Ask on the street who the biggest players are in the field of software development, and the same names will crop up again and again: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and often a handful of others which are not even primarily about software, like Tesla or Amazon.
Beyond these household names, however, there are giants lurking in the dark: enormous firms dedicated to software products or services that are not at all eye-catching, and which therefore consistently slip under the radar of the general public.
Today we will introduce you to five of these ‘invisible giants’ from around the world. And in case you are someone who is learning to code, we have added links to their career pages — who knows, your next employer may well be in this list!
Clanwilliam Group — Ireland
Ireland has long been the base of European operations for some of the biggest software firms in the world, including Google and Facebook. This has made Dublin a global tech hub in its own right, although this is far from common knowledge. One stealthy colossus prowling its verdant hills is called Clanwilliam Group, and you’d be justified in not knowing about them. For a start, they identify as a ‘healthcare’ firm, working primarily with hospitals and doctors — but software development and implementation is in fact preponderant in their services.
Furthermore, like others in this list they are really not a single firm but a conglomerate of 15 businesses employing over 1,200 people worldwide. The Irish Times recently ran a feature on them, highlighting the tremendous growth they have enjoyed over the last three years. Clanwilliam Group are already much larger than they look, and they are only going to get larger.
Constellation Software — Canada
In recent decades, tech has been a gold mine for venture capitalism, and Constellation Software is a shining example of that. Since their founding by Mark Leonard a quarter of a century ago, they have acquired more than 500 companies specialised in targeted industries — among them Vela for oil & gas and aerospace, Perseus for homebuilders and real estate, and Jonas for hospitality, clubs and resorts.
Some of their success may be chalked down to their relatively early start, but their constant growth has been undeniably impressive, with stock prices almost tripling in the last five years. At the moment they count 16,000 employees and were able to boast a 2019 revenue of $3.1 billion, making them an absolute behemoth among the lesser known tech firms.
SAP — Germany
How SAP is not a household name everywhere, or at least here in Germany, is something of a mystery to me. It is the third largest software company in the world, and the largest outside of the USA, with a whopping €60 billion in assets and, as of last year, more than 100,000 people employed.
SAP are investing heavily in the sort of technology that the general public is still only very dimly aware of — quantum computing, the Internet of Things, machine learning — yet it seems unlikely this will make them better known in the future. And the primary reason is that they do not cater to consumers at large, but to businesses, selling software that helps run and automate operations. You are not going to see their products in a shop, but if you work in an office, the odds are you’ll have used some of their software.
Salesforce — USA
Salesforce operates in a market that has been on a constant boom for at least ten years — that of online sales. They specialize in helping businesses understand who is interested in their products (and how to track said interest), how to make sure their ads are seen, and how to gauge customer satisfaction.
The American company has met a few bumps on the road recently, with their acquisition of workplace messaging app Slack stirring some controversy amid investors, but they remain one of the giants in global tech, with more than $55 billion in assets and 49,000 people employed.
Instabug — Egypt
Although currently headquartered in San Francisco, Instabug started out in Cairo, and has been dubbed ‘the leading SaaS startup in the Middle East and North Africa’. The fact that they are an independent startup, rather than a financial conglomerate like some of the other entries in this list, means they necessarily operate on a different scale.
Even so, their reach is enormous, with over 25,000 companies and 2 billion devices running their Software Development Kit. Their services allow mobile teams to efficiently find bugs and monitor performance, meaning that their rate of growth — which so far has been exponential — goes hand in hand with that of the tech industry itself.
For their job openings, check out this page.
The field of software development, as you can see, has quite a few outlets where you can develop your career — and this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to get started in this industry, we can show you how.