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!

5 reasons why women should go into IT

women in tech 1

We know that girls can code and we’re big on inviting more women into IT. With 9 speakers from 3 European countries, our Women’s Day event shone a light on the value and importance of women in tech. Check out the insights and immerse yourself in the topic.

women in tech 1

Looking at the digital world today, we see a strange combination of amazing progress and prolonged change.

On one hand, digitalisation happens at an impressive rate everywhere we look, especially since the pandemic hit.

On the other hand, we still have fewer women in tech training and IT jobs than men. Though it’s clear as day that women make amazing programmers, the gender gap is still very real.

On 8 March 2022 we’ve  sat down with a group of inspiring people to discuss hard facts, top trends and their personal stories:

  • Christine Antlanger-Winter, Country Director of Google Austria 
  • Tanja Sternbauer, Co-Founder & Head of Community at the female factor in Austria
  • Hauke Hinrichs, CEO of SMATRICS in Austria
  • Claudia Tamasi, Country Manager at Codecool Romania
  • Lydia Jeschko, Business Development Manager at Codecool Austria
  • Iulia Iacob, Head of Mentors at Codecool Romania
  • Dalma Csernok, Full-stack Developer Student & CoderGirl at Codecool Hungary
  • Eva Szalai, ex-Codecool Student &Test Automation Engineer at Cap Gemini

Let’s recap this uplifting discussion and explore the key takeaways, along with the 5 main reasons for women considering IT as a career option.

The moderator of the event was Sigrid Hantusch-Taferner, Country Manager at Codecool Austria.

1. You can learn to code

Dalma Csernok, current Full-Stack Developer Student & CoderGirl at Codecool Hungary recalled her first experience with coding: “After I graduated university and studied theatre, I was unsure what to do, so I started working as a receptionist at a hotel. It was quite fun for a short period, but I soon lost motivation and started to look for other challenges. One of my colleagues mentioned a website where I could learn basic coding. A few lessons later I realised that I was writing code that worked, and I enjoyed it. After 2 or 3 months, I decided to switch career paths.” 

It seems that Dalma is not alone with her insecurities. When it comes to tech, women can be quite unsure of their capabilities. And it seems that these insecurities are mostly rooted in childhood experiences.

Female applicants usually have more questions about the basic abilities needed for coding, the requirements for the school, and the job market in general.” – confirmed Lydia Jeschko, Business Development Manager at Codecool Austria. Studies on gender differences show that young girls already judge their competencies in domains such as mathematics lower than boys. Likewise, studies on the self-efficacy theory have shown that boys are more confident about their performance in maths and science.

Hauke Hinrichs, CEO of SMARTRICS added his thoughts. “The problem starts in kindergarten where we start to socialise girls differently than boys, destining them for a different career path. I’d love my daughter to become an engineer or scientist. We should start treating girls in a way that allows them to live out their fullest potentials, without any type of discrimination or predestination.”

Eva Szalai, Codecool graduate mentioned the one skill you’ll still need to be successful in tech. “You still need to have abstract thinking. That is a must. But if you have that, the field is wide open. Companies are very happy to have female developers.”

2. Your previous experience will not be lost

Claudia Tamasi, Country Manager at Codecool Romania mentioned a key insight. “When a woman decides to take a new path, there is always the thought that she must start again from zero. But it’s not true. We had a student, who had 10 years of experience in a bank’s back office. She was worried that she would have to start from zero, too, but her experience became a great advantage. She now develops banking applications, making good use of her previous experience every day. Everything we do adds to our personality and our skillset. Our experience will not be lost, we just add new things to it.”

Tanja Sternbauer, Co-Founder & Head of Community at the female factor in Austria continued the thought. “With coding, you will gain a new skill set and you’ll have a brand new combination that will open doors for you. Also, you won’t have to code 12 hours straight every day. Coding doesn’t even have to become your career path because you’ll probably need this skill for different types of jobs in the future. If you can code, nothing will stop you in the next couple of years, no matter what type of job you take.”

Another option is to transform your previous job into a side-activity and pursue it next to your new, flexible job.

