Formula 1 — Education & Internship
The Formula for Skills Development in IT
Provectus’ active growth has raised the demand to develop the company’s employee’s skills further. This is especially important for those who would like to develop themselves as leaders aspiring to become exceptional managers.
For this reason, it’s highly important that those who desire to hold management posts and oversee teams and projects receive the necessary knowledge and skills. Therefore Provectus created, “Formula 1” course which prepares future Project Managers, Team-Leads, Human Resources and Recruitment specialists, i.e. the future leaders of their respective teams.
Currently, “Formula 1” — is one of the main points of Provectus’ internal corporate training. The course’s main idea is in internal employees’ growth and development coupled with improving team leadership skills.
“When we were in the process of putting together various methods of training and figuring out the intended direction we went through all the study materials available, and it became clear, that we didn’t need a separate workshop for this task. Instead, we needed a consistent and an in-depth program where we could plug in all the necessary teaching tools,” stated Alexander Osadchi, Business Trainer at Provectus
The entire “Formula 1” course is expected to last a full year. The program consists of one session per month which lasts around six to seven hours; after each topic, the participants take an exam.
The program includes three directions: Project Management, People Management and Negotiations Skills
Half of the course involves going over the theoretical aspects. Obviously, theoretical knowledge is the foundation; it is equally important though that the students understand how to use their theoretical tools in practice — how to create a real project, manage it, and recruit people.
This is the way we decided to organise these projects, in such a framework where our employees can actually practice the skills learned during the training process.
Provectus very often receives requests from individuals hoping to intern, however finding time to mentor them is very problematic. Thanks to the course, “Formula 1” we have an additional opportunity to take on and educate interns. After listening to the Formula courses, the students aim to apply their new-found knowledge.
In 2015 in the framework of “Formula 1” emerged the idea of doing real projects and inviting interns to realise them collectively.
Back when we started, we had a hard time searching for individuals willing to intern. And the year after we were barely able to process all the applications received. The main requirements for an internship are — knowledge of English and a basic understanding of technology. Those who best met the requirements and successfully managed their test assignment were invited for an interview, which was conducted directly by a curator.
The majority of candidates who approached us were either those who finished IT courses or graduated from technical universities.
Based on the results of the completed test assignment and interview, we offered the candidates a position of the intern, where they would work on real projects, based on an idea proposed by the participants of “Formula 1.”
Such real life practice allows interns to learn new tools, knowledge which otherwise they would not have gotten elsewhere.
For example, we use Slack as a communication tool within teams, and Jira for projects management. Before a project’s development, we apply flexible Agile development methodologies, particularly Scrum. During our last “Formula 1” our curators tried using essential tools in building projects: Kanban boards, burndown chart, etc.
I.T. schools generally don’t have experience in creating complete projects. We provide the opportunity to experience the peculiarities of interactions inside a team within the context of a real project. We consider this a priceless experience for new specialists.
In regards to potential employment, from our side, we try to contribute as much as possible. If viable, we invite candidates to continue working with us, and at the end of the internship, we give each candidate recommendation letters to better their chances of employment. From our last IT course, around half of the group found employment, and some even found employment before the course’s completion.
At Provectus we have several English teachers, that teach groups of different language levels. We also hold separate workshops and lessons with native speakers. The lessons are very popular. Their main aim is to either raise the students’ knowledge to a higher level or just to maintain their current one.
Due to constant interaction with people, information, updates, private mailing lists with advertisements about new group enlistments, and workshops, such invitation letters to attend English classes tend to get lost.
Therefore we decided to establish an organised process for attendance of these courses/lessons. The mobile application ProvEng was developed with the goal of creating a process to learn English inside the company successfully.
The app is based on the idea of simplifying communication between English teachers and the company’s employees. The application was developed on the iOS and Android platforms. Additional information on its development can be found in this article.
Geekinformer — a news aggregator for geeks. Its whole concept is very simple — if you’d like to know the latest news from the world of tech and not waste time searching for news from various resources with quality content, you’ll find this project to be interesting. By using it, you can read news, watch videos, and listen to podcasts from the best resources in one application.
The project was designed for a niche audience, specifically people who are interested in computer technology and would like to spend the minimal time to receive the maximum amount of news. Such a narrow theme allows allocating more time being spent on the little things.
Prodobro is a website for organising charitable activities in the region of Odessa. Its main idea — make acts of charity for volunteers and organisations more accessible and “transparent.”
There are many boarding schools for orphans and children who come from dysfunctional families from our city and the region as a whole. Many people want and are ready to help. However, there isn’t always an understanding of what is exactly necessary for these kids or if anyone is even planning to pay them a charitable visit and express their good wishes. The resource Prodobro is supposed to collect information on the shelters in the region to give volunteers and organisations the ability to mark a trip to a specific shelter, provide others with the opportunity to join the trip, the action, and communicate by exchanging valuable information.
Results and Plans
During the first year of “Formula 1,” the participants were chosen exclusively via the recommendations of various department heads. For the following course, the number of people hoping to participate in the next wave has far exceeded the number of available spots.
After our announcement of launching an internship program, around 400 people responded. 80% of them for Java development and QA engineers, the rest — Android, iOS, and UI/UX design.
This year 27 interns completed the full internship, and 17 of them are already working in various IT companies.
As for their curators, some improved their managerial skills while others took a big step towards moving up the career ladder.
This year a new educational course, new interns, and new projects are awaiting. “Formula 1” will be undoubtedly developing even further.
The motto at Provectus is “Where talent meets opportunities”. For us, it is crucial that all of our employees have every opportunity to grow professionally, including in their education.