Pre-Production Guide: An Ultimate Developer Training Formula

17 Feb, 2017

Akvelon is one of the leading companies introducing pre-production development training. These courses are dedicated to eliminating the difference between the real candidate skill level and that needed for the projects to ensure smooth immersion into the company’s workflow.

Why Is It Important?

Usually, we organize Java, .NET, and JS courses. These technologies are the most demanded at our commercial projects as we work with such companies as Microsoft, Tideworks, WebMD, Pinterest, Starbucks, Reddit, whose projects use exactly this stack. During the course, students acquire not only technical skills but other skills like estimation, time management, work with Git, business correspondence workshops, etc. The internship lasts 3 months, after which a decision on the further cooperation is made.

The aim of the course is to teach specialists to work with modern code standards (testing, structural coding, documentation, etc.) Akvelon has a high code quality level and requires universal ‘soldiers’ with a solid background ready to keep up with modern requirements.

Our Training Formula

Our training practice consists of five major principles. They all contribute to the whole formula which remains consistent yet effective. 

  • Candidates selection. The first stage is a test task built to determine the candidate’s background. Usually, we take an algorithmic problem as a task. The next stage is an interview with HR and Tech Lead of the future team. We draw attention to the technical level, prospects, student’s self-learning abilities, and soft skills like teamwork, overall candidate’s adequacy, responsibility, and so on. After all the candidates are interviewed, the decision is made on which people will continue their path in the company.
  • Company’s mentorship. All this happens in the company’s office. Students work full-time, with an internship paid. A great role in training is played by mentors: they explain the material and students’ mistakes, run workshops and get feedback on the tasks, review the code, compose personal literature list for each student based on their gaps, show the areas to work in, and so on.
  • Internal educational projects. Well, the truth is born in practice – that’s our vision. So, our courses are, first of all, the opportunity not only to gain knowledge but also to work on an internal learning project, immerse ourselves in the development process over a real project (development methodology, documentation, task distribution, estimation, requirements clarification, etc.) 
  • Results finalization. The first results finalization for interns is conducted 3 weeks after the start of training. That’s why we consider this period of 3 weeks probationary. During this stage, interns develop a test project under the mentorship. In technical terms, this should have a three-tier architecture, full tech stack (Java/.NET and React/Redux), client-server development, and SQL. This allows us to see the real abilities of our students. The most successful interns can be engaged in the work on commercial projects and work with us as a full-fledged trainee or junior specialist.
  • Individual approach. Despite the fact that the scheme with preliminary employee training is quite common among large companies, each of them has its own peculiarities. In turn, we focus on an individual approach. A careful selection at the interview allows us to compose a small team of 5 people and put all the forces into their training and professional growth instead of dropping candidates at later stages. We strive to foster them, uncover their potential and aim at the fact that the team of people we select will cope with all the challenges to continue working with us.

Right now, the fourth pre-production group starts the journey. We had 3 teams before that and for all time only one person left us: the student was not yet ready to keep up with the working rhythm.

What Kinds of Educational Projects Do Students Do?

Our interns work exceptionally with new technologies. We do not teach a junk to make them working on some ancient project, which no one wants to maintain for years. Instead, we let them take part in the most modern projects using such technologies as React and Redux, .NET or Java, work in Machine Learning, Data Science (images & video recognition, for example), bot creation and other ultra-modern areas.

Just to get an idea of what projects do our interns work at, this one created to take part in the Kaggle Machine Learning Competition was ranked in top 1% of all the other contestants. This predictive modeling tool was made by our students as an internal project reached a top place in the competition’s leaderboard. The other example, the Custom Visual Hierarchy Chart for Power BI was also designed by students only, which reflects their strong abilities to the fullest.

Summary: Our Way to Foster Employees

Surely, there are a plenty of companies each having their own way to acquire qualified talents. In Akvelon, we found a universal formula that proved its worth companywide. And how do you think the professional growth should be delivered?