Eva Szalai used to be a professional musician and music teacher before starting Codecool. Today she is a Test Automation Engineer at Cap Gemini in Hungary, but she hasn’t given up her previous career either. “I’m a pianist and I still give concerts… I can work from home with flexible working hours, which is a great help. Sometimes I have a rehearsal in the middle of the day, and it’s okay, I can do it, and still keep up with deadlines.”

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3. Diverse teams are more effective and fun

Eva enjoys working in her new team at Cap Gemini. “In my team of 8 there are 3 women, so the gender ratio is quite good. There is mutual respect. Advancement is knowledge-based, and it’s measurable, which is a great advantage in comparison to art. We can learn from each other. The most productive teams have been the most diverse ones at Codecool, too. Men and women in tech have different approaches and different affinities. And men appreciate having women on their team for a varied approach and new perspectives.

Claudia Tamasi added her thoughts. “We’re built differently by nature, but when we’re collaborating, we complete each other.”

Hauke opened the topic of diversity and continued with his insights. “Not just gender diversity, but all kinds of diversity are important in teams, for example religious, racial, social-economic, and age diversity, too.”

women in tech 6

4. Companies desperately need more IT professionals

Discussing the topic of career prospects for women in tech, Claudia Tamasi mentions the following: “When women decide to work in IT, they can pursue whichever field they’d like, there are no barriers anymore. Front-end, back-end, full-stack development. Project management. There’s a new world out there. At Codecool Romania, we have young ladies and mothers learning development, too. This sector is expected to grow around 20% in the next decade so it’s lucrative to enter now, no matter your background or gender. You just gotta have the courage to start.”

Hauke Hinrichs adds that the demand for women developers is quite high today: “We’re searching for 20 new additions to our IT department this year. The lack of qualified labour is quite a challenge, and there are a lot of companies fighting for the best talent – especially for young, talented women.

According to our speakers, it’s important to have women where products are born and to involve both genders in business decisions.

“50% of the global population is female. If you serve women, you have to have women in your management too, to drive business decisions.” – says Tanja Sternbauer. – “Your business will do better financially too. I wonder how this aspect can still be overlooked sometimes.

Diverse skills are needed to build great things. The mix of voices, ideas, cultures and skills leads to better discussions, better decisions and better results for everyone. Teams work and perform better when they are gender diverse.” – says Christine Antlanger-Winter, Country Director of Google Austria. 

5. A tech job could be your dream job

Some women miss out on a fitting role or their dream jobs just because of preconceptions or a lack of support.

“Women tend to value different sides of the programming profession such as the independence and freedom that a programming job offers, as opposed to the high salary.” – said Lydia Jeschko, Business Development Manager at Codecool Austria.

Working in tech is a fast-paced road and some of the highest-paid professions can be found here, so it’s super lucrative to start. And there’s an opportunity to have a real impact with these professions; you can move to roles that deliver on a purpose. And women in tech tend to value this aspect a lot.

“Women aren’t driven by status or a fancy office location. They’re more interested in fulfilling a purpose and making an impact. They want to contribute to society and give back. What is the impact I can make here and how can I contribute? These are the questions women often ask when considering a job. – says Tanja Sternbauer

women in tech 4

How to get started in the world of IT

Starting fresh in IT isn’t easy, but our speakers had great insights for all young women who’re considering an IT career. The number one factor is confidence according to the panel members.

“Be confident, and just write an application. The worst thing that can happen is that you’re not ready for it and learn from it. But be confident and give it a go. Apply to jobs, go to a programming school like Codecool, and start a great career.“ –  says Hauke.

“To extend your knowledge you have to get out of your comfort zone. I learned later on that staying in that zone won’t help you. So don’t overcomplicate things and try to leave behind your insecurities” – adds Dalma Csernok

The second most important factor would be to have a mentor you can rely on.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mentor when I started. That’s exactly why I wanted to become one for others. To share my knowledge and experience to make it easier for others than it was for me.” – says Iulia Iacob, Head of Mentors at Codecool Romania. – “ My advice to women seeking roles in the IT domain is to be confident, self-aware, and to find a mentor who will support them. They can share valuable past experiences and insights about navigating the tech industry.”

