A lot – even more than usual— of press releases, studies, opinions about the state of insurance technology talent have come across my desk over the past few months. It has seemed like overkill and much of it is repeat information. But we report the news and trends, and if this is what is happening right now, it shall be what we report.

So, I was excited when we began planning coverage for Celent’s Model Insurer program — consisting of the awards (finalists were announced during a webinar today) and an event in April — and saw the speaker roster announcement for Celent’s 2014 Innovation & Insight Day. One of the insurance speakers is Gary Hoberman, SVP and CIO of regional application development for MetLife. He oversees global technology for MetLife’s business in the Americas, EMEA and APAC and drives emerging technologies. While it looks like Hoberman will be discussing the insurer’s application called The Wall, which puts all of MetLife’s customers’ information in one place, he also drove the development of Synapse, a tool designed to match skill sets with open positions, while creating a database of rich, qualified talent.

Back in July 2013, MetLife launched synapse.metlife.com, a cloud-based advanced developer-recruiting tool designed to attract developers to its global development center in Raleigh, N.C. At that time, Hoberman had said "We want to let the best developers know we speak their language, not only in terms of cutting-edge technologies — which we are deploying at scale — but also in terms of a culture of speed and experimentation."

The site directs developers to submit resumes and LinkedIn profile data in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), which MongoDB, an open-source document database, then natively stores. The visitor selects the area and then is given a “scheme that will survey his or her ability to think critically and provide solutions for our day-to-day tech challenges,” MetLife says.

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