Jaume Escandell is 53 years old and has an 18-year-old son. He speaks with vehemence and passion about his profession. He started by selling Olivettis and finished associating with one of the few self-taught programmers he met to create, in 2004, eDiversa (today eDiversa Group). He lives between Bilbao and Barcelona. In the little free time he has, when he’s not working or travelling, he runs to stay in shape and also to prepare local races. We speak with him about innovation, talent and how the difference in gender affects joining a job market that increasingly more technological.

The Barcelona Observatory, created by City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce, located in Barcelona as one of the most innovative and attractive cities in Europe for digital talent. eDiversa Group is a company from Barcelona…
Exactly. eDiversa is a company for electronic document interchange with headquarters in Barcelona. Maybe because we’re from Barcelona, our growth strategy is to innovate processes, as well as proximity to the client and offer democratized rates. Other competitors don’t focus as much as we do on innovation. Each one adopts the growth and maintenance strategy they see fit. And all of them are totally valid and good.

Madrid projects more abroad. There is a more International projection.
Correct. Madrid has the capital effect in its favor. The large multinationals have their headquarters in Madrid to be close to embassies, public administrations, ministries, etc. Both Madrid and Barcelona are two of the best European cities to settle in because they are both leaders in education, investigation, innovation, etc... It is true that perhaps technological startups look to setup in Barcelona because they consideri t more attractive. The facility of communications due to its geographical location such as the sea access can be decision factors, but it all depends on the factors that each company values and considers the most adequate for their workstyle.

Let’s talk about attracting talent, specifically digital talent...what’s your view, as a company that contracts talent?
I’ll start by making a conflictive statement: You can bet on talent or for dedication and work. Obviously, the solution is a combination of both, but if I had to pick one, I’d say talent. If there’s talent and you don’t take advantage of it, then it’s worthless, in all fields: music, sport ... I prioritze talent because it’s not abundant. It guarantees innovation, not only in technology but also in the way we do things, in the way we think. It’s important to listen to young people that are just starting out and incorporate them in the company.

Is there good training for young people?
Yes. Young people are very well prepared. I don't have data, it's just a feeling. However, the best programmers I have known have not gone to university, they have been self-taught. I'm contradicting myself, but I mean that this used to happen more before, it was easier to be self-taught.
There was only a degree in Computer Science. Now the university offer for this type of studies is much wider and more varied. Now there are computer science, computer programming, development, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence. This generation was born with technology.

The offer at universities was very limited...
There was only a degree in Computer Science. Now the university offer for this type of studies is much wider and more varied. Now there are computer science, computer programming, development, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence. This generation was born with technology.

Is the work force big enough ?
Today, it is. Two or three years from now, I don’t know...We cannot conceive any discipline without digital management behind it. People who are trained in this will not have problems finding work. There will continue to be people trained in pedagogy, in philosophy and we will need them, but people will migrate to technology because of the demand for jobs, which will also create a demand for teachers and thinkers.

But these professions also need technology in their jobs.
Of course! My son presents his classwork using Google Drive, not like before when we had to use a typewriter. Today there is more technology on the phone than there was on Apollo 11 when it landed on the moon. Talent is being generated because there is demand, and talent is emerging. In a few years we will have the quantum computer that will change the paradigm of computer science.

What is that exactly?
It will be a computer that will have electronic components but will take advantage of the properties of quantum physics, among them entanglement.

Explain a little more.
Subatomic particles behave differently from those under Newton's laws. They do so under the laws of quantum physics. Entanglement is the property of two particles, for example, two photons, that have been created at the same time, and that when you separate them and subject one of them to a certain stimulus, the other reacts in the same way, no matter where it is. The information does not travel but exists in both places at the same time. They are simply intertwined. There are already computer prototypes that use this concept and others. The applications of this will be amazing.

To finish, let’s completely change subjects ... why is it that there are no women in the field of technology?
And you ask this to a feminist!

I’m referring to whether technology is a field that is attractive to women.
Yes. I would like to make a parenthesis before answering. Unfortunately, society is very sexist. This is changing, but there is still a lot of work to do.
As for the typical professions and careers of one gender or another are concerned, we are seeing a paradigm shift. In the past, girls studied certain degrees and boys studied others. This is no longer the case. From the millennials up to now, it hasn’t been difficult to study technology. They were born with technology. My son, who studies high school science and does mathematics, physics, biology... there are as many girls as boys in his class. There is already parity in technological degrees. They are different. Another very different thing is that we end up with the problems such as the wage gap which will be more difficult to eradicate.

Little by little, the typical gender roles are being eliminated, not only at work...
Exactly... girls and boys are losing their typical roles, this is becoming clearer. But I still hear some masclist comments that unfortunately will take time to disappear. There is a very deep-rooted masclism. I have heard very young people say sexist things, which make me think that this masclism, unfortunately, has not ended.