Codecool and SDA merge to become a European digital skilling and sourcing powerhouse

We’re thrilled about our next chapter: we’re officially starting a new journey together with Software Development Academy (SDA) to create Central Europe’s biggest digital skilling and sourcing powerhouse. This is a huge step for both companies that will radically transform our ability to help people looking to step into the tech world.

Codecool + SDA = Central Europe’s biggest digital skilling powerhouse

By joining forces, we’ll be a big, trusted provider who can deliver a far higher number of quality candidates to our corporate partners: 15.000-20.000 individuals in a year. We’ll open up a broader portfolio of digital skilling, upskilling, and reskilling programs that our students and partners can take advantage of.

What you need to know about the two companies

We’re two leading Central-European EduTech companies who have already come a long way during the last 7 years. We share a similar vision but until now we’ve each approached it from slightly different angles.

Codecool (started in Hungary) is present in 4 countries: Poland, Austria, Hungary,  and Romania. It has more than 2000 graduates and 300+ corporate partners. The company’s main course is the Full-Stack Developer training that comes with a Job Guarantee.

SDA (started in Poland) is present in 6 countries: Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Albania. It has more than 15.000 graduates and 100+ corporate partners. The company offers a variety of shorter IT courses that prepare candidates to enter the tech industry.

Codecool provides longer courses with a job guarantee and places graduates to corporate partners in the region, while SDA offers a wide variety of shorter courses. However, both companies provide high-quality training and teach digital competencies, programming, and IT skills. Different approaches but ultimately, the shared goal of changing people’s lives through digital skilling.

In addition, both companies offer customized reskilling and upskilling projects to their corporate partners. They have also undertaken robust governmental reskilling projects: 10.000 ICT specialists in Albania by SDA and 600 engineers in Hungary by Codecool.

Put those two approaches together and what you get is the perfect product portfolio that serves all market segments.

What benefits does the merger bring to our corporate partners?

As a digital skilling powerhouse, we’ll now be present in 8 countries: Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Romania, and Albania.  We’ll have a network of more than 1600 mentors and provide 17 reskilling pathways.

 

“There is a global battle for digital talent, especially coders and programmers, so our main aim remains to provide high-quality digital skilling for employees and employers – but on a much larger scale,” said Michał Mysiak, CEO of SDA, who will lead the merged company as the CEO. “We believe that the combination of Codecool and SDA – with distinct regional and category strengths – will boost the skills level of Central Europeans who are hungry to learn and will be pivotal in the digital transformation of Europe and beyond.” 

Since we’ll have the biggest product development capacity in the region, we’ll be able to produce new courses faster and react to the ever-changing technological landscape as well as the unique needs of our business partners quicker.

“This is an exciting new chapter for both companies where we create a real powerhouse for digitalization,” said József Boda, CEO of Codecool. “Through our consolidated digital skilling programs, we confidently continue to serve the needs of individuals, companies and governments. Graduates from our courses are in high demand, especially as Western European and US organizations look to outsource or find additional talent while lowering costs.”

Combined, we’ll train 15.000-20.000 individuals in a year for our 400+ corporate partners. We’ll be able to serve partners’ needs far better, not only in terms of the variety of tech-skilled people but also on a larger scale and from more countries in the region.

We’ll also keep expanding our geographical coverage and product offering next year. This is required as the Central European region has the biggest digital talent pool on the continent, and there’s an unprecedented need for digitally skilled people in the next decade. 

We’re here to serve this!

József Boda and Michal Mysiak sign the merger contract

Looking for next-generation tech talents?

If you’re looking for digitally skilled people, consider partnering with us. We have an extensive and active network of quality tech talents and flexible recruitment processes, offering you quick access to top talents.

We are also here if you’re interested in up-skilling or re-skilling your existing employees. We’re happy to tailor our flexible training programs to your needs, turning them into your most valuable and skilled digital resources.

Interested in what our new joint company has to offer you? Let’s talk!

Innoveo: “A great place to learn and evolve further”

In our Inspiring Digital Employers series, we’re bringing you some of our 300+ business clients from 4 countries. Meet Innoveo from Hungary.

Our partners inspire us not only to become better employers ourselves but also to contribute to their success with great new tech colleagues, in line with their business needs and matching their corporate culture. We’re proud to be their tech training and hiring partners, and happy to connect them with Codecool graduates, the best tech juniors on the market.

Meet Innoveo, a company delivering a Swiss-engineered no-code platform that helps to build enterprise-grade software quickly and efficiently while streamlining collaboration across teams. They transform digital experiences and achieve business growth with a true no-code, AI-enabled cloud platform solution. This time, we sat down for a chat with their Service Delivery Manager, Péter Tálas.

Nice to meet you, Péter! Please introduce your company to us. What is Innoveo like as a workplace?

We’re a US-based company working on disrupting the no-code software market through our platform called Innoveo Skye.

No-code was a niche market 5-10 years ago. It evolved from facilitating function-specific tools to enabling a broader range of business employees to own their automation and build new software applications without coding. By 2021 the market size reached USD 6 Billion, and estimates show that by 2025 this will increase to USD 47 Billion and USD 190 Billion by 2030, so the market potential is enormous.

This type of application development has become a lot more mainstream. Customers are looking for software solutions that not only address their specific problems and can become a strategic tool in their organisation to manage various IT system challenges. We’re part of this hype now and are working to be in the front row and centre, which is fantastic.

Innoveo was established in 2007, and back then, we had our headquarters in Switzerland, our first location. The Budapest office was opened in 2014 as a delivery center for our professional services. Since then, we have reached more than 70 people in our local headcount and plan further expansions in the coming years.

I know of other low-code platforms with a presence in Hungary, but a genuinely no-code platform company doesn’t exist here. Thus, if someone wants to be a part of this market opportunity, our company is the right place for it. We have a diverse community of almost 200 working from the mainland US, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, and India.

