In a country where good quality software developers are very scarce and where education in the industry is more often than not based on broader theoretical aspects of ICT, finding developers with the right abilities and mindset to be productive within the Aspire Solutions’ team of high-calibre developers was never an easy task.
We came to realise that the best way to have the excellent team of developers that the Aspire Solutions work demands would be to train new recruits on the job, and so we applied our very own “start now” philosophy and in this way, 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.