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!

Clocklike Minds: “Digitalisation starts with a change in minds”

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

Next to big and household names, we want to introduce you to smaller, maybe lesser-known businesses. These inspiring digital employers motivate us not only to become better employers ourselves but also to contribute to their success with great new tech colleagues. 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.

This time, we sat down for a chat with Pawel Brzeski, Founder and CEO, and Lukasz Bieniewicz, Partner at Clocklike Minds

Pawel is an experienced manager, architect, and developer with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He was responsible for the implementation of many transformation projects in financial institutions. He has managed large teams of over 100 people, and is a Certified Pega Lead System Architect.

Lukasz is a Certified Pega Lead System Architect, who has been working in the IT industry since 2011, and with the Pega platform specifically since 2015. He started his career in the insurance sector as a business analyst and JAVA developer. Since then, he has taken part in numerous projects related to the Pega platform and carried out projects for Polish and international clients in all technical roles, from junior programmer to lead architect.

Please introduce your company. What do we need to know about Clocklike Minds?​

Clocklike Minds was founded in September 2017 by a group of technology enthusiasts who previously co-founded Bizmatica Poland, which has been active on the Polish market since 2013. The acquisition of the Pega team and Bizmatica Poland contracts took place in December 2019. 

We are experienced technical and business architects and engineers with a proven track record of success in delivering complex IT projects. We have an extensive knowledge of the IT industry, IT technologies, trends and agile methodologies, and in-depth experience in BPMS and Java technologies. Our experts have carried out many international projects for organisations in various industries, including in particular:

  • banking,
  • insurance,
  • the leasing industry,
  • telecommunications,
  • the pharmaceutical Industry, and
  • health-care.

We use the Pega BPM Platform to build and configure applications.

Why are new technology talent and digital skills important to your business?​

It is often said that digitalisation starts with a change in minds – the ability to leave old, worn-out patterns, openness to change. We can safely say that the future and development of our company depends largely on the minds of our current and future employees. Their innovation, freshness in approach to technology, understanding of it and courage to make bold, future-oriented decisions – all these factors are and will be key elements in shaping the future of our company. 

That’s why a constant influx of new technological talent into every company is essential. Not just in technological competence, but also a certain natural, I think, increasingly better understanding of technology and current trends that the next generation of employees will have.

We live in a world where the boundaries between the offline and online worlds have virtually blurred. Key elements of business have already moved largely into the digital world, and without strong digital skills it is hard to find your way in this rapidly changing reality – even in everyday life, let alone in business.

Everyone is talking about the growing digital talent gap. What is your opinion on this subject?

It all depends on the definition we take of the phrase ‘digital talent’. 

If we understand it as consuming digital content, being able to navigate the digital world, social media, etc., it seems that the younger generations in particular don’t have the slightest problem with it. Here, the gap is not only not widening, but is being systematically bridged with the natural generational change and increasing awareness of the power and usefulness of modern technological solutions among middle and older generations. 

For example, referring to the Polish “backyard”, which is closest to us, we are at the global forefront of innovations related to non-cash payments. We are more and more willing to pay by card, mobile phone, watch or blister, and many people no longer even carry a wallet, considering it unnecessary baggage. 

But digital talent understood as a group of people willing and able to create digital products or tools to create or consume digital content is a different story. Undoubtedly, a technology-related career path, although well paid, is also quite demanding and has a certain barrier to entry. It is also, according to a still widespread opinion, a path that supposedly requires extraordinary talents and skills.

This all results in some young people feeling apprehensive about choosing such a direction for their career, so that the supply of new digital talent is not as wide as it could be. Those with such skills who are already in the market, thanks to globalisation and the increasing acceptance of remote working, can in turn choose from a range of jobs around the world, often better paid, further widening our local digital talent gap.

When it comes to the demand side of the market, today more than ever, positions for IT talent are not limited to IT Departments. Marketing, sales, and many other areas, historically purely business, need to be filled with many roles designed for digital talent. 

Some of these needs are being met by converting business employees to more technical employees (citizen developers) who, after appropriate training, can produce software, usually using low-code or RPA platforms. However, this does not seem to be enough to meet current market needs. 

Hiring or training? Or both? What is your approach to digitising your organisational skills?​

In general, we believe that using both options is the optimal approach. 

Hiring an experienced employee means not only introducing high quality (knowledge, experience) to the company “on the spot” (without waiting for the end of the process of training, acquiring experience, etc.), but also taking a different look at similar problems from the market. A different one, because it is based on the experience of functioning in a different business environment, in other companies, in other projects. This is an opportunity to learn also for us, because by relying on the experience of others we can improve our company in many aspects. 

On the other hand, training employees from scratch allows us to place emphasis in the training on those areas which, in our experience, are the most important in the process of smooth introduction of such a person to work in real projects. As a result, we can optimise the time spent learning a new technology, using it more effectively. 

We do not hide the fact that within the domain in which we move (although it applies to the entire IT market), the possibility of hiring experienced people from the market is limited. Firstly, the supply of experienced Pega specialists on the Polish labour market is small. As a young and still small company, we are also not able to attract employees with a well-known logo. Similarly, the technology we deal with – Pega – cannot compete in popularity with many other technologies. 

Therefore, for us, the training of newly hired people is not a novelty and has been an integral part of the onboarding process of new employees for virtually forever – and we feel good about it.

What other global and local trends are influencing your digital training and employment strategy?​

Undoubtedly, the saturation of the labour market and the difficulty of attracting experienced workers from the market, for reasons we have already discussed above, make us focus on training. Both for people just starting out in their careers and for people who want to retrain from another area or another technology to develop applications based on Pega.

We have also been influenced by the pandemic that has accelerated the popularisation and acceptance of the concept of remote working. It is not so much about changing our way of thinking, but mainly about changing the way of thinking of our clients, who look more favourably on the remote work of our consultants. 

This allows us to look for employees more broadly, not limiting ourselves to specific geographical locations where our clients’ offices are located, or not only looking for people willing to travel. This is both an opportunity and a threat because other companies can freely penetrate the Polish market, as well as the employees themselves can seek work in foreign companies or work as freelancers.

Why did you decide to cooperate with Codecool?

On the recommendation of our German partners, Greenfield.

How do you assess our cooperation? What do you value most in our cooperation?​

I think it’s very good. We highly appreciate your professionalism and substantive support in the process of recruitment of new employees. 

Our very high rating is also influenced by the quality of purely human relations with your representatives, their openness and friendly, partner-like attitude to cooperation.

What is your digital vision or strategy?

