In a country where ‘ICT specialist’ is considered a scarce skill, finding programmers with the right abilities and mindset has never been an easy task. It became clear, over the years, that in order to maintain the high-calibre team that Aspire requires, we would need to manage the training of developers ourselves. For this reason, Aspire Solutions applied its very own “start now” philosophy and, by simply getting going, began the training journey; and so, on the move, the Aspire Academy was founded.
A Dynamic journey
Using existing, available material that we source and vet, we teach young people to be full-stack developers from the ground up. We apply our very own just-in-time and agile business methodology to our teaching, with learners working in small iterations and moving up the stack when it becomes apparent that they have mastered an area.
Learners work on a project of their choice, present their progress to others in the company, face questions and go back to apply what they have learnt. In this way, the lines between learners and trainers are quickly blurred, with those who have completed a particular area giving input to others working their way through it.
The objective of the academy is to get developers to be as productive as possible, as quickly as possible. While training continues, learners also have the opportunity to do real work in areas in which they are competent.
We have found that this kind of training is remarkably effective, especially for people lacking in opportunities. While the path to programming for some is through a lengthy tertiary education, this kind of education is not always possible and nor is it always necessary. Often, even developers who have come this route need to be brought up to speed or have what they have learnt focused, which can take time.