Improving the world with data and mathematics

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

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 Codecooler graduates, the best tech juniors on the market.

Meet ORTEC, the world’s leading supplier of mathematical optimisation software and advanced analytics. With headquarters in the Netherlands, around 1,000 employees worldwide and offices in 13 countries around the globe, ORTEC is a truly global company. This time, we sat down for a chat with their Senior HR Manager, Tania Ion.

Tania, please introduce your company to us. What is ORTEC like as a workplace?

At ORTEC, we’re passionate about what we do and we’re proud of our employee-oriented culture. We value teamwork, creativity and ownership and our colleagues are happy to be given the chance to speak up and take initiative. We have real talent recognition, provide work flexibility to our colleagues, support their career development and reward their performance too.

I’m proud to have been working for ORTEC for almost 9 years now. We’ve had exciting, challenging projects and I had the pleasure of working with wonderful people and of developing along with the company.

Why are digital talent and skills important for your business?

New digital talent is vital to growing our company further since our purpose is to improve the world using data and mathematics. We believe that data-driven decisions empower companies to reach a higher level of performance, and our clients achieve this with our software. The quality of digital talent and skills will reflect upon the quality of service we deliver to our customers.

You can hear about the growing digital talent gap everywhere. What’s your opinion about it?

There are studies which confirm not only the existence of the gap but its widening as well. What we see is that this situation combined with talent scarcity forces organisations to develop the necessary skills of their employees through internal training programs instead of just hiring new people to fill in the gaps.

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

We developed an internal academy that offers ORTEC employees continuous learning possibilities by organising a diverse and up-to-date curriculum in various knowledge domains.

Since attracting and keeping talent has become more and more difficult in the past years, both hiring and training measures should be applied equally in my opinion.

What global and local trends impact your digital hiring and training efforts?

Remote work has reshaped the way we work. For example, some teams have been mixed from different locations, and some people are now involved in new projects that required a different type of skill set before. Adapting to changes is vital to developing any business so we focused our efforts to support and embrace these changes.

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?

Considering the talent scarcity combined with the tough competition in our local market, we embraced a new channel of insourcing talents by collaborating with Codecool. We can see through the students that we work with how effective Codecool’s structure and learning methodology are.

Our partnership is based on transparency and trust which we value a lot. We’re happy to have covered some of our job openings with your help.

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

Scaling our business to live up to future digitalisation needs will have to be organised in steps, so it will ensure a smooth transition, which should not affect the services provided to our clients. For instance, we started implementing more and more AI technologies in our services and this leads to improved efficiency of our products.

How do you see our shared digital future?

Well, there’s only one way to go and that’s up! We’re confident about our common digital future as a whole and we embrace the benefits that it has to offer.


Inspired by ORTEC’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!

“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!

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!

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!

“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.

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

Sprints

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.

Retrospectives

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!

What to expect from your junior programmer – 5+1 things to look out for

Junior developers on the job market today can possess amazing skills, and can even show up to an interview with great references. To make your hiring process easier, we created an outline on the skills and hallmarks of a great junior developer in 2021.

Defining what type of professional you need in your growing IT team can be a challenge. Do you need an experienced veteran who is able to make quick decisions or is ready to mentor their colleagues? Or maybe you could achieve more by hiring a motivated junior professional, who’s willing and eager to deliver high-quality work under supervision. Your business needs both juniors and seniors to thrive because they add value on different levels.

There’s a catch: one company’s definition of “senior programmer” could be the next company’s ideal junior developer. For example, one developer could be considered “senior” with respect to Java development, but at the same time be considered “junior” at HTML5. So categorising and labelling applicants according to their experience is not a cookie-cutter process. Plus, there are many more things you can expect from your next junior colleague apart from having some experience. 

On another note, age-old hiring practices are becoming outdated. For example, university degrees are becoming less and less of an expectation, and you can expect juniors to have some experience nowadays. Plus, more and more companies are opening up their positions globally, even overseas due to the changes that the pandemic has brought. You have the option to recruit junior developers from all over the world and offer them remote positions.

But before we dive into the topic of juniors, let’s quickly explore the skills and capabilities of a senior developer for some context.

What can you expect from a senior developer?

Programmers in a senior role usually have 5+ years experience at a certain technology.

Seniors should be critical thinkers and practice full ownership. They are the ones you can trust in an organisation to keep the big picture in their minds as challenges and problems arise. Seniors ideally place responsibility on themselves first, whether or not their team is succeeding. Apart from being responsible, seniors are generally experts at:

  • Liaising with internal and external customers and stakeholders
  • Leading and mentoring teams
  • Driving projects and keeping the big picture in mind
  • Having an innate understanding of software systems and architecture 
  • Advanced understanding of frameworks, technologies, testing, and troubleshooting methods
  • Analysing business needs and user expectations
  • Ability to lead and mentor teams and drive projects

There are a number of areas where a seniors excel. However, having a team full of seniors could be an over-kill, because junior developers can also be a great addition to your organisation.

So what exactly can you expect from a junior developer?

When we talk about a “junior developer” we usually think of someone who has 1 to 3 years of experience in any given technology. 