Last but not least, staying curious and open to new things is also key to succeeding for women in tech.

Be open to everything. If you learn a lot you can have different solutions for the same problem. There was a lady who was resisting alternative solutions often, and she got hired several months later than she expected. You must ask questions because it’s okay not to know everything first. The biggest difference between senior and junior colleagues is often that seniors already know that they don’t have an answer. They are always searching for the answers.” said Eva.

codecool berufsbegleteind

Why Codecool?

Our speakers have discussed what sets Codecool apart and why it’s worth learning to code at Codecool’s Full-Stack Development course. Eva mentions the Full-Stack Development course’s length: 

“What sets Codecool apart for me is the duration. Some other schools are too intense, fast-paced and heavily condensed into a couple of months. As an active musician, I couldn’t have done that type of course. ”

Still, with such an ideal length, there’s a wide palette of knowledge being taught at Codecool, not just frontend or backend.

“It gives you more confidence for the job interviews and more options afterwards since you get a complete set of skills. I could have applied for test automation, Java development or even frontend jobs, too.” – Eva adds.

The flipped classroom method has also added a lot of value according to Dalma and Eva: “I really enjoyed it and it makes total sense since I used to be a teacher. The first thing is that you get a task. And then you get the background materials that you can study. But it’s not set in stone how you have to handle a task. If you can find the solution some other way, then you’re done. There is never one universal solution to a problem at Codecool.”

On this note, Claudia adds: “We’re practically teaching our students how to learn because being a developer means to be in a lifelong learning process. We’re serious about quality, too. Our job is only done when we found you a job that you like. And you can also come and try us without paying for the first 10 weeks.”


Looking for the next addition to your developer team?

It’s never too late to add talented women developers to your teams. If you want Codecool to help you find the next female developer who can start to work right away in your IT team, get in touch!

We’re looking forward to helping you build a more diverse team.

“We always look for the good people”

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

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

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

peter bona
Péter Bóna, CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I’m actually glad to see that.

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

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

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

Why did you choose to partner up with Codecool?​

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

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

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

How do you see Codecoolers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you see our shared digital future?

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

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

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

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


Inspired by Com-Forth’s example?

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

Hope to talk to you soon!

Your top 5 favourite Codecool blog posts from 2021

man reading blog post on mobile

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

man reading blog post on mobile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scrum in programming training – Tips and benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A quick recap on agile

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

The 4 basic agile values are:

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

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

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

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

 

Transform your business with the power of agility

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

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

To go agile, you could:

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

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

 

Go agile in programming training, too

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

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

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

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

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

 

Scrum in action at Codecool

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

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

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

Scrum Master

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

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

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

Product Owner

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

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

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!

One step ahead in closing the IT talent gap – the ESSA skills report is out

ESSA (European Software Skills Alliance) looked into missing skills necessary to fill about 1.6 million digital job vacancies in Europe until 2030. Codecool is on mission to close the tech talent gap by disrupting digital education, also as a working member of the ESSA Consortium.

Today in Europe, developers are the most wanted professionals in the software sector and this trend will accentuate. The companies of tomorrow will also need people that have a good understanding of the day-to-day business activities. 

That’s why soft skills and business knowledge need to be integrated — in the way we train individuals for software roles, but also in the way we think and embed software in our organisations.

Developer is the most popular software role

In its 2020 The Future of Jobs Report, the World Economic Forum listed the top 20 job roles where the demand will skyrocket. Almost all jobs on that list are ICT related — with developers firmly holding the 10th position. A trend largely confirmed by our recent findings where 45% of organisations estimated they will need extra developers in the next five years.

ESSA graph 1
2021 ESSA Europe’s Most Needed Software Roles and Skills report “Need for extra people per role profile”

Programming and professional hard skills are in high demand

The ESSA report goes further and tentatively identified the skills in highest demand among software professionals.

Needless to say, hard skills like programming are the most in-demand with Java, Javascript, SQL, HTML, PHP, C++, C#, and Python being the most needed programming languages. But what is important is for software professionals to have a solid understanding of programming principles, so that they can quickly and more easily adapt to new languages.