It seems that due to the growing digital talent gap (in the sense of people producing IT solutions), an effective and often chosen approach to try to solve this problem by companies will be the conversion of some business employees to technical employees (citizen developers). 

This approach must go hand in hand with a further increase in the popularity of low-code platforms, and therefore also the leader of this segment – Pega. As a company which (including Bizmatica) has probably been working with this technology for the longest time on the Polish market, we would like to become the first choice for all Polish companies considering implementation of this technology or further development of their existing applications. 

We would like to further expand our activities focused on popularising this class of solutions on the Polish market – so that an increasing number of companies recognise their possibilities and potential. Automation of business processes, flexibility, and speed of their adaptation to changing market conditions, improving the speed and quality of customer service in the increasing number of available channels of communication with them – all these, in our opinion, will be the key elements determining the success of companies soon. 

Modern BPMS solutions are ideally suited to this environment, as they address all these needs using a single, consistent platform. We believe that by focusing on this area we will be able to further develop our business, helping our customers to achieve their ambitious goals.

How do you see our shared digital future?

Above all, we see Codecool as an excellent Partner with whom we can implement many projects to support our digital vision and strategy. 

We would like Codecool to help us create the first proprietary Pega-based BPMS application development curriculum in Poland. This would allow trainees to learn about the possibilities and how to work with such a solution at an early stage of their professional development. 

On the one hand, this would increase their attractiveness on the job market, as BPMS and low-code platforms are gaining popularity. On the other hand, it would allow them to make a considered decision as to whether this is a career path that suits them. 

An important aspect of such training, in addition to providing practical knowledge on the use of the tool, would also be to make trainees aware that with proper commitment on their part, they are able to easily find themselves on the job market in application development based on BPMS platforms – and this does not require 5-year studies in IT. 

Pega, being a modern BPMS solution, supporting the low-code approach, seems to be a particularly graceful platform to enter the world of IT. It also offers interesting work at the interface between IT and business, allowing to learn in detail the business processes of the organisation.

Inspired by Clocklike Minds’ example?

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

Hope to talk to you soon!

AGCO: Great teams, smart machines, beautiful locations

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

Next to big and household names, we want to introduce you to smaller, maybe lesser-known businesses. These inspiring digital employers motivate us not only to become better employers ourselves but also to contribute to their success with great new tech colleagues. 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 AGCO, more specifically its service delivery centre, AGCO Hungary Kft. AGCO is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of agricultural engineering. Their portfolio contains exciting international brands, ca. 30 factories worldwide, a dealership network present in 140 countries, and a full line offer from tractors and combine harvesters to silos, smart feeders and precision agriculture machines.

AGCO’s service delivery centre in Budapest is a truly global, multi-functional business centre creating value for most areas of the AGCO business from IT, HR, Purchasing, and Finance, to Technical Service or Engineering. We’ve sat down with Senior IT Manager, Peter Subecz.

Peter, please introduce your company to us. What is AGCO like as a workplace? ​

AGCO is a large multinational company with multiple business lines. We’re proud to be among the top 3 global market leaders in agricultural machine manufacturing. One of our flagship brands, for example, is Fendt. Fendt is so cool and premium that it’s also known as the Ferrari of tractors.

We have 20+ factories world-wide, and several other business units, including a SSC (shared service centre) in Budapest with 400+ colleagues. A big part of the local team works in IT development and architecture, and the focus is both on delivering smart solutions and leading innovation.

Our office is nice and modern, and the vibe reflects a good type of multinational culture. And we have great, international teams with an inspiring mix of cultural colourfulness.

Colleagues stick together, there is a strong sense of solidarity in the air – inspite of the fact that many business units have been acquired and not organically grown from within the organisation. 

There is always opportunity to travel if you like, and our offices and factories are at beautiful places, like in Linnavouri, close to Tampere in Finland, near Neuschwanstain Castle in Germany, outside Vicenza, at the feet of the Alps in Italy, in Beauvais, France, Devon, UK, in Duluth, Minnesota, US, and other amazing locations. 

Work is exciting, too. We’re building hi-tech smart machines and use a DevOps approach for production support and corporate governance. There is so much new innovation ahead of us, that it will give us work for the next 4 to 5 years.

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

As I mentioned, a big part of our business unit is about digital solution delivery and innovation, and we need skilled people to make all that happen. 

Besides solid technical and soft skills we also value an agile mindset and the knowledge of agile principles and methods, because we’re in the middle of an agile transformation, too.

Waterfall is just not good enough for us anymore.

The shift is gradual and business-side will be a part of it, too, not just the IT department.

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

We also feel that it’s difficult to find quality tech professionals today. And it’s more difficult to keep them, too, because people tend to change jobs much easily and faster than just a few years ago. 

We are still confident that we can offer a great workplace and package overall, and strive to continue being the employer that you wouldn’t want to leave.

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

We do both, focus on quality recruitment, as well as continuous training. 

I have 4 DevOps teams with ca. 60 people and we’re still in the process of hiring more. There are teams where half the people come from Codecool. They all specialised in DevOps during their Full-Stack Development training.

When joining us, they always go through an additional onboarding video training series, like everyone else, focusing on our solutions and technologies. 

We offer centralised training programs for existing employees, too, including training in new technologies and soft skills. Everyone has a personal improvement plan, and we make sure to follow-up on it.

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?​

Codecool trains skilled juniors, and you cannot run a development team with seniors only. You always need a good balance of seniors and juniors for efficiency and best results.

We found that Codecoolers were always very motivated, as opposed to many seniors, for example. They want to learn, they want to work, and we appreciate that a lot.

Sometimes they need to further improve some of their skills, for example to work with complex algorythms. This is something that university graduates are better at because they studied linear algebra. But Codecoolers are better at others things: they have hands-on programming skills, and are more confident to try new things, work in teams and explain their approach to their solutions, which is another important part of their work. 

We are happy with our Codecoolers, they fit in our teams very well.

And I also value our cooperation with the Codecool team. I just send them the profiles we need, without explaining it too much, and I always get a short list of matching candidates within 2 days the latest. If I have to wait, it’s more because of our part of the HR workflow sometimes, but all-in-all it’s always a really fast and very convenient process.

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

Agile transformation is not a totally new global trend, but it’s something we’re doing right now, and we put a lot of effort implementing it across our organisation. 

Cloud-based services are another trend we follow – about 60 to 70% of our solutions in total already are hosted in the cloud or shared via the cloud.

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

Our new CIO has launched a large-scale digital transformation, starting from centralising all customer portals based on cloud technology, to be continued by connecting all financial and engineering processes globally. 

Together with our plans about going fully agile and cloudbased, we’re building a globally integrated digital platform for our organisation. While obviously also continuing the delivery of world-class smart agricultural machinery.