We work with clients worldwide, including high-end players in the insurance and finance market. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is just starting their career or would like to evolve further professionally.

In Budapest, we upgraded the office multiple times in the past few years to accommodate the team’s growth and the recent challenges of the changing work environments due to the pandemic. We expanded our floorspace and added several meeting rooms and co-op spaces, including ergonomic furniture. We want to ensure that people feel comfortable coming to the office when needed and have the right environment to work together.

The company also provides excellent benefits,  including private medical insurance, team events, and travel opportunities since our clients are all out of Hungary. 

What type of software are you developing for your clients who’re present in the insurance industry?

Insurance business processes and operations have several challenges. We can offer many things to our customers, from simple quote-and-bind solutions in new business through managing distribution partners, brokers, agents, and agencies to offering customer portals, policy administration, and claims management systems.

However, our platform is not only built for insurance use-cases, as its modules and tools are made to build general building blocks of a modern web application.

Why are digital talent and skills essential for your business? What type of competencies are you mainly looking for when you’re hiring?

It depends on which team we’re hiring for. In the team I’m leading, we mainly have Business Analysts and System Analysts, who comprise the core of our implementation project teams. The first one is closer to a traditional business analyst role that you can see at other companies.
We hire people with excellent analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills for these roles. They need to know the software development lifecycles and how software requirements are discovered and structured into delivery phases.

When it comes to more senior roles, they need to have excellent domain knowledge in their respective fields to advise our customers on best practices and act as trusted advisors in insurance systems.

System Analysts are mainly responsible for the configuration work during our project executions. They have to have an innate knowledge of the platform and become a proficient user of it to create the best user journeys. They need to work in scrum teams of agile projects, so the knowledge of working methodologies of such squads is good to have upfront. We also guide them to understand how projects are being done in our organisation.

You can hear about the growing digital talent gap everywhere. What’s your opinion about it? How hard is it for you to find the right people nowadays?

Finding the right people has always been challenging, and you need to walk the extra mile – not because you might not find the right skills, but because of the human factor. During hiring, we check hard skills and problem-solving skills. But if a person has communication issues, we know that collaboration probably won’t be working with them.

We need to find personalities who fit in well with our team and are excited to work with our platform. In our last round of interviews, all candidates get a demo where they get a glimpse at how the platform works. It happens that they can immediately see how it might be easier to work with our platform and solve problems they had faced earlier in their career. So we can see genuine interest from their side in working with us in the future. Other times, they don’t see themselves working with it or just not getting excited about it, which is precisely why we keep these rounds and presentations to ensure mutual interest.

How do you grow the digital skillset of your organisation? Via hiring, training, both, or some other way?

We always get positive feedback on our onboarding process, a well-structured, usually 3-4 week long process that everyone gets when they join the organisation. They get basic and advanced platform training – they see the platform’s basic and more advanced aspects with real examples.

After this section, they meet a business simulation where they can get a taste of an actual project. They can live through some of the challenges our projects can put us through, like unexpected demands from partners, changing requirements, being challenged on proposed solutions, and so on. They can check how they’d react, and it’s always an excellent learning example; we can talk through the process, and our new joiners gather valuable learnings.

Besides our official platform user guides, we have community-edited knowledge repositories that should give ideas to the most common challenges and problems the colleagues might face in their everyday project work.

And from time to time, we have more specific internal technical training, like database or AIP development training.

We also recognise the need for other learnings outside our platform or our industry. Hence, we have launched a full-blown training platform, where people can freely browse among thousands of training, books and lectures on hard and soft skills.

What global and local trends do you see impacting your industry?

The no-code/low-code trend started eight years ago, but the market growth has been enormous over the past few years. This growth is a response to the shift towards digital transformation and the recently growing adaptation to remote work. One of the significant advantages of these platforms is that they promote high levels of business agility and significantly reduce the time to market and costs.

Though the last few years brought this significant growth, there are still a few challenges the industry needs to address. Fewer customisation options (compared to fully custom development), increased vendor lock-in possibilities, and security risks all work against these solutions.

At Innoveo, we are working on addressing all these aspects of the low-code development and increasing our competitive advantage. Nevertheless, the overall low technical barrier to entry and the endless development possibilities of the no-code/low-code will support the market growth in the coming years.

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?

We started to work with Codecool a year ago, and from the start, we knew that Codecool was an excellent match for us. We found that Codecoolers, when they graduate, already have those essential competencies that we need to be able to train them further. This is especially true for those who’ve done the Full-Stack Development course.

How do you see our cooperation?  Why is it valuable for you? And what do you think of Codecoolers?

All Codecoolers have stayed and become great additions to our teams. We don’t need all skills they learn at the school. Still, we appreciate that they have a systematic approach and a full view of the development process, enabling them to understand our platform better. They are quick learners and gather all the necessary skills they need in two months to start working independently.

Plus, they bring some “fresh air” to our community because they’re young, motivated, eager learners.

What’s your long-term digital vision for your company? What are your most important projects right now?

We’re at an exciting period now, we’ve received quite a lot of funding in the past years, and we continue to raise money from investors this year, which will give us the ways to expand our teams further, improve our platform and services, acquire more new customers, entering new markets.

All this is super thrilling, and new joiners now come to us at a time when a lot of things are in the works.

How do you see our shared digital future?

It’s hard to see into the future; just think of how different our visions were 20 years ago of our life would look like today. I think digital automation, IoT, and AI trends will continue in the areas where they are already significant today, like personalised health care, mobility, smart energy, and so on.

It is hard to say how radically it will change things compared to the present.

I am interested in how technology will address climate change and reduce emissions in the energy, agriculture, and transportation sectors. At the same time, will it be able to keep its environmental footprint lower? Another thing I would probably keep my eyes on is the financial market regulations that will concern online banks, cryptocurrencies, and other financial services solutions that would leverage blockchain.