It has been discussed that profession-related skills are also to be developed.

“Even more important than teaching particular IT skills, like IT framework or programming languages, is teaching how to understand the business. Only if you are able to understand the purpose of the software solution that you are building, you can deliver a valuable product.”

In this regard, our report findings show that security management, agile project management, and software development lifecycle skills are needed and that software professionals with an understanding of the business are the assets organisations are looking for — now and in the future.

Soft skills are key

Again, looking at the predictions of the World Economic Forum (2020), we can only confirm and strongly advise people with software roles to not only grow their hard skills, but invest in non-technical (transversal) skills like personal soft skills or interpersonal skills: critical thinking & analysis, self-management, teamwork, and communication skills.

2021 ESSA Europe’s Most Needed Software Roles and Skills report “Soft and other skills for developers”

Of course, soft skills are harder to assimilate when only relying on theoretical knowledge. Thus, it is important to introduce more systematically real-life projects into learning and training curricula.

It's about the details

In October 2021, ESSA released a full report exploring current (and future) needs for software skills in Europe. During the next step, together with the rest of ESSA members we will contribute to addressing the conclusions of the report in a comprehensive document — the European Software Skills Strategy. Visit the ESSA website for more details about the initiative.

In the meantime, we at Codecool are already working hard on bringing better digital education to Europe. Already in 4 European countries, in Austria, Hungary, Poland and Romania, we’re offering mentor-led, project-based developer and other digital skills courses. We’re building on our mastery-based learning methodology and tried-and-tested curricula, and putting an extra focus on developing soft skills, both in our open courses and in our tailor-made corporate solutions. We make career changes affordable and change lives with our job guarantee, post-payment options and the CoderGirl scholarship. 

Learn more about who we are and what we do, and reach out to discuss how we can help filling your software skills needs.

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

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

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

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

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

We then grouped the insights around 4 topics:

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

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

 

1. Work from home

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few changes paired with useful tips:

→ Balance out changed productivity

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

→ Take back from hands-on management

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

→ Leave WFH options open

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

 

2. Speedy digitalisation

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

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

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

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

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

→ Go agile now

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

→ Apply new ways of reskilling fast

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

→ Automate part of the work

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

 

3. Health and wellness prioritised

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

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

You can help your employees with these issues, too.

→ Make their physical health your priority

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

→ Use office space to help mental recovery

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

→ Provide access to professional mental support 

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

 

4. Global crisis mode

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

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

→ Stop the infodemic 

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

→ Make the situation clear 

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

→ Give a sense of purpose 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Old digital goals and obstacles are so out

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

And then, a pandemic happened.

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

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

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

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

The new 149 million include jobs in:

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

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

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

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

The gap keeps widening

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

There are multiple additional factors at play here:

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

Our proposed solution: the new CEE digital talent hub

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

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

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

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

How will you contribute, starting from today?

Motorola Solutions Launched Developer Academy Powered by Codecool

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

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

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

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

How were the participants selected?

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

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

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

What’s next?

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

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

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

The Motorola Solutions Academy vision

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

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

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

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

We are proud to make Motorola Solutions Academy happen

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

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

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

Codecool Receives EUR 7,000,000 Investment Capital and Expands in the Region

Codecool, supported by its new partner Integral Venture Partners and its earlier investors Lead Ventures and PortfoLion Capital Partners has received an investment capital of EUR 7 million. This investment allows us to open new campuses in the region.

Codecool, supported by its new partner Integral Venture Partners and its earlier investors Lead Ventures and PortfoLion Capital Partners has received an investment capital of EUR 7 million. 

This investment allows us to open a new campus in the region in the first half of 2021 already.

The challenge created by the labour shortage in the IT sector will persist in the forthcoming years

44,000 IT professionals could be hired in the upcoming two years in Hungary only, if there were enough candidates with the right skills on the market, according to a survey commissioned by IVSZ, ITM and KIFÜ. In the EU, on the other hand, there were about 825,000 vacant positions in the infocommunications sector in 2020, based on data provided by the European Commission. More than half (58%) of the businesses in the sector claimed that it was challenging for them to find IT professionals with the right skills. Labour shortage in the tech industry may jeopardise the competitiveness of businesses, and therefore, overall economic development, as well.

