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

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

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

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

What you need to know about the two companies

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

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

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

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

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

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

What benefits does the merger bring to our corporate partners?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

We’re here to serve this!

József Boda and Michal Mysiak sign the merger contract

Looking for next-generation tech talents?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you see our shared digital future?

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

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

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

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


 

Inspired by Innoveo’s example?

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

Hope to talk to you soon!

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!

Cool leaders: Miklós Beöthy, Codecool Hungary

Miklos Beothy

In this blog post series, we’re sitting down for a chat with people making the Codecool vision happen. Please meet Miklós Beöthy, Country Manager of Codecool Hungary.

Miklos Beothy

If you want to meet inspiring people, Codecool is a great place to be. Every day we meet hundreds of smart, ambitious and cool students that study with us to change their careers and our shared digital future. And we meet innovative, great leaders with a vision from hiring companies that employ our students to build a digital future.

But it’s not only our students and partner company leaders who inspire us. We also make sure to work with colleagues that are equally amazing and make the Codecool mission and vision come to life.

We had the chance to sit down with one of our colleagues to talk about his current goals, challenges and outlook on the future. Please meet Miklós Beöthy, Country Manager of Codecool Hungary.

Miki, how would you introduce yourself, if you were not allowed to mention your work?

My name is Miki, I am 40 years old, I have a two-year-old son, Bazsi, and I love mountain biking. 

I started to bike 5 or 6 years ago. At first, it was just a leisure activity, then I began to participate in amateur competitions. Last year, after loads of training, I completed the Salzkammergut Trophy B distance, which is 120 kilometres long with almost 4000 metres increase in level. I am not planning to stop here, my aim is to complete the A distance as well, which is about twice as long as the B one. 

And I can’t wait for Bazsi to be old enough for us to bike together in the woods.

What is your work now actually? What are you responsible for?

I’m the Country Manager at Codecool Hungary. As the operating manager of the Budapest campus, the online courses and the corporate business here I’m basically responsible for the success of these.

What did you do before?

I studied computer science and engineering at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and as a sophomore I was a full-time programmer. I have quite a versatile experience, I worked at small IT companies, media outlets and agencies as well. 

For about 8 years I worked at Digital Natives, a startup company. I arrived a few months after its formation, later I became a co-owner, and I was the leader of a developer team with 12-15 members. It was an extremely exciting period for me, but in 2014 the inevitable career crisis that everyone experiences from time to time, hit me. 

A couple of years after the financial crisis of 2008 all of a sudden IT was blooming, and everyone had an “excellent” idea for a startup. At DiNa we were implementing such ideas of the clients through consultation, development and operation. Of course, there were many challenging tasks, but I often felt even during the first discussions with the partners, that it will be another project that lands in a drawer written on a DVD, because it is not going to be a huge success.

One day I woke up and said to myself: “I don’t want to do this anymore.” So, I left the company to look for new adventures.

Meet cool leaders I Miklos Beothy

Why did you decide to join Codecool?

After I broke off from DiNa, I had a one-year sabbatical. I didn’t really work except for a few side jobs, I was travelling for a while in Southeast Asia, and I started to think about what to do next career-wise. 

I loved developing. It is one of the few activities during which I can often be in a flow, and it can really pull me in. Technology was always my cup of tea. However, in the meantime I wanted to get closer to people. 

In the summer of 2015, I was a volunteer at Skool, where I worked as a mentor throughout the summer camp, and I was teaching programming to 8-14-year-old girls. It was an amazing experience. I still remember biking to the Grund (where the camp was held) with a smile on my face every morning, despite the fact that I was exhausted by the end of every day. It occurred to me during that summer that maybe I could do this as a job, not just as a volunteer thing. 

I don’t really believe in destiny, but strangely enough a few weeks later Tomi Tompa, who was my colleague at DiNa, reached out to me saying that there is an IT school in Miskolc, called Codecool, and they would like to expand, and open a campus in Budapest, which is why they are looking for mentors. We sat down with the founders, and a few meetings were enough to convince me that this can be something awesome, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity, so we started to build the school in Budapest with Tomi. 