Finally, a growing interest in the metaverse is an exciting trend that keeps attracting major public and private funding.


 

Inspired by Innoveo’s example?

Reach out if you need great junior tech professionals or best-in-class training for your organisation.

Hope to talk to you soon!

Com-Forth: “We always look for the good people”

In our Inspiring Digital Employers series, we’re bringing you some of our 300+ business clients from 4 countries that we find especially inspiring as employers. Next to big and household names, we introduce you to maybe lesser-known and smaller businesses that are equally amazing workplaces in their own way.

Our partners inspire us not only to become a better employer ourselves, but also to contribute to their success with great new tech colleagues, in line with their business needs and matching their corporate culture. We’re proud to be their tech training and hiring partners, and happy to connect them with Codecooler graduates, the best tech juniors on the market.  

Meet Com-Forth, a Hungary-based, family-owned small business building innovative, industrial digital solutions for production companies. Com-Forth has been on the market for 30 years now. They have always put people in front of technology, both as a business partner and as an employer. They are very conscious about not wanting to grow bigger, also to maintain a human-centred company culture. We’ve sat down with their CEO, Péter Bóna.

peter bona
Péter Bóna, CEO

Péter, please introduce your company to us. What is Com-Forth like as a workplace?

Com-Forth is a small and focused business delivering industrial software. We provide production companies with tailor-made, innovative digital solutions for production process data collection, analytics, and visualisation, to improve their effectiveness and productivity. We’re also value-added distributors of industrial digital products such as industrial data acquisition, communication and security.

Com-Forth is a human-centred company, and this is not just a nice-sounding hiring cliché in our case. We really mean it. 

We are not a big multinational, where you’re sometimes just a cog in the machine, or a cool start-up, where you must be over-the-top busy all the time.

Instead, we’re a place where you are not „used”, or burnt out quickly, but welcomed and appreciated, with a community that is truly a second family for our colleagues. 

We look out for our colleagues, and we always look for the „good people”. Not even in the sense of a good worker, but more like people matching our culture. 

If you work for us, then you have your space and freedom to do your work the way and at the time you want to.

And if you’re a person that can live with this space and freedom, not requiring too much hand-holding, then it’s a good start. 

You also must get on with everybody else working here. We’re a small company, and we make big decisions together, so it’s important that there is no substantial tension in the team. It’s a young team, doing innovative projects, in a digital environment, with a focus on people.

We find that most developers appreciate having the freedom to decide not only when and where they work from, but also how and in what digital framework. We provide this freedom and „only” ask you in return to live well with it.

How important are digital skills and talent for your business?​

Being a digital software provider, 15 of our 24 colleagues (26 with 2 on maternity-leave) in total are developers. We tend to grow organically, meaning when we have more projects, we adjust the team. On the other hand, we’re very conscious about not growing too big, to maintain a family-like vibe in our small organisation. 

Just recently, we’ve grown and now have 4 Codecoolers in our team already. We’re very happy with them.

As I said earlier, we hire good people, matching our culture and sharing our values. In terms of hard skills, we look for professionals knowledgeable in using and building MS SQL databases, and programming in C# and ASP.NET Core for back end and a web-based front end with Angular. 

But I think there is not a single colleague in our team doing exactly the thing we’ve hired them to do initially.  This is a place where you can keep on learning new things and taking on projects that inspire you.

You can hear about the growing digital talent gap everywhere. How does it affect you?​

Not much, actually. I might not be super popular with this opinion, but I tend to agree with Simon Sinek in this question. Sinek says that if you’re a good employer, then you can keep and find the people you need in your organisation.

I don’t think there’s a real shortage on the market. If you look closely enough, you can find great people. The real challenge is keeping them.

At Com-Forth, employee churn is close to 0%. We have some colleagues who have been with us for around 20 years now. I remember somebody left during the probation period because we were not a good match on a cultural level, but that was about 7 years ago. You must make an effort to hire well and keep the good people. 

According to Gartner, the average cost of a leaving colleague is about 19k USD. Including the cost of lower and lost productivity, exit, recruitment, onboarding, everything. It’s expensive to let a colleague go, still, so few companies make a real effort to prevent it.

Employees have always been exploited everywhere. Now they’re turning the power-game around, or rather starting to demand respect and a fair deal from employers.

So I’m not surprised about The Great Resignation trend at all. But I think this creates a better, healthier setup, teaches you patience as an employer and motivates you to value what you have. 

By the way, it’s also not true that young people today don’t want to work, just make money, or that they don’t have discipline, just demands. Not true at all. We have Z gen colleagues, one of them was born in 2001. They are motivated and have a hard-working attitude, they just don’t like close control and boundaries. 

Our colleagues, including young ones, are listened to, and they can work in a flexible setup. Say, from Greece for a couple of weeks, where they can kitesurf a few hours at the end of an 8-hour workday. (True story by the way.) Technology enables us, we trust our people, so why not?

We at Com-Forth have been used to working in a flexible, hybrid setup in the last 5 or 6 years, with everyone having the option to work from home if they felt like it. So the restrictions coming with the pandemic didn’t take us off-guard, we just continued work more or less the way we used to. We’re not afraid of flexibility, if it helps our colleagues and doesn’t hurt productivity.

We want good people to work for us, so we must be a good employer. Mediocre is not good enough, people don’t settle for mediocre anymore.

And I’m actually glad to see that.

How do you grow the digital skillset of your organisation? Via hiring, training, both, or some other way?​

As I mentioned earlier, we sometimes hire new tech colleagues to keep up with the growing number of our projects. We just hired our 4th Codecooler last October. But we don’t want to grow too big, so we don’t hire all the time.

As for training, we find that our developers prefer self-learning through new projects and innovation, as well as learning from each other. And we support that. Training is an option, too, but we mainly see colleagues interested in soft skill courses.

