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Job with Skype in Estonia! Interested ?

First a bit on Estonia. A country of 1.3 million people and after centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940, it regained its freedom in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with Western Europe. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

The two-year-old company Skye, which offers free calls over the Internet, is hidden at the end of an unmarked corridor in a grim Soviet-era academic building on the outskirts of the Baltic port city of Tallinn. By 5 p.m. at this time of year, it is long past sunset, and a raw wind has emptied the streets. Foreign investors are swooping into Tallinn’s tiny airport in search of the next Skype (rhymes with pipe). The company most often mentioned, Playtech, designs software for online gambling services. It is contemplating an initial public offering that bankers say could raise up to $1 billion. Indeed, there is an outlaw mystique to some of Estonia’s ventures, drawn here to Europe’s eastern frontier. Whether it is online gambling, Internet voice calls or music file-sharing – Skype’s founders are also behind the most popular music service, Kazaa – Estonian entrepreneurs are testing the limits of business and law.

And by tapping its scientific legacy from Soviet times and making the best of its vest-pocket size, Estonia is developing an efficient technology industry that generates ingenious products – often dreamed up by a few friends – able to mutate via the Internet into major businesses.

These entrepreneurs grow out of an energetic, youthful society, which has embraced technology as the fastest way to catch up with the West. Eight of 10 Estonians carry cellphones, and even gas stations in Tallinn are equipped with Wi-Fi connections, allowing motorists to visit the Internet after they fill up.

Skype has shown the world is that you can take a great idea, with few resources, and conquer the world. Whether Skype poses a mortal threat to telephone companies, as some enthusiasts suggest, is an open question. But it has become an undisputed technology star – a status cemented in September when eBay, the Internet auction giant, bought the company in a deal worth $2.5 billion. Many argue why Ebay bought Skype. Please note that any trade or transaction requires conversation and Skype is all about conversation on the internet.

Estonia owes one thing to its former oppressor. In the 1950’s, the Soviets chose the Baltic states as the site for several scientific institutes. Estonia wound up with the Institute of Cybernetics – basically a computer sciences center – that now houses Skype and many other firms. That scientific legacy remains embedded in society, people say. It is most visible in Estonia’s receptiveness to new technology. Internet penetration is estimated by the telecommunications industry to be 49 percent of the population. Estonians use mobile phones to pay for parking, among other things. Most conduct their banking online, and more than 70 percent file their taxes on the Internet. The state issues a digital identification card, which allows citizens to vote from their laptops

While entrepreneurs complain about the shortage of skilled workers, more and more young foreigners are ready to trek to this northernmost Baltic nation for a job. Skype employs people from 30 countries; in the halls, one hears plenty of English, and even some Spanish.
Oliver Wihler, 35, a Swiss software developer, moved to Tallinn from London in 1999, drawn by the heady professional atmosphere and by Estonia’s parks and forests. Now he and a business partner, Sander Magi, 28, run a company called Aqris, which reformats Java software.

“The commute in London was a drag, and I missed not having any green space,” Mr. Wihler said. Estonia offers plenty of that. But Skype is relying on more than a pleasant lifestyle; it is taking a more traditional approach in its recruitment by offering stock options in eBay. But Mr. Tallinn says that is only part of the company’s appeal.

“The other draw,” he said, “is that if you want to work for a company that influences the lives of tens of millions of people, and you want to do it in Tallinn, there really isn’t any other choice.”

(via NYTimes and CIA Fact Book)

1 thought on “Job with Skype in Estonia! Interested ?”

  1. Hi Shrikant,

    Yes i am very much interested for a job with Skype in Estonia. I am a “QA and Software Test Engineer” with about 5 years of work experience in the IT industry. I am at present in Mumbai city in India.

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