When we launched the first class in 2016, we had 4-5 team members at Codecool Budapest. Today we have more than 50 colleagues. Since 2020 I have supported the growth of the school as a Country Manager.

What do you like most about Codecool?

No matter what position I hold, it is always the mission of the school that matters to me. 

Throughout the years I have worked with several hundreds of students, and I ran into amazing stories. Many students eventually find their career path after completing Codecool, and they thrive as IT specialists at renowned companies. While I was a mentor, I loved when students had “eureka” moments with my help, and I managed to get them through situations where they were stuck. It is great to see the spark in their eyes, and suddenly they are just soaring.

My mentor colleagues have similar experiences, who hold training sessions for our partners in our corporate business. As a mentor this can be a challenging task, since the participants are often not too motivated at the beginning, because they need to find time for learning besides their job. But at the end of the courses, they give really positive feedback about our work and the outcome.

What's the biggest goal that you set out for yourself in Codecool?

As a Country Manager obviously my main goal is to make the school more and more successful, but I also treat it as a priority to have a professional team at Codecool Hungary. Our recruitment process is excellent, all of my colleagues are competent at their fields, and we have an incredible community culturally and personally. 

I’m striving to keep this vibe. In a community and team like that it is easier to reach our goals: to connect the best juniors of the market with the greatest companies, and take corporate tech training to the next level.

What do you see as your biggest challenge currently?

I think the biggest challenge nowadays is to grow our online full-stack development course by the end of 2022 similar in size to our offline full-stack course. This is key for us to be able to source our partners the best juniors who match their exact needs always in a matter of days. We want to encourage people to give programming a try and convince them that they should learn it at our school. 

I trust that we can reach our goals, because I believe that those who choose us make a good decision, and now anyone can study with us from anywhere in the country.

What global and local trends do you see in the world that impact your work at Codecool most?

In the past two years the pandemic accelerated certain processes that probably would have happened over the next 10 years otherwise anyway. Everyone needed to react to these unexpected changes quickly. 

Many people work from home now, they manage their whole lives online, like shopping, food ordering, official businesses, communication with friends, and everything else. Tons of IT tools are required to support these social needs, therefore you need tons of professionals as well.

Where do you think Codecool is going in the short and long term?

In the short term, we would like to expand, make our courses available to more people even by introducing courses in new forms, and launching completely new courses – including corporate programs and courses offered for individuals as well.

In the long term, our main goal is world domination, but we would settle for Central and Eastern Europe in the next couple of years. We would like to become the biggest and best programming school and corporate technological HR partner in the region.

Miklos Beothy

Why do you think hiring companies should partner up with Codecool?

All of our founders and mentors work in this field. We gathered plenty of experience as managers, IT managers and senior developers, therefore we know what kind of skillset a junior IT specialist needs to get a project delivered quickly and efficiently. 

We also strongly believe that nowadays a programmer needs to be confident not only with tech, but with a team, too. You can be the best programmer in the world, but if you cannot communicate well, you do not manage your time efficiently, you cannot prioritise tasks and deal with clients, then maybe you will not be a perfect fit for a certain position. 

No matter which course we talk about, our top priority is providing up-to-date, relevant hard skills and strengthening the soft skills. Codecoolers don’t have as much theoretical knowledge about programming as university students, but they have much more project experience instead, having worked more in a team and used the newest technologies during our courses.

We have more than 200 partners in Hungary only, and based on their feedback I think we’ve reached our goals. Codecoolers are really among the best juniors on the market, and they can easily compete with university students for the same jobs.

One last question: How do you see our shared digital future?

Incredibly exciting things are going on in the digital world. 

Artificial intelligence is one of the fields, which will be game-changing in the next 10 years. Technology has tremendous advantages, but besides climate change, I am personally concerned about AI, too: I’m afraid that it will have a negative influence on our lives, if we use its potential for the wrong purposes.

Also, I can’t even imagine how dramatically the emergence of blockchain will change certain areas. It’s enough to look at the spreading of cryptocurrencies to realise that there is a huge potential in the underlying technology. 