How do you see our shared digital future?​

I believe that we will continue to have faster and easier access to more and more information. For the worker next to the delivery line, and the one sitting on the tractor, checking real-time operational data on their smart phone, too. The key is going to be the filtering of the data – in the future even more, than today. The personalisation of the access to data will very much be in focus.

Outside of our domain, in general, I see a similar trend with regards to the information ecosystem. Sustainable energy, and digitalisation eliminating human error are also key areas where I expect substantial and exciting improvements in the future.

Looking for an inspiring digital employer like AGCO? Check out their open positions. If you need training first, consider our Full-Stack Development Course, which will give you the exact skills AGCO and the rest of our 300+ partners are looking for.

Inspired by AGCO’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!

Accedo: Scandinavian vibe and cutting-edge video technology

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

Our partners inspire us not only to become better employers ourselves, but also to contribute to their success with the next generation of skilled tech colleagues. It’s challenging to find the right talent in today’s labour market. We’re proud to be the tech training and hiring partner that can connect businesses with the right talent – our amazing Codecoolers.

MeeAccedo, a tech company delivering ground-breaking video services to the world’s leading broadcasters, content owners and TV operators. We’ve sat down with Head of Software Development, Istvan Hilgert.

Istvan, please introduce yourself and your company to us.

My name is István Hilgert, I’m Head of Software Development at Accedo Broadband HU Kft. 

Accedo is a global company with 16 offices across North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. Our headquarters are in Stockholm, Sweden, so we have Swedish roots. Our Budapest office was opened back in 2014, in the heart of Budapest. Currently we have 60 employees.

We create a next-level video experience for content owners, broadcasters, TV and media providers.

Our 400+ customers worldwide need innovative video streaming solutions with amazing quality. We make this happen on almost any platform, screen, or device.

Why is Accedo a great place to work at?

The first thing that comes to mind is our Swedish roots and our Scandinavian-like company culture. 

We can be laser-focused on driving results, but we are always positive and altruistic in everything we do.

This culture and attitude ensure transparent operations and strict compliance with rules and laws, including the salaries and the labour law. All our colleagues are entitled to a multi-layered benefits package with well-being elements, including optional consultations with a psychologist, too.

We’re keen on creating a healthy work-life balance for everyone, so we also give a lot of room for home office and hybrid work. We value everyone’s opinion and aim for building a culture based on feedback. We try to involve everybody in discussions about important company matters.

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

Well, in the past 6 months, I’d say the situation has turned quite dramatic. I might even say, tragic. It’s getting harder and harder to find highly qualified developers with experience. 

It’s almost like there’s a war fought for tech talent and employers are competing in giving out the highest wages.

It’s difficult to keep up with the competition.

A lot of companies actively go for others’ developers. It’s common for an experienced developer to get multiple job offers in just one week. So, the bottom line is that we’re not just fighting for finding great talent, but also for keeping our colleagues at the same time.

Hiring or training? How do you grow the digital skillset of your organisation?

Recruitment alone is just not enough anymore. 

We have an immersive onboarding training, and all our colleagues get the chance to take part in further professional training and take courses later, too. It’s in everyone’s best interest to use these opportunities, so that they can keep their skills relevant and have a long, successful career.

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?​

We assumed that people who complete Codecool’s year-long course do not only get a wide spectrum of knowledge, but they must be all-in and super motivated, too. Plus, we knew about the pre-selection process they go through in the beginning. 

We also like that Codecoolers learn soft skills, too, so they work well in teams. And they use English during the course, which is especially important for us, since all our partners are located abroad and we’re a completely international company. 

Codecoolers can choose a specialisation at the end of their Full-Stack Development course, so they each have a deeper knowledge of some special field, which is often very valuable.

How do you see Codecoolers after working with them for some time now?

Well, they surpassed all our expectations by handling initial challenges very well. We gave all of them an on-site onboarding training in our specific technologies for a start, and by now they all are working reliably and independently. 

I have to say that every single Codecooler at Accedo was a great pick.

This approach proved to be super successful in our case, and we’re just about to kick off another training for our third round of new Codecoolers. 

Can you share some of your future plans?

Our aim at Accedo has always revolved around transforming the video experience and with that, drive the industry developments further. Our focus is to turn TV viewers into video lovers, globally.

The ever expanding portfolio of products and customers tied together with our new partnerships steer us towards a very ambitious roadmap in terms of growth. Thus we have a quite aggressive approach for future expansion. In Hungary, our focus is on the local talent, but we are open to onboard people from the entire region, the aim being to bring them onboard as soon as possible. And I could also mention our other offices in Stockholm, Madrid and London, where we’re also hiring.

Inspired by Accedo’s example?

Reach out to us 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!

Your top 5 favourite Codecool blog posts from 2021

man reading blog post on mobile

Read again and get new inspiration from your favourite articles by Codecool about training, recruitment and management from last year.

man reading blog post on mobile

It’s almost the end of the year, a great time for some nostalgia. We thought we’d look back and see which of our articles you enjoyed the most last year, which ones generated the most heated discussions, and which ones inspired you most. It was great reading back all your thoughts in comments on LinkedIn under some of them, or just see how many likes and other emojis each got. 

Here goes the top 5 of your favourites. Enjoy (re)reading them!

This was by far your number one favourite post this year. It’s about what we found to be the biggest obstacles to closing the ever growing IT talent gap. The fact that it was so popular shows how important the topic today is, and how many companies struggle with the gap.

4 of the 7 main reasons we found about why it’s still there were:

  1.  Going digital beyond IT, or the fact that more and more digital positions are opening outside of IT, too, in business departments
  2.  COVID-driven digitalisation of not just those innovation areas in previously defined digital strategies, but also forced, quick digitalisation of further, business-as-usual processes
  3. Inflating prices in some countries raising salaries of anyway-not-cheap tech professionals, too
  4. Growing EU and VC funding creating more-and-more IT jobs to fill, especially from 2014 on
Curios about the remaining three? Read the article now, and get inspired about the complex background of this global challenge.

We found that quite an intense discussion started under this post on LinkedIn. It seemed that everyone has an opinion about this controversial topic, and loved seeing your arguments and examples.

Our view,  explained in the post in detail, is that university education has many values, and there are positions where it’s absolutely necessary to have as a background, but there are many more, where it is not. We looked into some statistics from a related research, looked at reasons why we’re biased towards university graduates, and how it can be harmful. We also gave practical advice on how to adjust your selection criteria, if you decide to drop the university degree from your list of primary filters for a candidate.

The article was posted last January, but it still does have its relevance. Open to consider its facts and arguments? Read it (again) here.  

