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Calgary-based software development company Xerris incorporated in 2019 and helps businesses break down technical barriers with tech services like custom clouds, machine learning and microservices. Growing from four to 80 employees by the end of 2020, it now works with large international companies like WestJet and Nutrien.

“We’ve scaled up quickly because we've grown a circle of trust,” said Jeremy Tooley, CEO and co-founder of Xerris. “We love doing this. We’re keeping people in Calgary working.”

Tooley maintains that Calgary is the foundation of Xerris’s success and the company intends to strengthen and boost the community in the years to come. In fact, retaining, retraining, and attracting talent are key aspects of the community's economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy

Before founding Xerris, he and the company’s other two founders, Jonathan McCracken and Greg Cook, worked in Calgary tech circles for 30 years. The ranks of both the company’s clients and employees are filled with people they know personally.

While the team looks local for talent first, Xerris has team members across Canada and around the world in South America, India, and the United States.

“We let them know how great Calgary is, and that, in our opinion, if they move here and are close to the mountains, their life is going to be way better. We make a pitch out of the province.”

While half of Xerris’s employees have been formally trained in school, the other half have been substantially trained up on the job. To help fill their own open positions, Xerris has conducted a number of tech bootcamps.

“In tech, you’re dealing with difficult stakeholders, different problems and challenging outcomes. People skills are going to be in higher and higher demand as we go forward.”

Tooley emphasizes that the city is home to a highly educated, agile population who, given the proper training, can pivot towards tech with relative ease. Xerris regularly turns to a resource that Calgary has in spades: talent from the energy industry.

“We take these people who’ve got unique skills from oil and gas – relationship skills, stakeholder skills, communication skills – and move them into technology. It’s not a big lift.”

Xerris is set to modernize industries around the world, branching out across Canada and developing capabilities in the data and analytics space, including building teams around Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

For the full story on Xerris and for more about innovative companies in Calgary solving global challenges, visit Live Tech, Love Life.

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