I think the present is thrilling, I’m looking forward to the future, and I really hope that we’ll be able to make the best of the opportunities the digital world still has to offer us.

ESSA launches a Software Skills Strategy to bridge the software skills gap in Europe

software_skills_strategy

To bridge the software skills gap, ESSA (European Software Skills Alliance) launches a Software Skills Strategy for Europe — it is a stepping stone to answering the lack of software professionals and the future market’s demand for software skills. 

The strategy presents perspectives and expert recommendations to skill, upskill, and reskill individuals into high demand professional software roles. It sets the direction of the work ahead under three important pillars: training, education, and validation. They are the starting points to design up to date, market-oriented VET (Vocational Education and Training) curricula and programmes for software skills in 2022.

  • Train individuals with self-paced and work-based learning. ESSA promotes increased access to the educational offering by addressing the main roadblocks to skilling, upskilling, and reskilling individuals into in-demand software roles.
  • Educate for roles. ESSA supports the development of flexible but widely applicable educational profiles along with specific VET curricula and programmes that are relevant to the software roles profiles.
  • Enable validation across borders. ESSA encourages international mobility by supporting portable and flexible recognition of the learning outcomes at the EU level.
software_skills_strategy

Background

We have about 8 million ICT specialists in Europe which is far behind the 20 million target set by the European Commission. Meanwhile, the European software sector is growing — 45% of organisations surveyed estimate they will need more Developers in the next five years. There is also a strong immediate need for more DevOps experts and Technical specialists. ESSA wants to deliver the learning instruments people need to meet this demand for software skills.

About ESSA

ESSA (European Software Skills Alliance) is a transnational project funded under the Erasmus+ programme to boost software skills in Europe and re-aligning the educational offering and the market’s demand.

ESSA Consortium - Full & Associated partners

Full partners:
Adecco Formazione, AICA, AKMI, AMETIC, ASIIN Consult, BCS Training, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Codecool, DIGITALEUROPE, Digital Technology Skills, Global Knowledge France, Global Knowledge Netherlands, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Hellenic Open University, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Irish Computer Society, IVSZ, MODIS, UNINFO, University of Ljubljana, Warsaw School of Computer Science.

Associated partners:
Amazon Web Services, European Schoolnet, General Assembly, IT Professionalism Europe, NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute.

essa_european software skills alliance

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.

Meet cool leaders: Olga Zelent, CM @Codecool Poland

Olga Zelent

In this blog post series we’re sitting down for a chat with people making the Codecool vision happen. Please meet Olga Zelent, Country Manager of Codecool Poland.

Olga Zelent

If you want to meet inspiring people, Codecool is a great place to be. Everyday we meet hundreds of smart, ambitious and cool students that study with us to change their careers and our shared digital future. And we meet innovative, great leaders with a vision from hiring companies, that employ our students to build a digital future. But it’s not only our students and partner company leaders who inspire us. We also make sure to work with colleagues that are equally amazing, and make the Codecool mission and vision come to life.

Last time we talked to Sigrid Hantusch-Taferner, Country Manager of Codecool Austria. Missed the article? Make sure to catch up now.

This time we had the chance to sit down with another inspiring Codecool leader about her current goals, challenges and outlook on the future. We’re super excited and proud to introduce you Olga Zelent, Country Manager of Codecool Poland!

Olga, how would you introduce yourself, if you were not allowed to mention your work? 🙂

I’m a bookworm, a sports-addict, a theatre junkie and a yogini :heart: I respect all beings, and strongly support equality, especially equality of women in all walks of life (and also in business, IT and boards). I am totally in love with Italy, especially the southern part of this stunning “paese”. I am super happy to be a mom of almost adult teenager Hubi, and sweet doggie Chico. 

What is your work now actually? What are you responsible for?

As a country manager, I’m responsible for the general management of the local business activities of Codecool in Poland. My main duties include scaling up the Polish branch. As always, people are the most important for me so I strongly focus on my team’s wellbeing. Motivating the team and working together is crucial to meet our ambitious targets. 