Have you seen the meme, where a woman jumps from a burning building with a sign saying “2020” down into a huge round sheet stretched out by firefighters, only to bounce back and fly into another burning building through the window, with a sign saying “2021”? Well, let’s just say, 2021 didn’t really bring the relief of the pandemic situation and it’s effects that everyone hoped for in the beginning of 2020. 

Recruitment faced its own challenges, after the initial freeze in 2020 through gradual revival, but complete overturn to online and remote operation. The difficult part of writing this article wasn’t the collecting of the challenges, it was to show the opportunities. But we managed, and this became one of your favourites from our blog posts this year.

Wonder how the impersonal, tech-dependent online recruitment process can bring advantages? How the insecurity of jobs in 2020 resulting in lower number of candidate open for a change could work for you? How the digital skills gap can shake your HR strategy up in a good way? Give the article another go, and collect fresh inspiration.

Besides closing the tech talent gap in general, getting more women into tech has been a major focus for companies all over the world in the past years. Since we wanted to do something, too, we created the CoderGirl Scholarship in Q3 2021. The scholarship allows talented and determined women and girls to learn tech for free with us with a guaranteed position in the end,  matching their new skills . We even started a whole new Cyber Security Specialist Course solely for women, with scholarship places only, in November.

In the article, we brought you some facts and figures about the gender gap, as well as some interesting examples when digital product launches went bad only because there were no women involved in the development. We also asked you be part of the change and join us in inviting more women into tech. 

Doesn’t ring a bell? (Re)read the article and be inspired.  

This las one on our (your) list was actually our very first post in 2021. It was a very personal look back at 2020 and look ahead at 2021 by Jozsef Boda, global CEO of Codecool.  It’s quite interesting to reread it and see how we realised our plans (like our series B expectations and the opening of our newest campus in Austria). 

How does he evaluate 2021 and what are his expectations for 2022? You can soon find out from another similar post to come early next year. 

Until then, read (again) this article for a bigger context and some nostalgia.

The above are just a few examples, of course. There were quite a few other blog posts you really liked, like our collection of inspiring podcasts, a success story of one of our graduates featured in a BBC StoryWorks video about our school, and a behind the scenes guide to how we put our company values into practice in tech training.

If you’ve enjoyed reading our blog posts this year,  make sure to subscribe to our Codecool Business newsletter for more.

Stay with us and keep getting inspired for a better digital future in 2022, too.

Scrum in programming training – Tips and benefits

Businesses go agile for better quality products, happier customers and more productive teams. But agility and frameworks like Scrum are super advantageous during the learning process too. We’ll take you behind the scenes to show you how we implement Scrum into our teaching method, and why this is good for you.

The agile way of working is not just a buzzword in the world of IT. 

Today, more than 70% of companies worldwide use agile methods in IT or for their business processes. While IT was the first sector to implement agile values in software development, companies saw the perks, and started rethinking their whole organisation using agile principles, in the scope of large-scale agile transformations.

In software development, most companies made their pledge to the Scrum framework to implement core agile values. Scrum can be a useful addition in the learning process, too, and we’ve decided to make it an integral part of our teaching method.

But what is it about agile that makes it so effective? And why is it so beneficial to use it to teach programming? 

First, let’s see what it really means to go the agile way.


A quick recap on agile

Agile relies on self-organising, cross-functional teams, and it’s a more reactive, more flexible way of organising your company. 

The 4 basic agile values are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Agile prioritises the human element and holds your customer’s satisfaction above all. And we just have to look at the numbers to see that it’s really working. From the 70% of companies that adopted agile, 98% said that it helped to achieve their previously set business goals.

Why? Because agile frameworks can enable your team to create better products by changing specifications and designs on time. They can get up-to-date feedback from customers, and test parts of the product as the process goes. Mistakes or changes in business needs can peacefully coexist with initial plans, and everything can be dealt with on time.

This overall philosophy leads to more productive teams, higher quality products, and satisfied customers


Transform your business with the power of agility

Agile stopped being the IT sector’s secret ingredient a long time ago. So whatever your business profile may be, you can start an agile transformation to make your organisation respond to change better and faster. 

Going agile just for the sake of it will by no means be a guaranteed solution to all your problems. But it could break silos, and enable a more collaborative way of working within your organisation. For example, your IT, HR, and Sales departments could be working together in a more connected way to solve problems and deliver amazing products.

To go agile, you could:

  • transform one section of your company with agile and build a supportive, more traditional business structure around it, or
  • apply agile values to your entire organisation, and all the different departments within.

To start the transformation you should do a detailed assessment of your business.  And if you’ve been wondering, there’s absolutely no need for an already existing agile team within your organisation, and you might as well start from the ground up.


Go agile in programming training, too

To implement agile values in software development, there are a lot of different frameworks you could use. The most well-known and widely-used is definitely Scrum. To implement Scrum effectively in IT, you’ll need a team of developers who’re clear on agile values, Scrum roles, and ceremonies.

And that’s exactly why we made Scrum an integral part of the Codecool way of learning, too. To make sure that our juniors will be well-prepared for individual and teamwork in any Scrum project, as well as continuous learning in their future careers.

Codecoolers learn and work with Scrum from day 1: they do sprint planning, take on the role of the Scrum Master during sprints, and even work with Product Owners (acted out by our mentors) and real customers (representatives from our partner companies). 

Through lifelike projects and real-life inspired user stories, they also learn valuable soft skills, like teamwork, time management, effective presentation, conflict resolution, and assertive communication. They continuously give and receive constructive feedback, and learn what it takes to study on their own. 

But let’s see in detail, how we do all this.


Scrum in action at Codecool

At Codecool we use the below elements from the Scrum methodology in our flagship Full-Stack Development course:

  • the Scrum Master and the Product Owner roles,
  • sprints (with ceremonies, like planning, standups, reviews, retros, demos),
  • the Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog.

Let’s see how we incorporate these in our learning methodology for the best results!

Scrum Master

This title belongs to the person who facilitates Scrum to the team. A Scrum Master is committed to Scrum values and principles and ensures that the framework is followed. 

At Codecool, students select a Scrum Master from among themselves while planning their tasks and priorities for their next sprint. This role rotates by sprint so that everyone can try their hand at it.

It’s the Scrum Master’s job to administrate the team’s progress and to keep in contact with the Product Owner. If there are questions emerging or unexpected difficulties, the Scrum Master moves things further. Scrum Masters in Codecool teams also do hands-on development themselves.

Product Owner

The Product Owner acts as the project’s key stakeholder who has a clear vision of where the team should arrive at the end of the project. They’re the ones communicating with other stakeholders and the ones that understand the market, the customer, and the business too.