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?​

When we were first contacted by Codecool, we were not hiring. But one day, Angi, our account manager from Codecool called me saying that she found a graduate for us that she thinks matches our needs and culture. We checked, and it was true. We immediately hired this Codecooler, even though we were not looking for anyone, because she was such a great match. The exact person we dreamt of having in our team.

This was only possible because our account manager listened to us, understood who we were, and didn’t come back to us with a compromising offer to waste our time.

She waited until she found a Codecooler who was perfect for us, and then gave me a call. I appreciated this so much and didn’t get disappointed in Angi or Codecool ever since.

How do you see Codecoolers?

I find Codecooler graduates very motivated. After „checking out” from the world of work for a year for the time of their Full-Stack Developer Course, they can’t wait to get to work. I think Codecool is such a big commitment with the intensive, full-time, one-year training, that graduates appreciate the opportunity of working on innovative projects in their first tech jobs afterwards.

Codecool is not easy, and by the end, graduates know a lot. They don’t know everything, but you can’t learn everything in 5 years either. What’s even better, at Codecool you learn to learn, and to love to learn.

Codecoolers are good people, motivated and skilled, and these things matter to me.

What local and global trends do you see impacting your business today?

One is Total Experience, which makes a shift from a technology-centric approach to a human-centric one in digital development. This is not a new trend, but it’s as strong as ever, and very relevant for our business.

Another one is the evolution of low-code platforms, and other tools making software development easier, thus democratising programming. You don’t need advanced technical skills to create simple solutions anymore. You still need those for the complex stuff, but not for the basics.

Then there is the citizen data scientist trend – similarly democratising the field of data analysis. It allows colleagues with basic analytical skills to perform advanced analytics with the help of smart technology.

This brings us to Industry 5.0, which focuses on the interaction between humans and machines. With Industry 4.0, industrial production is going through a digital transformation. It brings data-driven decision-making to factories, artificial intelligence controlling processes, all focused on and driven by technology. With Industry 5.0, people are now in the centre, making decisions. This is a major paradigm shift; technology is not the key anymore, but people. 

In the past, if you wanted to go digital, you tried to go along with a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) responsible for digitalisation. Today everybody needs to go digital, meaning every single person must use, or sometimes even develop technology. Everybody must change, which is hard, but the above-mentioned low code and citizen data scientist solutions can help.

And last but not least, sustainability and caring about the planet, making tech helps us living in better conditions in the coming decades, is another trend I’m glad to see gaining ground – also as a human being.

What’s your long-term digital vision for your company?

I believe in sustainable growth and continuous innovation in business, too, even at the expense of short-term profit. I’m determined to create automation that is used for good.

Automation should add much more value than just cost cut. It should take over those jobs that would be better be done by machines (like visual inspection at the end of a production line, but there are many others that burn people out quickly).

Then it’s important to give better work to these people, in which they can add more value. 

We want to be the company doing these „automation for good” type of projects, being kind of a human-centric oasis in a technology-driven industry – with a strong culture, strong principles, and the guts to say „no”, when necessary.

How do you see our shared digital future?

What I see is that right now we’re going from one extreme to another by rushing from complete digital illiteracy towards a fully virtual lifestyle. 

I think we’ll find a balance only when we start valuing traditional interactions again, like personal meetings, shaking hands, or coming together at conferences.

Getting interested in each other again, and giving each other time not just online, but over a cup of coffee. I think these things will gain more value soon. Anyway, even classic, hard-copy book sales surged after the pandemic started. 

I think we need analogue at least as much as we need digital in our lives. And I think we’ll find a natural and liveable balance eventually. We’ll use machines for good, not end up in a Matrix, but rather thrive as human beings in the age of digital.


Inspired by Com-Forth’s example?

Reach out if you need great junior tech professionals or best-in-class training for your organisation.

Hope to talk to you soon!

Twice as many students and the best IT education

How could Codecool continue a steep growth in 2021? What’s in the plans for 2022? Jozsef Boda, CEO of Codecool shares the details.

When you think about just for a moment how we expected 2021 to look like in 2020 … Well, things haven’t turned out quite as we expected then, have they?

Back then, we thought that by the end of 2021 the pandemic will be long over. After the first and then several more shocks, after the first and the second wave, with the help of the vaccines our lives can get back to some kind of a new “normal”, but at least a more stable state. Well, it didn’t quite happen like that. 

Due to waves 3 and then 4 in 2021 we were “in and out” of our school in Hungary, changing from on-campus to online education several times. In Romania, it was online with minimal breaks. While in Austria, just after opening our school and our very first group of Codecoolers starting in November, we had to switch to online classes in line with restrictions. 

But there was one big difference compared to 2020: however unexpected these sudden changes were, we were already prepared for them. We have successfully overcome unexpected challenges in 2020, too, but we weren’t even surprised in 2021. And we managed to turn them to our advantage even more efficiently – for example with further improving the online version of our flagship, full-stack programmer course, reaching much more aspiring students with it then with the offline version, available only for those living close to our schools. Who would have thought in 2019 or even 2020 that we’d get there? Not us for sure.

We have never thought we’d hire new colleagues fully online, not to mention senior managers, but we solved this, too, with no problem. Obviously, most of our graduates were hired by our partners in a fully online process, too. We grew up to the new challenges together.

In the meantime, we haven’t even noticed that we’ve entered the “new normal” we’ve been waiting for – probably because it looked a little different than what we expected. It was clear in 2020 already that things will never go back to how they were before, but we were not sure what they would end up like. By today, one thing stands out as the main characteristic of our new, post-breakout world: constant, significant change. What’s also apparent is that those who are agile enough to adapt and build on change will succeed. One simply can’t afford to wait for things to stabilise. That’s a waste of time, a losing strategy.

