How Startup Summer Builds on a Culture of Learning at Paralect
There are many roads one can take towards a career in software development. There are coder groups and programs for just about everyone out there at this point. Coding has even made it into primary school curriculums in places like Estonia. We’ve written before about the strength of the education system here in Belarus when it comes to STEM fields.
Today I’ll share how the Paralect Startup bootcamp program helps turn young graduates into capable coders.
The capability of our product engineering teams hinges on a dynamic mix of senior, middle and junior developers who bring their skills together. Learning is an essential ingredient and fostering a culture of continuous learning is key to both achieving roadmap goals and sustaining a cohesive product team.
A Lean Learning Environment
For 23 current Paralect employees—about a quarter of our current team—that learning experience started during the two month intensive Startup Summer/Winter program. Similar to code boot camps elsewhere, each member of the program is immersed in the world of MVP product development.
The goal of the Startup program is to take a product idea from nothing to minimum viable product within two months. It’s a logical shift for students after four years of learning at university.
He appreciated that the program applied skills in the imperfect reality of product development. Besides collaborating with their peers to plan and execute the MVP development, each student is paired with a mentor who provides individual and team guidance.
Committed to Team Dynamics
Lead instructor Michael singles out the team environment as the most important aspect of student development within the program.
Nearly all the students echoed this view. While each one comes into the program at a varying skill level, they learn the most from sharing knowledge and problem-solving on the way to a common goal.
With guidance from the mentors, the teams outline a roadmap for MVP development and organize development tasks into logical sprints according to Agile methodology. For many, this is the first opportunity to see just how they will be expected to apply their skills as developers within the modern work environment.
Creating a Shared Future
At every level, the Startup program is a forward-looking endeavor. For the students, it prepares them to join real world development teams. Coding is not the end goal in software engineering, creating solutions as a team is.
As instructors, the experienced engineers at Paralect have a vital task. They mold their students into prospective colleagues and co-workers.
The 20 lessons during the course are shared out among lead developers here at Paralect. The learning, however, is not just on the student’s side. To share their knowledge well, the instructors must reflect and organize the lessons they learn on the job.
Life after Startup Summer
Software development is a fluid field that changes rapidly and often so there is significant responsibility on the instructor side to research and understand the latest tools and skills. This practice extends beyond the Startup Program as monthly workshops are standard practice at Paralect year-round.
The Startup Program is organized to mirror the authentic experience of working on a dev team here at Paralect. Of course, not all students who enroll are expected to join the company. But the lessons are designed to support the professional growth of the student developers no matter where their careers take them.