At Codecool, mentors act as Product Owners, and usually they create and maintain the product backlog


A sprint is a time-boxed period when a Scrum team aims to complete a set amount of work. 

Just like professional development teams, our students work in one or two-week-long sprints to deliver projects

On self-instructed weeks, they deepen their knowledge on their own with available help from mentors. This setup supports our mastery-based learning method because it improves individual learning and teaches how to take ownership. 

On alternating, teamwork weeks students work in Scrum teams to get closer to the demands of a workplace. That’s when they actually act as any software development team in a Scrum environment.

Sprint planning

Development teams do the detailed planning of the sprint together to kick off the project. During the planning, the team defines what they can deliver in the sprint and how they will achieve it. Codecoolers do the planning, create the sprint backlog and appoint the Scrum Master on Monday.

Product backlog / Sprint backlog

A Product Backlog is a list of deliverables derived from the project roadmap and the high-level business requirements. The most important tasks are shown at the top of the product backlog. At Codecool, mentors act as Product Owners, so usually they create and maintain the product backlog. 

Sprint backlogs list tasks to be carried out in the specific sprint, taken from the Product Backlog. Sprint backlogs at Codecool are created by the student Scrum teams.

Daily standups

From Tuesdays to Thursdays students have their implementation days when they get to do the development planned out for the sprint. Each morning, they have daily standups, facilitated by the Scrum Master, where they align on daily tasks and discuss any obstacles keeping them from going on with their tasks.

Sprint reviews

During sprint reviews, development teams have a chance to check the sprint’s product, and demo the working app or feature to the customer.

Fridays are Demo Days at Codecool, and these days provide an opportunity to have the sprint reviews, and reflect upon the work that has been done during the sprint. Students demo the result of the sprint in the morning in front of teammates and real customers, who are actually guests from our hiring partner companies. 

The focus at demos is always on practising presentation skills, giving detailed, constructive feedback, and discussing learnings.


Retrospective meetings are held to reflect upon what and how went down during the Sprint, facilitated by the Scrum Master They give teams a chance to learn from the setbacks that they encountered, and an opportunity to improve for the future. 

The retros at Codecool usually happen after the demos, on Friday afternoon.

Looking for your next agile developer?

After going through a year-long learning journey organised around Scrum projects, our junior developers are at the top of their game in Scrum teamwork and practices. Due to our super-fast sourcing process, your next junior agile developer could be in your team in just 5 days after you contact us. 

We are also here, if you’re rather interested in up-skilling or re-skilling your existing colleagues in Scrum software development.

If you’d like to hire new teams, and get them through an onboarding training in Scrum software development, then an internal training academy, powered by Codecool, tailored to your exact needs might be the best option for you. 

But why not visit one of our Demo Days on a Friday first, and check out the skills and capabilities of our students yourself? We’d be happy to have you.

If you’re interested, or have any questions, please contact us. Can’t wait to talk to you!

13 tech and management podcasts we follow

woman listening to podcast on phone
woman listening to podcast on phone

Are you the type of developer or tech leader who loves to learn new things every day and keep up with the latest trends – but who also doesn’t have much free time to dedicate to studying? Then podcasts may be your perfect bite-sized bits of daily learning snack. 

You can listen to podcasts while traveling, walking the dog, doing the dishes or to just simply take a break from home office. You can learn new things from them in small chunks, in an entertaining way and without looking at a screen – whether you’re just a beginner yet or already a seasoned pro in your area.

But let’s clarify first: what is a podcast?  A podcast is an audio programme, just like a radio talk broadcast, but you can subscribe to it on your smartphone and listen to the episodes whenever you like. Sometimes a one-man show, often a dialogue, where one or more hosts and sometimes guests discuss a topic. Podcasts come in shorter or longer episodes (from about 5 to 90 minutes), and are published regularly, like every week or month.

You can listen to podcasts on podcast apps, but you can find a lot on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, too. Popular podcast apps include, podbay, spreaker and podbean. When choosing your app or platform, look at the menu of podcasts offered. We like because it’s free and it features a lot of podcasts related to software development.

We’ve collected our favourite podcasts about software development and IT management for your inspiration. Some of them are now archived, another few are on a break, but most of them are active, broadcasting new episodes regularly. We suggest you to browse all episodes anyway, because you can learn a lot from the older ones, too.

Check out our favourites and enjoy! 

Tune into tech: Podcasts for developers 

1. Hanselminutes
Frequency: weekly
Length: 30 to 45 min
Host: Scott Hanselman, a programmer, teacher, and speaker

Scott Hanselman invites a guest ot each episode to talk about his or her professional field. Most of the episodes are about information technology related fields. All episodes are insightful, entertaining and masterfully edited. He takes time to thoroughly prepare for each interview and leads the discussion with deep and well-targeted questions. There are a lot of super interesting episodes among the more than 800.

Recommended sample: SOLID Principles with Uncle Bob – Robert C. Martin

2. Developer Tea

Frequency: 2 to 3 episodes per week
Length: 10 to 20 min
Host: Jonathan Cutrell, a “programmer, podcaster, pilot, and inconsistent alliteration maker”

The purpose of the programme is to discuss questions relevant to developers in short episodes, that you can listen to during a tea break. The brief discussions are straight to the point and usually give very useful tips.  

Recommended sample: Friday Refill: Focusing On Mastery Will Not Limit Your Options

3. Coding Blocks

Frequency: 1 episode in every 3 to 4 weeks
Length: 90 to 120+ min
Hosts: Allen Underwood, Joe Zack and Michael Outlaw, “a few guys who’ve been professional programmers for years”

This podcast is not for beginners. The hosts discuss narrow topics of software development with unusual depth and detail. We especially liked their series about design patterns and clean code. Warning! Deep water, only for swimmers!

Recommended sample: Clean Code – Comments Are Lies

4. MS Dev Show

Frequency: weekly
Length: 60 to 90 min
Hosts: Carl Schweitzer and Jason Young, Microsoft software engineers

The hosts talk to guests about – obviously – mostly MS tech related topics. highly recommended for .NET developers and everyone interested about what’s new around Redmond. A very entertaining programme.

Recommended sample: Git and Bots with Sarah Sexton

5. Soft Skills Engineering

Frequency: weekly
Length: 20 to 30 min
Hosts: Dave Smith and Jamison Dance, software engineers

This podcast helps software developers level up their engineering skills beyond writing code. Topics discussed by the hosts include HR topics like pay raises, hiring and firing developers, technical leadership, learning new technologies, code review etiquette and much more. The hosts are super funny, and they’ll also teach you something new every week.