We’re so lucky and proud to have achieved so much in 2021, too. Let me mention just a few things:

  • We’ve placed our 2000th Codecooler at one of our hiring partners. Our first students graduated 6 years ago. We’re so happy that 80% of them are still with their first employer, the one we found for them. It’s a true confirmation of our shared success.
  • We’ve launched our very first scholarship programme, the CoderGirl Scholarship. Together with our corporate partners we want to invite and motivate many more women to start tech careers. The most talented and motivated girls and women from those applying to Codecool can now get a chance to study completely for free with us.
  • We’ve opened our very first school in Western Europe, in Austria. Together with Hungary, Poland and Romania, now we’re present in 4 countries already. Another step closer to becoming a leading IT education institute in Central Europe in 1 or 2 years, and later in the wider region. 
  • We’ve launched new open courses. The one-week “Intro to IT” Course was first introduced in Vienna, while the six-month Cyber Security Specialist Course in Budapest. We’ve launched the fully online version of our Full-Stack Developer Course in all the Codecool countries, and helped more than 300 Hungarians to new, future-proof tech careers taking our short courses, fully financed by the local government. 
  • We’ve further developed our corporate re-skilling and up-skilling training services, and launched comprehensive, tailor-made digital academies at some of our corporate partners.
  • Numbers taken out of context can only tell a part of the whole story. Still, the fact that we’ve managed to grow our revenue by 40% year-on-year in 2021, might mean something. It definitely means that we’re a stable partner for our students choosing us to help them switch to a new career, and also to our corporate partners, counting on us to boost the digital skillset of their organisation in the short and long term.

What we see is that digital transformation at companies is speeding up, now in departments and functions previously requiring only non-tech, business-side competencies. More and more capacities and skills are needed in IT, as well as in newly forming, business-side digital roles, and we can’t even come  close to meeting the market demand, due to the limited number of our graduates. We’ve managed to place each and every Codecool graduate last year who chose to take our job guarantee, while developing and delivering more fully tailor-made corporate training programs than ever before.

We would like twice as many students to  start studying with us in 2022 than in 2021. But we accept no compromise on quality, what’s more, we will further improve our courses and services, just like ourselves. 

Our Full-Stack Development Course is more than a bootcamp, and better than a university. A one-year, comprehensive programming course with a job guarantee and post-payment options not only providing a wide and deep knowledge of software development, but also a real job at one of our corporate partners. We would like to make this offer to even more ambitious and committed career-changes in 2022, so we’re extending our job guarantee to the online version of our Full-Stack Development Course in every Codecool country.

We can only be efficient and authentic at the same in what we do, if we are efficient and authentic ourselves. If all our colleagues truly believe in the mission, values and methodology of Codecool, and if they can also represent them and share them with others. The way to achieve this was different 6 years ago, when we were a young, promising start-up venture, and it is different today, when we are a mature, internationally present, and still dynamically growing scale-up company.

To increase our flexibility and innovation power despite the sudden growth of our own organisation, too, we’ve started a comprehensive mid-management development programme. And to keep up with the demand for our corporate services, a dedicated professional team will be responsible for the development and delivery of our corporate training programs and internal academy solutions from 2022.

And now that I’ve mentioned our organisation and my colleagues – let me say thank you to them for their valuable work all year in 2021. Because the thing is that it wasn’t about getting lucky. Whatever we’ve achieved as Codecool is the result of their hard work. Each and every of my Codecool colleagues has contributed to our successes with their enthusiasm, perseverance and skills, and I’m personally really grateful that I have the chance to have been working on shared goals together with them every day.

As a final conclusion, I have to say that after 2020, 2021 was another year full of challenges. The successes we’ve achieved haven’t come easy. We’ve worked for them really hard together. I admit, I got quite tired by the end of the year. I needed the holidays to recharge my batteries. 

But I’m starting the new year full of new energy and motivation, I hope you feel the same. I trust that we’ll have an as exciting and fruitful year in 2022, as we had in 2021. 

I wish a happy and successful new year to all of us, and that we make even more dreams come true, by helping even more successful, future-proof, tech careers to start, together.

The New CEE Digital Talent Hub: Our Proposal to Tackle the Global Tech Skills Gap

By now we all know that we’ll never go back to the „normal” we once knew. The new normal we are headed may not be fully clear yet, but it’s definitely going to be digital. To get there we’ll have to make at least one big jump in the process, over  the ever-widening digital skills gap. What can help us to make the jump? For one, remote work combined with global recruitment, and a future vision called ‘digital CEE talent hub’.

RecruiTECH Romania conference was created to act as a compass for the recruitment profession, to gather and share the best international and national white collar recruitment practices. This year’s event was centered around “(making) the most of a changed labor market with a new perspective and digital tools”.

Codecool CMO, Anna Ferenczy has been invited to share her view on Covid-accelerated digitalisation, it’s impact on the global tech skills gap and a possible solution called ‘CEE digital talent hub’.

Here’s a recap of some key points from her presentation.

Old digital goals and obstacles are so out

Remember the time when we all tried to justify digital transformation plans by cost-cuts and find solutions to organisational siloes and cultural problems? Good old times, right? We never knew our clock was ticking. Would you believe this was just a few years ago, before Covid. In 2017, 48% of corporate leaders used to list scaling down cost as a top 3 digitalisation priority, and listed cultural and organisational bottle-necks as major concerns. And this was just in 2017, according to McKinsey.

And then, a pandemic happened.

Today, digitalisation is a matter of life-or-death, and the global hunt for tech talent is like the 19th century California gold-rush. 87% of leaders see digitalisation as a means of survival, getting ahead of competition or reinventing their business, with only 10%  of them listing cost-cuts as a top priority. And 75% of leaders struggle with hiring the right fit for digital positions.

Quite a turn of winds for digital strategies and efforts, in a blink of an eye.