My job in the end is to make sure we attract more and more talented students, and partner up with more and more corporate partners in Poland, who focus on innovation and digitalisation, looking to either grow or re-skill their teams.

What did you do before?

Originally I’m coming from a totally different area: I am a lawyer by education and I have a background in the pharmacy market. After learning everything I could about the field in sales, operational and general management positions for 10 years, I felt I needed a change. I found information technology and the idea of taking part in shaping our digital future super exciting, so I decided to start anew in this new area. And I never looked back since. 

Why did you decide to come work for Codecool?

Before joining Codecool, I already gained experience in IT at a big digital service provider, and also as a scaling-up expert. I spent some years working for one of our competitors, another Polish programming school as well. I made my decision to join Codecool in July because I saw that my experience could come just at the right time for the local business, and also because the Codecool mission really impressed me.  

I wanted to be part of changing people’s lives for the better by providing them quality, accessible IT education and helping them land their first tech jobs. I already knew the market, I knew what it meant to grow the company from a start-up to a scale-up, and I was excited that I could contribute to closing the digital skill gap in Poland.

Olga Zelent Codecool
What's the biggest goal that you set out for yourself in Codecool?

We’re working on making Codecool the first choice for people who want to learn coding really well, but without having to study for long years. Codecool is more than a bootcamp and better than a university, and we want to grow it bigger to bring this ground-breaking type of programming education closer to even more people and companies. 

I couldn’t do all this without a great team, so my first task here was to strengthen the stability and motivation of the local team. Our next, shared goal is to make Codecool a leader in the alternative tech education market in Poland.

What do you see as your biggest challenge currently?

Our biggest challenge on the market today is to show that our offers are not empty promises, but true propositions. We offer a real job guarantee, actual post-payment options, and high quality, project-based education for our students.  And we offer quality candidates with agile project experience and advanced programming and soft skills for our partner companies. Our competitors are fast to repeat all our promises, but they fail delivering on them. The result is a loss of trust impacting the whole market, and Codecool, too, obviously. 

We are doing our best to show Polish people and companies that we can be trusted to deliver on all our promises and make no compromises about keeping our end of a learning or partnership agreement. I know it all sounds too good to be true, but we really managed to come up with a unique business model that works, and when we promise something, then we truly mean what we say.

What trends do you see in the world that impact your work at Codecool most?

We see that the pandemic brought a significant change of attitude in big companies. They’ve started to see more value in re-skilling and up-skilling their existing workforce instead of letting go employees and hiring new ones to grow the digital skillset of their organisations. They are now trying to build stable, loyal, strong in-house digital teams by retaining and  motivating their best people, as well as enriching their skillsets through quality tech training. 

Codecool is not only about open trainings, we can be valuable allies in building digital skills in-house. We have a solid track record of quality corporate re-skilling and up-skilling training programs, as well as full-scale internal academy solutions. Our courses are always tailor-made to the exact business needs of our partners, because every organisation and every digital strategy is different.

Why do you think hiring companies should partner up with Codecool?

We’re quick, flexible and effective. We offer great junior programmers that we ourselves would be happy to work with. Who have the motivation and skills to deliver value in the jobs from day one as proactive members of any team. The hiring process of Codecoolers is fast and painless, too, while our corporate solutions are tailored to our partner’s specific needs and exact requirements. Internal academies powered by Codecool have a proven track record of re-skilling and up-skilling existing employees to work together in highly effective digital teams. 

Where do you think Codecool is going in the short and long term?

In the short term, we’re becoming the first choice for more and more people thinking about a career change to IT, and for more and more companies with ambitious digital strategies and a mature approach to tech talent recruitment and digital skill development. 

In the long term, we’re growing into being the leading programming school, and digital educational and hiring partner in Europe.

How do you see our shared digital future?

I see a bright future with our lives, economy and markets entirely built on digital solutions. And I see teams of digitally skilled people building these solutions in cooperation, using not only advanced technology, but also strong soft skills for a better, fairer, more inclusive digital future.