Recommended sample: Episode 213: Interviewing your future boss and screwed by private equity

6. The .NET Core Podcast

Frequency: weekly
Length: about 1 hour (older episodes: 10 min)
Host: Jamie Taylor, a .NET developer, small business owner, consultant, and community builder

This podcast  is devoted solely to Microsoft’s .NET technologies, the latest news on what you can build with it, and what the community are building. The podcast is created by the host, Jamie Taylor with contributions from developers in the .NET community. It’s also recommended to listeners who are new to development or MS technologies. Each technology is introduced via examples of the applications and system that have been built with those technologies.

Recommended sample: Episode 58 – Practical Debugging for .NET Developers With Michael Shplit

7. Weekly Dev Tips

Frequency: (almost) weekly
Length: 3 to 25 minutes
Host: Steve Smith, also known online as @ardalis, software architect and trainer

Weekly Dev Tips offers a variety of technical and career tips for software developers. Each tip is quick and to the point, describing a problem and one or more ways to solve that problem.

Recommended sample: Requirements and Change with Guest Juval Lö

Listen, learn & lead: Podcasts (not only) for tech leaders 

8. The Solution Focused Podcast

Frequency: 1 episode in every 1 or 2 months
Length: cc 1 hour
Hosts: Members of the UK Association for Solution Focused Practice (UASFP)

The official podcast of the UASFP was archived last year after episode 13, but it remains a great resource for those who help others wanting to become more productive. It’s also highly recommended for coaches, mentors, leaders and other helping professionals. The episodes are providing a deep-dive introduction to solution focus brief coaching, a highly effective methodology for learning organisations focused on people and innovation.

Recommended sample: Ep 1: What Is Solution Focused Practice?

9. Bit of Optimism

Frequency: (almost) weekly
Length: (mostly) 20 to 50 minutes
Host: Simon Sinek, TED speaker, visionary, author, a trained ethnographer, and “an unshakable optimist”

Simon Sinek talks with his friends about what inspire them, touching on topics around “love, life, leadership and silver linings“. He wants to make people feel secure, inspired and fullfilled with their lives everyday. Listen to an episode if you need some inspiration to uplift your mood or to make a difficult decision in your private life or as a leader.

Recommended sample: Episode 37: The Value of Failing with Suneel Gupta

10. Quick and Dirty Tips: The Public Speaker 

Frequency: weekly
Length: 8 to 20 minutes
Host: Lisa B. Marshall, communications expert

This archived podcast features practical, science-based tips around leadership, psychology, and communication beyond public speaking. There are a lot of episodes about giving a talk or presentation, but others focus on workplace communication and situations, like giving feedback. 

Recommended sample: 6 Constructive Ways to Give Negative Feedback

Think outside your box: Podcasts for everyone

11. Simply Focus

Frequency: (almost) weekly
Length: cc 1 hour
Hosts: Elfie Czerny and Dominik Godat, brief coaches

This podcast is a great resource for people who want to achieve an effective focus in their life, and embrace a life in joy and ease. The hosts say that what you focus on in your daily life matters. They advise you to choose focuses that uplift, empower, and amplify useful change. Listen and learn more about the topic for your business and private life.

Recommended sample: SFP 90: Being a Progress Detective: Solution Focus in Business Settings and Conflict Management with Dr. Peter Röhrig

12. Brain Science

Frequency: monthly
Length: cc 1 hour
Host:  Dr. Ginger Campbell, an Emergency and Palliative Medicine physician with an interest in the brain and consciousness

Dr. Campbell and her guests share recent discoveries from the world of neuroscience in a way that anyone can enjoy. She believes that understanding how the brain works gives us insight into what makes us human. It’s also fascinating to learn from some episodes how a scientific method has unravelled a long-standing mystery. All episodes feature deep and quite complex topics, which will require your full attention.

Recommended sample: Jeff Hawkins describes a new theory of Intelligence

13. Productivity Game

Frequency: weekly
Length: 2 to 12 minutes
Host:  Nathan Lozeron, an engineer, educator, and public speaker.

The host’s purpose is to help people feel productive and fulfilled at work. He finds the best books on performance and productivity, and distills them into quick, engaging, and actionable lessons. His podcast has been archived, but he still posts new videos about books on his website.

Recommended sample: GRIT by Angela Duckworth – animated core message

These are just a few of the great podcasts you can find on the internet. We suggest that you keep looking and find the ones that inspire you.

If you’re into tech or leadership, you know that you singed up for a career to be built on life-long learning. That’s why we at Codecool start by teaching our junior programmer students about how to learn and grow, and how they should own and drive their learning process.

If you want to develop yourself in tech beyond listening to podcasts, check out our courses. If you’d rather hire great programmers, or get your  colleagues trained in programming, reach out to us.

Until then: browse, listen and get inspired!

Your employee has changed – new ways of management in post-covid times

We all feel that the pandemic may or may not be over yet. In fact, it seems that we may just be entering a 4th wave in many European countries, and are already in the middle of it in some other parts of the world. However, several countries experienced a relieving break recently after the 3rd wave, in many cases with employers opening up their offices for workers again for the first time since the virus hit us all so badly. And many of these employers experienced a subtle change in the character and attitude of their workers at the same time.

We at Codecool decided to open our offices when the time was right, and not much later invited our students back to the classrooms, too. But we also felt that the pandemic has changed us, our colleagues and our students (among whom may be your next junior programmer colleague, who knows). We felt that we’re just not the same anymore, but also that it’s not so easy to get around this feeling. It’s not so simple or black-or-white. We may be facing another lockdown and return to stricter work rules, and possibly a full WFH (work from home) setup in the coming weeks or months. But we want to be aware of the nature of change we’ve already went through, get prepared for whatever may come next, and maybe adjust the ways we do management in the meanwhile.

So how are we all different after 1+ year of isolation? Why exactly? What should we do or not do about the change? How will Codecool graduates be different from previous years’ alumni, and what will they be like at their brand new work places?

We decided to dig in just to find a load of amazing research and articles already written on the subject. And then opted for a brief summary of the insights we found most interesting and eye-opening.

We then grouped the insights around 4 topics:

  1. Work from home
  2. Speedy digitalisation
  3. Health and wellness prioritised
  4. Global crisis mode

Let’s jump in! See if you find some of these insights familiar or inspiring yourself.


1. Work from home

With the abrupt enforcement of social distancing as the primary means to slow down the new pandemic, WFH quickly became the standard way of working early last year. A Eurofound research showed that about 37% of the EU workers transitioned to WFH, 24% for the first time ever. Previously an employee benefit, WFH was now enforced in a non-negotiable way – only wherever it was feasible, of course. Essential / non-essential service, as well as work requiring physical proximity / work allowing remote setup quickly became relevant labour categories.