It’s not just about the future of your business – it’s personal

Today there are about 41 million tech jobs to be filled globally. On top of this 41 million, an additional 149 million new ones will be created by 2025, waiting to be filled.

The new 149 million include jobs in:

  • software development (98 million),
  • cloud and data management (23 million),
  • data analysis, AI and machine learning (20 million),
  • cyber security (6 million) and
  • privacy and trust management (1 million).

Next to the business side of the story, there is a personal aspect as well. More and more people are losing their jobs to digitalisation, forced to reinvent themselves for a high-tech future. The trend has not started today, it has been going on for decades now, but it definitely got a boost last year.

Today we’re in the middle of a new, and very special industrial revolution. For the first time in history not high skill jobs are taken over by the machines, allowing people easily find work in lower skill professions. On the contrary: machines are now taking over repetitive, low-skill tasks, while jobs requiring high cognitive skills are on the rise for the human work force.

This time people will need to substantially re-skill and up-skill to reinvent themselves, or they’ll fall behind. It’s not only digital strategies and corporate competitiveness at stake, but individual lives, too. What does a good up-skilling strategy has to focus on, to prepare for an unpredictable, but surely digital future? Some say, the focus should be on coding and empathy. Coding because the digital future will not just happen by itself, we have to build it first. And empathy, because we’ll have to manage brand new challenges, and reinvent our ways again and again in the meantime.

The gap keeps widening

On the booming digital job market talent is gold. But people are much faster in adapting to a digital lifestyle and way of working than building digital skills or switching to tech jobs. The tech skills gap is wider than ever and it seems to be growing.

There are multiple additional factors at play here:

  • Digitalisation beyond IT – the 149 million new jobs are more or less just the IT positions. But we are also seeing a digitalisation of  classic business functions and traditionally non-tech industries. The trend is viral and no business seems immune to it. This also means that there are now not just tech and IT, but several other industries, companies and departments competing for digital talent, too.
  • Covid-driven digitalisation – last year we were forced to deliver about 10 years’ of digitalisation in 10 months by moving our lives, work, channels and products online.
  • Growing funding –  partly related to the previous points, local governments and the EU alike started to pour money into innovation and digitalisation, creating further openings to fill.
  • Inflating prices – due to economic recession of our turbulent times price have climbed, followed by a a raise in wages, making high-quality talent even less affordable for businesses with a limited budget.
  • Talent mobility – While looking to future-proof their careers, individuals are more open to change their employers, too. And moving their offices online, companies are not restricted by physical distance from talent either. Businesses are now hiring from anywhere (68%), and people are more-and-more willing to apply to jobs anywhere (21%). While flourishing digital hubs like London, UK and Silicon Valley, US are big time winning in the race for talent, local hiring efforts in some countries suffer talent migration.
  • Hiring for a degree – is actually a trend we could change ourselves, unlike the previously mentioned factors, outside our direct influence. By maintaining an outdated preference for tech university graduates hiring managers many time miss the opportunity to grab programming school talents re-skilled in 1 year instead of 5, many times equipped with much more relevant hard and soft skillsets, and and previous work experience.
  • Low diversity – is another trend connected with discrimination we should all strive to change. Changing tech into a gender- and age-inclusive field, as it should be, can only happen via hiring much more women and 30+ or 40+ professionals in tech positions, than we ever did before.

Our proposed solution: the new CEE digital talent hub

The talent gap will not close itself,  especially when even the Silicon Valley is impacted. We must put a lot of work into closing it, and closing it in a way that local businesses become net beneficiaries of the outcome, too, not just business like Google and Amazon.

We at Codecool take our part in this work by re-skilling and up-skilling CEE work force and sourcing digital talent to our partner companies. Instead of university degrees, our graduates have extensive project portfolios demonstrating solid skills in 4 to 6 programming languages and multiple tech platforms, as well as valuable soft skills. More than 30% of them are female (and we are continuously working on raising this ratio), and many of them are 30+, with previous work experience and a high-level of self-awareness on their profiles.

We all need to up our game, and build a massive CEE talent hub together, to fuel global and local innovation at the same time.

We need to act now, tomorrow is already too late.

How will you contribute, starting from today?

Motorola Solutions Launched Developer Academy Powered by Codecool

Motorola Solutions in Poland teamed up with Codecool to train 26 developers in the newly established Motorola Solutions Academy last year. The selected participants attend the 7-months long training programme for free. 

The Academy was founded by Motorola Solutions to tackle the IT talent gap hitting many IT companies across Poland.

Almost 500 people applied to Motorola Solutions Academy, a special training programme developed by Codecool Poland for Motorola Solutions. From the 500 the 26 best were selected in a thorough selection process.

During the 7-month long education programme the participants learn solid back-end or front-end developer skills from scratch. Graduates are guaranteed to be employed at Motorola Solutions in Krakow.

How were the participants selected?

The recruitment and selection process, as well as the learning path of the programme was tailor-made for Motorola Solutions by Codecool, a leading programming school in CEE. Codecool provides full-stack developer and short-term IT specialists courses across Poland, Hungary and Romania.

To find the most suitable candidates for Motorola Solutions, the school’s mentors and recruiters:

  1. filtered almost 500 applications,
  2. conducted 100 interviews and
  3. evaluated 80 beginner level coding task submissions.

What’s next?

The free training programme started in December 2020. Students are spending 6 to 8 hours per day from Monday to Friday for 7 months to learn their brand new profession. 

The curriculum is structured around an alternating weekly schedule. One week participants have lectures and workshops at Motorola Solutions, as the pandemic situation and the current regulations allow. The other week they work individually or in teams on their own projects.

Students not only learn the latest technologies, but also improve on their soft skills to ensure a smooth onboarding to the Motorola Solutions after their training.