As a general rule of thumb, we can say that juniors should be able to perform technical tasks independently,  but they will need some governance and consultation on a general basis. They should focus more on the code and sub-tasks assigned to them by seniors, and less on the big-picture, architecture and strategy.

In short, these are the things you can expect from a junior developer in the year 2021:

  • 1) Have a basic understanding of technologies and development
  • 2) Have demonstrable, relevant experience
  • 3) Understand agile practices
  • 4) Deliver high-quality work under supervision
  • 5) Possess great soft and interpersonal skills
  • +1) Have a strong drive to learn and progress

Let’s dive deeper into each point, and explore why they are important to have in a junior developer.

1) Have a basic understanding of technologies and development

A junior shouldn’t focus on the big picture, and should rather get busy with working on specific features of a product. But having a knowledge of what processes are involved in creating a software will make everybody’s life in the team easier. So a junior should ideally know how the development cycle goes, and it’s more than ideal if they’ve been through the entire development process a couple of times before. 

Technology-wise, your business will define what skills are most valuable, but you can expect a good junior programmer to know around 4-6 programming languages. Juniors should be excited to learn the technology stack that’s relevant for your business, so expect them to be eager and willing to learn new things. 

Top junior developer candidates will have an innate understanding of the development cycle and will know their way around the processes and the roles. So expect your junior to understand the software development process and where they fit into the big picture.

2) Have demonstrable, relevant experience

In terms of hiring, experience is still golden in the eyes of companies– but the type of experience someone has is a game-changer. Experience can be gained through personal projects, at a programming school, during an internship, or at university. So experience doesn’t always have to come from a full-time job. The bottom line is to see relevant experience on your candidate’s CV because you can expect any junior to be able to demonstrate some type of work.

You can expect junior developers to show up to the interview with a solid project portfolio and relevant programming experience. 

3) Understand agile practices

Agile software development is the universal best practice in software development right now, and around 92% of business owners think that the key to their company’s success lies in agile.

Hiring a junior developer who knows their way around sprints, or is up to make a team-based decisions will prove to be a great pick when your team works in agile. Of course, you can’t expect every candidate to have worked on a live project with agile methods, however, you can expect your new junior colleague to have a basic understanding of agile practices.

A great junior candidate will be well-prepared to start working in any software development team. You can expect them to understand what Scrum, daily standups, sprints, retrospectives, client demos, and collaborative work are. 

4) Deliver high-quality work under supervision

A junior should be able to work independently, but will need some supervision, guidance, best-practices and mentoring from senior colleagues from time to time to be able to progress and deliver the best quality of work. It’s a more senior colleague’s place to make decisions and to mentor junior colleagues, but a junior should demonstrate the motivation and the energy to learn and progress. Still, you can definitely expect a junior to be able to work on their own and to find solutions to smaller issues by themselves. Having a great work ethic and a keen eye for details will prove to be amazing features in your new junior developer.

An ideal candidate will be a confident, self-sufficient professional who won’t shy away from putting in the work to solve a challenge. Still, it’s great if they know when to ask a question or look for support from their peers. You could ask your candidate: “When was the last time you had to ask for help, why, and were you able to solve the challenge then?” Expect junior developers to have a great answer to this question, and to have an inner drive to learn and excel at their work.

5) Possess great soft and interpersonal skills

Your new junior colleague should be able to adapt to your company culture and team dynamics quickly and seamlessly. This process will be a whole lot easier with a colleague who has great social skills and who possesses certain soft skills.

Imagine a scenario where your new junior developer is expected to demo their work, but appears  to be uncomfortable presenting themselves in a professional way. Or think about initial conflicts that can arise during a colleagues onboarding and first few months. How will your new junior handle constructive criticism, communicate with their colleagues, and adapt to the changes that are bound to happen?

We know that soft-skills are in the focus of many hiring managers today, and they are just becoming more and more important by the day. Skills like presenting, feedback giving and receiving, time management or conflict management will all be invaluable in your new junior colleague. So expect them to have great soft skills, and you’ll have a faster time onboarding and integrating them into your team.

+1) Have a strong drive to learn and progress

Companies work in a changing environment, and digital transformation comes with a continuous change in processes and technologies. A great junior sees changes not as a threat, but as challenges to solve. They are happy to learn and implement new technologies, processes and ways of work. 

Personality-wise, look for a demonstration of motivation and genuine energy, plus a willingness to learn from mistakes when you’re interviewing juniors. Apart from the points on our upcoming list, expect your new junior to be open to constructive criticism, and have a real drive to progress at their craft. By paying attention to these qualities, you can make sure that your new colleague is excited and ready to learn and work in your team.

During the interview, you could ask your candidate to tell a story where they were able to learn from a mistake and get them to explain how they handled the initial criticism. Or you could ask them to tell when they supported their team, even though they did not 100% agree with the direction the team wanted to take. Hearing these stories could give you a great general idea about the type of person your candidate is, and about the level of support and commitment they can give.

Ready to find your next junior developer?