The solitude and isolation of single-household workers impacted introverts and extroverts differently, but in general increased depression, boredom and anxiety. In larger households WFH increased familiar disruption taking our focus, and therefore leading to stress. It also shifted our priorities to family and private life

With management moved to remote mode, too, self-management became key and many times a challenge, including flex time management, and especially over-work, paired with unchanged performance (resulting in lower efficiency). Previously rare Zoom calls taking over our work days proved especially draining and stressful in this period.

On the upside, some people experienced a bigger freedom in parallel with the breakdown of physical ties to the office. They started to appreciate the mobility, digital way of work and their new-found relative independence from day-to-day micro-management.

Makes sense, right? Been there, done that. Now wondering, how did all this change your employee and how you should change your ways as a manager?

Here are a few changes paired with useful tips:

→ Balance out changed productivity

Long isolation makes socialising and personal connection both desired and unusual.  Workers may be less productive in the office, too, especially in the beginning, because of spending too much time enjoying each others’ company. The experience may also be draining for them, too, because it’s all new and tiring to have people around again. What can you do? Let them be. Let your workers enjoy just being with their colleagues and take their time talking over coffee or take long lunch breaks. They need this for a healthy balance, to be able to perform on WFH days or overtime.

→ Take back from hands-on management

After experiencing self-management your team might react to your old management style differently now. Take back from managing your workers in general, including micro-management, encourage self-management, increase scope of ownership, make conversations instead of directly assigning tasks, build on the trust you have built out during the remote work period. This will not only help your colleagues deal with the situation, but also you, to grow as a leader.

→ Leave WFH options open

WFH can grow on you, even if you had trouble getting used to it in the beginning. It used to be an employee benefit before for a reason after all – it’s convenient, comfy and practical. Even those workers not particularly fond of the new setup might now expect having the option to work from home time-to-time. Others may not want to return to the office at all, and there are many preferences in between. Make sure to find out how your colleagues feel about the topic and try to take their preferences in consideration when updating your WFH policies. A little flexibility and generosity will go a long way and might actually become a decisive factor for your employees in the end when planning their future career at or outside your company.  Plus, WFH might mean faster, simpler and less expensive labour for your company – you just have to adjust your management style in the long run (→ see also previous point)


2. Speedy digitalisation

In parallel with transitioning work to employees’ homes, companies were forced to move their products, services, processes and channels online, too. Meaning those, that were actually able to, because of their industry, competency and agility. Many others, outside of the non-essential service categories experienced severe disruption, sometimes irreversible losses and went down together with whole industries. And we could see anything in between, too, in different industries, including layoffs, hiring freezes, working time caps, mandatory holidays and pay-cuts.

Workers of digitalising companies had to face further challenges in parallel with moving work home. They had to get used to and manage brand new digital work tools, processes and products, all of these sometimes requiring new tech skills, too. This made them question their own work statusabilities, confidence and blurred the lines of previously clear career prospects. And they had to get to learn to work with a new type of connectedness, digital connection, which gained so much ground in times of social distancing.

They also saw the world of work becoming not just a much more digital, mobile, connected and global, but also an insecure place where people can lose their jobs from one day to another, many times with no feasible “plan b”-s to quickly bounce back to.

Sounds familiar? We’ve all been part of this and we’ve all been impacted one way or another. 

Here are a few things you can do about some of the changes left on your employees:

→ Go agile now

One shared trait of organisations surviving and thriving after the 3 waves of the pandemic is agility. It’s not too late to go (more) agile even now, it’s rather a must. We just learnt how an unforeseen global crisis can stop our world and force us off our beaten paths. Can we really expect something like this to not happen again? Better get prepared now. Prepare your teams and processes to act fast on change in opportunity or demand, recover from an unexpected fall and continue to operate in some alternate setup. Go creative and think out of the box together – and don’t try to predict the way things will turn out, rather hack your future by preparing for as many options as possible building on an agile way of thinking and frameworks.

→ Apply new ways of reskilling fast

Newly digitalised businesses require new digital skills from employees.  It’s high time to prioritise strategic skill planning and rapid reskilling. According to Forbes the 2 key skills needed to manage uncertainty and digitalisation of the future are coding and empathy. Codecool‘s developer courses help build a strong foundation of both coding and soft skills, using a project-based curriculum and agile workplace-like setup. They are available for individuals and companies, too, both for absolute beginners and more advanced professionals. 

→ Automate part of the work

Whatever can be automated, should be now. Maybe it’s a bigger challenge in your industry than in some others, but think tasks instead of whole jobs. Especially routine tasks which used to be done in-person previously, but must now be solved online can be good candidates for automation. Think of it as just one more step ahead, to manage higher demand, changed WHF work-load and also, your employee’s motivation.


3. Health and wellness prioritised

With a global pandemic at the center of all the shake-up, our and our loved ones’ physical and mental health quickly gained priority on our list of concerns. What contributed to this? The strictness, urgency and extent of different protective measures, the questions around the nature and seriousness of the new virus induced disease, the risk to our health, isolation and / or being closed in together with our families, plus the media hype on top of it all had their share. 

Stress levels rose, and depression and anxiety cases became common even in people not directly impacted. Those who fell sick got an extra dose of the mental burden, too, plus experienced mild to serious physical symptoms and even have had to start getting used to the fact that some kind of post-covid symptoms might also impact their lives even on the long run (possibly hindering their performance at work, too). And many others, who experienced loss and tragedy have still have to learn to survive and live a full life, or at least regain some of their motivation to be able to function, and not just at work. All this resulted in people in general starting to reprioritise health and wellness, valuing rest and off-work time more than before, turning inwards and also to others with more compassion. 

You can help your employees with these issues, too.

→ Make their physical health your priority

Supporting your employees in keeping safe from or dealing with health issues should be a no-brainer. It’s also in your best interest to do everything you can to help your workers maintain their good health. Consider how you can contribute from facility management through work-time policy review to employee benefits system adjustments. Small changes matter, too. 

→ Use office space to help mental recovery

Let the work place take on a new, important role, to give space to healing through community experience. You might even want to adjust the size, function and outlook of the work space to support this new role. It should encourage team and 1-to-1 connection, fun moments and quiet withdrawal, too. Provide for random encounters, scheduled social ceremonies and sufficient personal space and time.

→ Provide access to professional mental support 

Endorse and communicate the idea that it’s OK not to be OK. Notice and avoid toxic positivity. But in the first place, accept that as an employer it’s in your best interest to care about the mental health of your workers. Don’t try to solve the new challenge in-house, find a professional partner to help your employees with consulting, coaching or team sessions.