The Motorola Solutions Academy vision

“Motorola Solutions is an ever growing company with a high demand of IT professionals. Multiple new employees join our Krakow office each month. We run different software projects from developing critical communications, command & control systems or intelligent public safety applications, to creating an image analysis software with artificial intelligence.

As finding the right talent on the market is often time-consuming and challenging, we decided to walk a different path.

With the support of Codecool we set up the Motorola Solutions Academy to train the exact talents we need. This cooperation gives us an opportunity to benefit from the proven, practice-oriented education method of Codecool, and combine it with the knowledge and values important for us.

We look forward to starting working together with these highly motivated students Codecool found for us”, commented Jacek Drabik, President of Motorola Solutions Polska.

We are proud to make Motorola Solutions Academy happen

“Working on Motorola Solutions Academy has been one of our most inspiring projects in Poland.

We truly believe that the way Motorola Solutions chose to fight against the labor shortage is one of the most effective ones. While the recruitment process, the development and the implementation of the education programme was outsourced to Codecool, the integrated programme fully reflects Motorola Solution’s needs. 

At the end of the 7-month training 26 ready-to-work employees will join their team. They will know the technologies used by the company, the projects they are going to work on, and the company itself. Onboarding costs will have been saved as well“, said József Boda, CEO of Codecool.

“I Found My Place in the World” – Codecool in DIGITALEUROPE Video by BBC StoryWorks

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At Codecool we believe in a digital future built by amazing, everyday people – changing the world, starting with themselves. These hard working individuals all have a strong drive and shared passion to start their lives anew in future-proof tech careers.  We do our best to help them on their journey, and in the end connect them with innovators so that they can contribute to corporate digital strategies with a purpose.

Our mission and one of our Codecooler’s story inspired DIGITALEUROPE. They decided to share it in a video produced by BBC StoryWorks, in the scope of a new video series, titled ‘Digitally Enlightened‘. 

We are proud to be featured in the series and hope to inspire others, too, to believe in a bright digital future for Europe. 

A story of self-realisation and special value

In the video we get to meet Dóra Koreny first, an ex-Codecooler. Previously, Dóra studied hard for years to realise her ambitions, only to find out she couldn’t find happiness in her job in public healthcare. To reinvent her life, she decided to learn programming at Codecool. Today, she feels she made the best decision, and is happier in her new work than ever. 

We also get to know John Ford, VP Engineering & Site Leader at LogMeIn. John sees Codecool graduates as being “very rounded”. He believes that the fact that Codecoolers often come from different backgrounds makes them really special candidates, and great team members that are easy to work with.

Calling to action for a stronger, digital Europe

With 82 corporate global leaders and 39 national trade association members representing over 35,000 businesses, DIGITALEUROPE is the leading trade association representing digitally transforming industries in Europe.

They stand for a regulatory environment that enables European businesses and citizens to prosper from digital technologies. They wish Europe to grow, attract and sustain the world’s best digital talents and technology companies.

In the end, DIGITALEUROPE strives for a Europe where digital technologies, innovation and artificial intelligence can provide citizens with competitive jobs, better health and better public services.

Taking our story further to inspire

BBC StoryWorks is the content studio of BBC Global News. Building on their century-long pedigree as the world’s most trusted storytellers, they work with brands to create beautifully crafted stories that move and inspire curious minds, across platforms and across the globe – in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values.

Exploring Europe’s workforce expanding the digital frontier

The landmark film series titled ‘Digitally Enlightened’ was created by DIGITALEUROPE together with BBC StoryWorks , to share great ideas and success stories of Europe going digital. 

The series was launched on 14 April, and explores how a common vision would help digital innovation scale up and flourish to the benefit of consumers and companies.

7 Reasons Why the IT Talent Gap is Still Growing

We have been aware of the IT talent gap for years now. How come it is still an issue? Why haven't we been able to close the gap yet? Are we all not trying hard enough?

The above question was raised by someone in the audience during the Q&A session of a webinar held by the IT Association of Hungary (IVSZ) last week. The topic of the event was the IT talent gap market research they supervised in 2020 and its results.

Though the research focused on Hungary, we found that the results could be applicable in much of the EU, and challenges and solutions would stand globally with few exceptions – especially considering the growing globalisation of the tech talent market (and gap). And that the above question would definitely be valid anywhere in the world.

Obviously, everyone has some idea about why the gap is still growing, like the exponentially accelerating digitalisation of life and work in general must be one key reason. The preliminary results of the IVSZ research gave a good indication about some more surprising contributing trends, too, like the unlikely high occurrence of hiring for a degree in tech, too.

The discussion at the webinar, however, raised a whole list of reasons, giving a much more complete and complex picture of key factors. We found the list quite inspiring and relevant, and decided to dig deeper.

So, let’s see: why is the IT talent gap still growing, despite the fact that it has been there for us to tackle for years now?

1. Going digital beyond IT

Not only tech companies hire IT talent anymore, and not only IT positions are filled with tech people at those companies. Brand new digital roles are created in traditionally business departments and brand new digital departments are created within business units every day, requiring new, mixed skillsets. Like in the case of Digital Business Analysts, Digital Marketing Managers and Digital Sales Specialists – all new roles, created in the last few years.

The pressing need to fill these new tech-heavy positions and the shortage of perfect fits on the talent market sometimes even lead to the compromise of hiring a fully tech person for a business-side job, outside the IT department.

2. COVID-driven digitalisation

As we are all very well aware, the pandemic further accelerated rapid digital transformations. Work and life went online from one day to another, and suddenly long term ambitions about digitalising products and services, communication, processes and solutions turned into urgent priorities.

Forced digitalisation of the otherwise functioning business-as-usual operation also used up considerable resources and scarce relevant skills from previously planned strategic digital innovation projects, only adding to the existing resource needs. Digitalisation meaning not only software development, but also new types of implementation, maintenance, support and cyber security tasks.