A solution to this problem is to improve and support alternative IT training programs, besides traditional university courses. The opportunities created by demand for new forms of education have already been recognised by investors, too. Based on an analysis by Dealroom, the value of new capital investments in EdTech increased by 94% in 2020, reaching USD 13 billion.

Targets by 2025: more than 10 campuses, thousands of graduates a year and dozens of corporate training programs

We have completed our third successful investment round by its HUF 2.5 billion agreement concluded with Integral Venture Partners, with financial advisory support by Clairfield. With the EUR 12.5 million capital raised so far in total, Codecool matches up in investments with top European actors on the IT education market (Ironhack: EUR 22m, Le Wagon: EUR 16m). At present, we operate campuses located in Hungary, Romania and Poland, and over 1,000 of our graduates work in tech across Europe.

“The investment enables us to continue our European expansion. We’re planning to enter two new markets this year – we consider Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria. Our target is to operate more than ten Codecool campuses by 2025,” says CEO of Codecool József Boda. “Expansion, however, does not only mean increasing the number of our schools. Further development of our corporate re- and upskilling courses are also in our focus. Our experience shows that executives are increasingly open to train or reskill their existing employees, as it is often time-consuming and costly to find new experts with appropriate skills on the labour market.”

At the same time, we are also continuously extending the range of our open courses. In addition to our full-stack course with a job guarantee, specialised 3 to 4-month online IT courses were added to our portfolio last year. In line with the demands of the labour market, further training programs are under development. The target number of graduates in 2025 will increase to thousands per year.

“Codecool supports a fundamental, long-term macro and labour market trend – the promotion of digitalisation and the increasing significance of programming skills – through a unique and flexible business model. This model puts equal emphasis on the training of high quality coders, and the fast and effective satisfaction of corporate demand for human resources. These, together with the regional coverage and the expansion plans make this company especially attractive for Integral Group and its investors, as education is one of our key focus fields. The partners of our investment fund are from the region, and they invest in innovative, high quality CEE companies. Therefore, Codecool perfectly fits into our growing portfolio”, concluded Investment Executive of Integral Venture Partners, Ádám Szalai.

“Codecool’s 12-month, intensive, practice-oriented programming course is a unique proposition, there is no other course like this at competitors on the local market at the moment. The method is proven: 98% of the more than 1,000 Codecool graduates have already landed an IT job” highlights Ábel Galácz, CEO of Lead Ventures, operator of MOL and MFB invest (Hungarian Development Bank), founders of Enter Tomorrow venture capital fund. According to the investor, Codecool’s market outlooks are even brighter considering the fact that the Hungarian higher education cannot deliver the necessary number of IT professionals, even with an increased capacity.

“As the very first institutional investors of Codecool we have known the team for years now, and our trust in them has always been very strong. For us it was a no-brainer to participate in their 3rd investment round, too. They were able to react quickly and effectively during the pandemic, which is the essential characteristic of a successful scale-up. And they are a key player in EdTech (education technology), which is one of the hottest sectors today. Impacted by the recession, a lot of people feel the need, or are even actually forced in some unfortunate cases to start new careers and further develop their skills. So we believe to see further growth” – added Zsolt Mihály, Investment Manager of PortfoLion Capital Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm with investors like OTP Group and Eximbank.

International contribution to the development of digital skills

In the Autumn of 2020 Codecool, started the development of a new, EU level software development skills strategy and curriculum, as member of European Software Skills Alliance, together with leading large corporations like Amazon Web Services and Adecco. Via the Alliance the experience of the school in the field of training software developers will not only influence training of IT professionals in the region, but also on the entire continent.

Last year, the achievements of Codecool were also recognised by a top IT forum: the Amsterdam-based The Next Web listed Codecool among the 20 most exciting European companies on its Tech5 list featuring the most promising scale-ups.