with and learn from each other through practical, on-the-job learning opportunities that will be most impactful for them. All of this engagement drives meaningful growth and can identify other talent management initiatives internally.
Who can use Skill Exchange?
While Skill Exchange was designed for R&D and engineering teams, it is customizable enough to be used for any team at your company. As we continue to build out the functionality, we will make more intentional choices that enable folks outside of R&D organizations.
What aspects of Skill Exchange are customizable?
Skill Exchange user profiles are currently pre-loaded with a number of skill categories and skills. Administrators can add any custom skills to the existing categories.
What are best practices for getting traction with Skill Exchange internally?
There are a few ways that you can socialize this idea and get buy-in from stakeholders. We would be happy to talk through what worked for us and provide you with resources on how to drive adoption.
What integrations exist for Skill Exchange?
At this time, we offer a Slack integration. In the future, we will offer an integration with GitHub Enterprise. We are exploring options to enable generic ways to integrate with Skill Exchange features and data (API) integrations with other HR and LMS tools such as Workday and LinkedIn Learning.