3. Inflating prices

This is the most country-specific factor of all on the list. Inflation has been showing a definite growth in Hungary in the past few years, yet it has been steady on a global level and decreasing for example, in the US.

In those countries with a growing inflation, increasing prices raise salaries, too, making it more expensive and challenging to fill anyway high-priced roles, like most IT positions.

4. Growing funding

EU Cohesion Policy was aimed at contributing to “making Europe fit for the digital age”, in particular through  the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – which also funded the research mentioned in the beginning. The objective was “enhancing access to, and use and quality of information and communication technologies”. The funds totalled around 20 billion Euros between 2014 and 2020, contributing to the creation of major innovation projects and thousands of tech jobs – some of them still waiting to be filled.

Further growth in digital financing was due to increased VC funding in 2020, in spite of previous expectations and a weakened economy, partly due to the pandemic.

5. Talent mobility

Digitalisation of work itself, accelerated by the pandemic, and EU policies all have been contributing to globalisation on the talent market. On one hand this brought companies and talents closer across borders, and opened up new opportunities for filling jobs regardless of location.

But on the other hand it also in resulted migrating local digital talent (at least virtually) to big European and global tech hubs, like the UK and the US, leaving other countries more in the beginning of digital journeys at an even greater disadvantage regarding access to in-demand tech skills.

6. Hiring for a degree

Another trend making tech jobs harder to fill is about favouring uni graduates when hiring for tech roles.

It is not only counter-productive as an extra filter in case of hard-to-fill positions, but also not a guarantee for higher quality, and a kind of discrimination towards a narrow, more fortunate and well-off segment in society, as we already discussed previously.

7. Low diversity

Speaking of discrimination, one of the biggest challenges in the tech talent market remains discrimination based on race, sex, and age. 

The problem is only partly related to the positive bias toward university graduates, usually coming from privileged families. Tech careers in general are still considered masculine, and limited to super innovative roles, all requiring young energy and creativity.

While half the world and users of digital products are female, digital tools and processes are almost solely designed by men – and therefore inherently for men. And while majority of tech jobs are still repetitive, limited in scope and easy to pick up by anyone with basic logic skills, we still think about IT professionals like they each should be highly creative and innovation driving digital magicians – and therefore, young and dynamic.

Obviously, there have been important and successful initiatives aiming at narrowing the digital talent gap, like different tech education programs.

Also, we must not forget that although there is still a gap, we should not consider it as a shortage, but rather an opportunity – as one webinar panelist highlighted. An opportunity to grow up to the challenge of not only closing the gap, and fulfilling corporate ambitions of digitalisation, but also giving a chance to people choosing a new, future-proof tech career for themselves, at the same time.

Codecool is a leading programming school and tech sourcing agency, with campuses and offices in Hungary, Poland and Romania, and over 2000 graduates working at 250+ companies all over Europe. Besides super fast end-to-end hiring services, we offer up-skilling and re-skilling courses, as well as full-scale corporate academy programmes covering hiring, onboarding and continuous tech training for organisations. 

We are proud members of The European Social Simulation Association (ESSA), actively contributing to the innovation of digital education in Europe.

11 Codecoolers in 30 Successful Coder Women under 30 in Forbes Hungary

Forbes Hungary collected 30 outstanding programmer women under 30 in their December issue. 11 of the 30 are former Codecool students, confirming that our unique training methodology works, and our inclusive culture is truly empowering young women to find their passion in tech. And making us super proud again about our amazing alumni.

The Forbes article introduces each specialist through a short profile and makes a point: women programmers do exist in Hungary, they are smart and ambitious, and they won’t be discouraged by prevailing gender stereotypes. In fact, most of them don’t even see themselves discriminated against at the workplace. However, many of them are still met with surprised faces when people outside work learn they have such “masculine” professions.

 

Coding “like a girl”

Gender gap in programming is a global concern, but also a complex topic to research. Different statistics show different ratios for women in tech. Numbers obviously differ by country, sector, company and even specialisation. Most generic research puts this ratio somewhere between 10 to 30 percent – that is having 1 to 3 women among 10 programmers. We could do all better.

Especially that there is zero research evidence showing any difference based on gender regarding talent or competence required for programming. The apparent differences are elsewhere: regarding opportunity, (lack of) social support and confidence (not unrelated to the other two key factors.)

Even Codecool statistics show looking at our 1000+ alumni internationally, that we have only 1 woman or girl in every 5 students. This is a number we are continuously trying to improve.

Our strategy is based on clear and active communication of our open approach, zero discrimination in the application process or at school, and a growth mindset as a foundation of our training philosophy. Obviously we are also fighting the consequence of social bias: a low ratio of girls applying in the first place. However, the result of our efforts is an inclusive environment for girls at our school, where they are not only able to build a developer’s mindset, and hard and soft skills, but also their confidence as tech professionals.

 

Wall of pride – meet the 11 Codecoolers listed

„The ideal situation would be not to talk about male and female programmers, just programmers” – says Zsuzsa Gerendai, one of the coders on the list, quoted in the article. We couldn’t agree more.

However, to get there, the best strategy may be to motivate more girls and women to become coders by showing examples. And the programmers in the article do set an amazing example each.

These are the 11 inspiring Codecooler women under 30 listed in Forbes’s list of 30:

 
 

Let’s fight the gender gap in tech together

We are super proud to see our alumni on the list and succeeding in their careers after putting in the hard work to learn tech at Codecool. We have many more amazing success stories in our alumni obviously, not fitting any magazine article or blog post.

But we would love to even have more, and we know our partners would love to have even more talented women and girls working for them in diverse tech teams. We really hope to see many more girls and women join us like these strong and smart women.

We will continue to work on opening the world of tech to everybody, regardless of their gender. Determined to make not only the IT talent gap, but also the IT gender gap a thing of the past.