My partner, Henrik, and I have spent a fair amount of time discussing how to improve the IT market in Göteborg, and really how to improve the IT industry in general. This is one of our main motivations in creating www.RebelAlliance.se and structuring it so that we never have any incentive to lower our quality standards (http://www.rebelalliance.se/about-us.html).
We are facing a lot of different issues in the IT industry not the least of which revolves around technical excellence.
The question is not one of intelligence, we have absolutely no shortage of brilliant people in our industry, but one of environment and practice. Most people do not enter the workforce with knowledge of modern engineering practices like test driven development, continuous integration and delivery. Once they enter the workforce there is a lot of stress and pressure which results in virtually no time to learn new skills. Sure, they will need to learn things everyday to solve the problems they face, but what about doing more than just solving the immediate issue? What about a larger shift in the way you think or work?
Most day-to-day environments don’t allow for systematic improvement and addressing root causes of problems. Obviously, this leaves underlying problems in place instead of them being fixed once and for all. We can all agree on that this is a great waste. This is especially true in our industry where demand is ever increasing – addressing the symptom will not save us. We need to attack the root cause.
This is why, when we were approached by www.makersacademy.se, we were intrigued. The concept is simple, it is a 12 week intensive coding camp, aimed at teaching people the fundamentals, enabling them to hit the ground running – and keep running. But what is important is that modern engineering practices are considered to be part of this foundation. Students work from day one with automated testing, continuous deployment, and other such skills. Meaning when they enter the workforce and are faced with problem, their instinct will be to solve right rather than just hacking a solution together.
Our hope is that this will contribute to a changing culture in the world of software development, which has already begun, and improve our technical excellence for the better.
But, we have never done this before and there are a lot of unknowns.
Can someone become a good coder in the course of 12 weeks?
Is this program the best way to go about that?
Will it provide value to those who attend it?
Will it be something we are proud to have our names on?
Do we have something to contribute?
As we always do when uncertainty is high, we decided to perform an experiment. We will work with www.makersacademy.se for their first 12 week camp. We will be doing this free of charge and during our spare time. At the end of the 12 weeks we will know a lot more than we do today!
Wish us luck, I will keep you up to date!