For centuries, civilizations have operated and co-existed with one another based on one basic paradigm: Exchange of commodities or skills. From time immemorial, the value of a human being has been based on the skill they possess and their proficiency on it. Even our modern economy is essentially a skill exchange where transactions are done for the expertise or skill sets that are brought to the table.
Having said that, it is surprising that we’ve never had a database of skills where one can lookup the nature of skills and their interconnectedness.
Keeping that in mind, we are announcing today, the SpringRole Skill-Project — our aim is to build the largest, most accurate skills database ever made by allowing a diverse and skillful community to contribute their individual skills to the global map.
We are equally excited to inform everyone that the whole initiative will be open sourced and would be driven by the community of people interested in the project.
We’d also like to give a shout-out to Dario Spagnolo, Guillaume Sylvestre and Raphael Bousquet who were the original creators of the Skill-Project and have graciously agreed to SpringRole to take it forward.
Why do we need a Skills Database?
Having a database which acts as a repository for skills has multiple benefits:
Benefit #1: Organization
One of the biggest benefits of having a well maintained database is to have a better organization of the skill sets that we possess. Each skill falls under a parent skill and that makes it easier to see the broad areas that human skills fall under. On top of that, since all the skills are connected to each other in some way, having a good organization will help in identifying those connections easily.
Benefit #2: Increased Visibility
A well organized skills database will make the practitioners of that skill more visible. It also gives obscure skills more visibility and can let people know that skills that they might think are specific can actually be divided into more specific skill sets.
Having a database where each skill is organized properly under its appropriate parent skill will also help practitioners of that skill realize that there are depths to their fields that they might not have known existed.
This will help recruiters to find people with skills best suited for their requirements.
Benefit #3: Skill Education
Another overlooked advantage of having a skill database is the “skill education” aspect of it itself. It often happens that we come across someone who has successfully monetized a skill that we didn’t even know could be valuable. It also gives us the chance to do something beyond our current job profile and learn something which is interesting.
Looking over a skills database will help in people find out whether certain skills can be monetized or not, and in coming across new and interesting skills to learn.
Features of the SpringRole Skill-Project
Open and Crowd-Sourced
The philosophy behind this project is simple. We want to create a database which is: “For the people and by the people”. We want each and every member of the community to be a contributor to this database and add their own skills and update the system. Since the system is open as well, everyone has access to all the possible skills in the database and anyone can actively see the changes they make come to life.
Interactive User Interface
There is no point in creating an extensive database if it is not easy to use. Our aim was to create a “skill tree” which anyone can use and easily traverse through.
This is what the skill tree looks like:
As of writing, we have 9 parent skills. More will be added on by the community.
Let’s see how this tree works. Suppose you are interested in “Social Sciences”. This is how it expands when you click on it.
As you can see, each parent skill has its own sub-skills. The “Social Sciences” parent skill has, as of writing, 4 different sub-skills. Suppose you are interested in “Action-Oriented” skills.
The moment you click on it; you will see even more sub-skills.
The idea is to click through skill categories and sub-categories to find a highly-defined skill. Including the parent skills, we have 4 levels to this tree.
Not only can you see all the skills arranged and organized in a way which makes traversal and search simple, there is another interesting thing that happens as a result — the ability to see the interconnectedness of skills.
Let’s check out our tree again.
It is very difficult to even think that skills as diverse as “Speed Reading” and “Politics” could even be remotely connected. But as you can see from our tree, there is a very obvious connection. This is true for many of the skills in our database — they are all connected in one way or the other and this in turn builds a huge network of skills.
Since the database is completely crowd-sourced it is constantly being updated. Also, we want to make sure that we are giving our users the best possible experience. This is why our design and development team regularly update the site with interesting new features to make user interaction more seamless. We have a very active community and they give us feedback on how to improve on-site interaction as well as actually help out with the project.
How to contribute ?
Becoming An Editor
Since the entire system is open-sourced there is obviously a high possibility of spam and/or redundant data. So how do we make sure that the database is spam-free? Each and every skill that the user contributes gets reviewed by an editor. Editors have the power and the authority to edit/make corrections if necessary. Based on their judgment, the skill is added to the database.
So, how do you become an editor?
Anyone in the community can apply to become an editor. However, because the editors play such an important role in the whole setup, they need to write an application and send it to our team. Our team will then go through the application and decide if you qualify to be an editor.
Add your skills
Right now you can go to our website and sign up.
You can then go through the skill tree and find your skills and see how they are connected to the others. You can also add new skills to our tree and help the database grow.
You can join our community and interact with everyone there. You are sure to find like-minded, high value people and lend your voice to the conversation.
Become a part of our family. We are eagerly waiting for you and your skills!