If you’re looking for a candidate who has a checkmark next to every item on this list, consider partnering with Codecool. Codecool graduates are great junior developers that can tick all the boxes on your list of expectations, and help your organisation grow. Our motivated junior professionals can deliver high quality work from day 1 in your projects.

Interested? Get in touch with us and let’s talk business. We’re excited to hear from you!

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.

3 IT Recruitment Challenges in 2021 – and Why They are Actually Opportunities

Obviously, there are much more than three challenges that recruiters must face today.

Low diversity, shrinking networks, corporate hiring and individual career-change freezes, virtual recruiting, a growing digital talent skills gap… And the list could go on.

We picked the last three from the above list because we believe they are not only very pressing problems today, worsened by the pandemic, but also because they are connected somehow. If we look at them closely we might find that they are not just challenges, but also opportunities.

If managed well, they may become our chance to gain advantage in a strained race for digital growth.

How?

Let’s check it out.

 

1. Virtual recruitment is the new normal​

After being forced to transition to online recruitment from one day to another in 2020, today we see there is no way back. 84% of recruitment professionals in EMEA agree that virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID and 70% believe it will become the new standard.

Many of today’s Gen Y job seekers would not even consider a company with outdated hiring processes. Different job seeker groups may find digital selection processes uncomfortable on the other hand.

How is this a challenge?

It is easy to see. Virtual recruitment can be impersonal, technology is sometimes a challenge or obstacle to overcome, and there is an increased number of irrelevant responses from candidates who would not enter an on-premise, face-to-face recruitment process.

How is this an opportunity?

Digital and virtual hiring can be much faster and cheaper. It supports a global recruitment for remote work, opening up the possibility to hire from a vast talent pool, including an emerging CEE talent hub with multiple benefits. It also offers momentum for realising long planned automation and innovation projects.

 

2. A career-change freeze trend is slowing down mobility

Prospering industries have been brought down and several individual businesses going strong previously were heavily shaken after the break-out of the pandemic and due to prolonged restrictions, only forecasting the shadow of a possible economic crisis. Initial response after the first shock included hiring freezes and layoffs even at the most stable companies. 

With a growing number of people losing their jobs and a steady income, individual job security started to become more and more important, and career ambitions featuring risky moves less and less urgent, impacting the talent market.

How is this a challenge?

Those who could keep their jobs are more risk-aware now. They are less likely to make a move for more fitting or exciting propositions at a different work place, which obviously decreases the available quality talent pool.

How is this an opportunity?

Your own employees might be in a similar situation and now more interested for internal career opportunities. Providing you with a unique chance for strengthening their loyaltyupgrading the organisational skillset, and at the same time saving the higher cost of layoffs and external recruitment.

 

 

3. The digital skills gap keeps widening

There are multiple reasons behind the continuous growing of the tech skills gap, and the discussion about how to close it has been a central one for years now. There are 41 million tech jobs to be filled today, and there will be an additional 149 million to fill by 2025. Besides the software and information tech industry the gap is more and more of a pain point for all other industries, too, and tech skills are now required at more and more traditionally non-technicals positions, too. 

The #1 hard skill to recruit for is coding, besides the #1 soft skill, which is empathy – an enabler to tackle the unforeseeable challenges of a possibly very different, and definitely digital future. And universities just can’t keep up or provide the flexibility to meet the ever-changing and growing market demand.

How is this a challenge?

How it is not, right? Obviously it is already difficult to fill positions that require special digital skills, and even more difficult to find candidates with equally developed hard and soft skills. Digitalisation projects are delayed, and existing digital teams are many times exhausted.

How is this an opportunity?

If digital skills are in high demand at employers, then they are the best bet and attractive targets for self-development for individuals, as investment in the future. Often it is relatively easy to motivate otherwise valuable employees without any IT background to enter re-skilling programs, and IT professionals to up-grade their skills to match newer digital innovation projects. 

Adding more flexible, effective and faster alternative sources of digital talent might also provide a real competitive edge – due the intense race for talent on the market, and the direct impact of the result on the speed and quality of digitalisation. 

 

Of course, it sounds all nice and easy, and it only gets hard when thinking about how to actually implement the suggested ideas. 

You may very well ask yourself: Where do I start hiring globally? How will I assess applicants from foreign cultures in an impersonal hiring process limited to the virtual space, and how do I manage my deadlines, too? 

How will I offer meaningful and quality internal digital training programs for my employees, suited for the different levels of their knowledge? Or how do I find open digital courses for them that actually meet my exact needs regarding hard and soft skills? 

These are obviously new challenges in themselves, requiring new solutions. 

Solutions like the ones Codecool offers. We are here to help.

We connect CEE digital talent and digital businesses around the world, and make sure to provide candidates with the exact needed skills in the process. We offer accessible open courses and tailored corporate training programs supported by pro mentors leading face-to-face sessions, a project based training method, agile team work and a growth mindset. 

We also offer recruitment services building on our vast junior and senior digital talent network, and successful recommendation system. Corporate digital academies powered by Codecool  find, hand-pick, train and onboard the digital talent our partners need.

 

Let’s turn your challenges into opportunities. Check out our services, send us a message and let’s discuss how we can help you.

Hope to talk to you soon!