4. Global crisis mode

Accept that the global pandemic is in fact a crisis, and you’re crisis managing. We’re all in this together, which makes the situation even more overwhelming for everyone. We all feel lost in the middle of the information overload, sensationalist news and conspiracy theories. We question our priorities and values, and also our purpose. Not so sure anymore what we should want from life. 

All of these problems may sound like aspects way beyond your managerial scope and competence. But you should care if you want to retain and motivate your employees once again. And the good news again is that you can actually make a difference.

→ Stop the infodemic 

This pandemic is also a “digital epidemic” causing information overload. To stop it on an individual level “social media distancing” can help. As a manager you may want to share only relevant and updated information about the situation. 

→ Make the situation clear 

Management in times of uncertainty, change and complexity requires clear communication. Aim at simplicity and transparency. Besides telling your employees what will happen, what will not happen and what you expect from them, make sure to use their words, ask for their feedback and answer their questions the best you can. You can’t and shouldn’t know everything, but whatever you know communicate with clarity. It restores a level or safety, strengthens trust and creates openness in the organisation. 

→ Give a sense of purpose 

Reinforcing your shared purpose might also be important for your employees in these uncertain times. When everything is being questioned, including what we should believe in and strive for in life, a sense of purpose and connection to work and how it benefits customers might help them more then ever. Make sure you make the occasion into a discussion rather than an announcement. Spend time to understand their needs and expectations and build on these.

Sounds like a lot of changes and to do’s? We feel you. 

But instead of thinking expectations, try to look at all these tips and insights as opportunities. We at Codecool do our best but still don’t yet do everything suggested above. The point is that we do our best and that we show that we care.

And we also do care about your future employees, also because we are training them right now. Besides turning our students into the best junior programmers you’ll find on the market, we’re helping them strengthen their soft skills and work together with them in an agile framework. 

All this to make sure they’ll not only be able to code, but also to cope – whatever challenges we all might face next. 

Boost Team Productivity: Follow These 4 Rules of Doing by Non-Doing

Looking to learn new ways to make your team productive? Non-doing doesn’t exactly sound like a productivity spell, but it can become one. Let’s see, how. 

As we are slowly returning to some kind of a new normal and exploring hybrid work options, productivity challenging online meetings, home office days and virtual team setups remain our reality.

Managing a learning organisation, team energy and effectiveness has never been more more tricky, than in this almost-post-pandemic era. We have to learn new ways to stay productive again, even if they make us leave our comfort zones for a change.

Non-doing doesn’t exactly sound like a productivity spell, but it can become one. The idea is not new at all, but it might just be time to revive it.

Where does the concept come from and what does it even mean?

It’s an ancient idea that’s certainly stood the test of time, having first appeared in the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s writings over 2000 years ago. And although “wu wei” literally means non-doing or non-action, it’s anything but a form of passivity.

Think of non-doing as effortless action: getting the greatest outcome possible by doing the least possible.

Why is it relevant today?

But why should we embrace this very concept in an age of constant change, competition and pressure to perform?

For starters, because it’s time for leaders reinventing their management styles.

In the golden age of the knowledge society, autocratic management (even the parental style, with the kindest possible intent) is hardly ever a good strategy. The most successful companies and teams out there aren’t the ones that always follow the rules but the ones that don’t think twice before completely rewriting them. And they tend to have managers that expect the same from their employees.

In a game where creativity wins it all, good leadership isn’t about instructing, dictating or checking. It’s more about asking, inspiring and supporting. In other words, non-doing.

Here are our 4 don’ts, if you want to master the art of effortless action.

1. Don’t try to be a know-it-all

A company culture based on non-doing is built on the fact that no one holds the Philosopher’s Stone. Meaning that no leader or team member has the ultimate truth.

Why is this important?

First, because there is no Philosopher’s Stone – and noone is infallible.

Second, because if you obsess about single truths, you’ll encourage unhealthy group dynamics. Whether you’re in a meeting or in a classroom, if your feeling of being right shoots up, so does your feeling of authority right away. Authority limits flow, creativity and innovation.

When building a supportive environment instead of a domineering one, finding a single right solution or flashing your insight will loose its significance. You’ll embrace the search and remain open to experiment, take risks and even stay silent, as needed.

2. Don’t put people in boxes

Aka the number one rule for a strong feedback culture: try not to stick labels on people, whether positive or negative.

For example, if you say “You’re smart!” to someone, nobody will know what exactly was good about their work, including them. Similarly, if you tell someone they’re slack, you basically imply that there’s something wrong with them as a person, not helping with constructive feedback to improve.

That’s why labelling is one of the biggest obstacles to development both for individuals and a company as a whole.

Don’t put stars or talents on a pedestal, but put the valuable behaviours in the spotlight. Make sure these are transferred among people, supporting learning, growth and motivation at company level.

3. Don’t offer ready-made answers

In a non-doing organisational culture, employees value attention more than solutions.

So if someone has a problem, others shouldn’t tell them how to solve it, but help them find the answer instead. Even if this means that a task will take longer or require more attempts.

How will that help?

If you hand ready-made solutions to someone on a plate, you also take away something crucial: the opportunity to learn. If you want someone to grow, you need to assist them with creating a learning environment in which they themselves go through trial and error.

On the side, you’ll boost their motivation and who knows, even you might learn something new in the process.

4. Don’t take away responsibility from others

In other words: “No pressure, no diamonds”. The saying rings as true as ever: people can only improve if they’ve got responsibility, if what they do is meaningful and has consequences.

Autocratic leadership (including micro management) withdraws this power, as it takes away the possibility from others to become and remain in charge of their own work and growth.

So just because you think you’re better or faster at a task, don’t take it over from others.

If an employee would like to change something at the company, and it doesn’t directly violates shareholder interest or personal safety, consider letting them do it. The company is as much theirs as yours, and they need to experience this. Try make every project run by whoever is the most motivated. Work actively on creating a sense of ownership, and enjoy the benefits.


We at Codecool actively and consistently practice non-doing, or non-teaching at our courses. We facilitate discovery by learning instead of providing all the answers upfront. This way Codecoolers gain a deeper knowledge, enhance their creativity, develop a passion to learn more – and have much more fun.


Obviously, there are situations when non-doing is not  good idea. If a fire breaks out, please ring the alarms, and don’t wait for a team consensus on possible even better solutions and learning opportunities.

The point is: the house is not always on fire, and you shouldn’t act like it is. Start with noticing if you do, and try something different for better results: try non-doing instead.