In more than 17 years, P2H has grown from two people to nearly five hundred professionals, including many developers with different skill levels and technology stacks. For the company to work as effectively as possible, it is necessary to constantly improve the qualifications of teams and direct this development to fulfill specific tasks. What is the best way to implement this? Is it possible to organize courses directly within the company so that it really works? Project manager Yulia Yamuch (Martysh), Full Stack Developer Maksym Terela, and Front-end Developer Dmytro Tatsii shared their experience of launching the React course.
How did the idea to launch the course come about?
Yulia: The company has streams – focus groups, which are united around various initiatives. For example, on the QMS stream we created, we are working on standardizing our development approaches. Due to the high demand from customers and developers’ interest, we came up with the idea of extending expertise in React to everyone at one of these meetings.
Dmytro: What is the best way to do it? You can purchase one of the popular courses. But which one to choose and will it be useful? And here, Maksym came to the rescue. He had already developed his own course and begun integrating React knowledge into his team.
Maksym: I am currently studying at a graduate school and have always liked the learning process. At my previous company, I taught courses on Python, as it was my thesis topic. I like to explain complex things in simple terms, and I know how difficult it can be to find useful materials when there are too many options. I have been working with React for more than 6 years now.
Maksym: The fact is that React currently occupies approximately 67% of the market among SPA (Single-page Application) solutions. It is technological and has a fairly simple entry threshold, so it is clear why it is chosen for study and why there are so many materials on the Internet.
What the course consists of, and how to get into the group?
Maksym: Before the start of studies, we share a list of literature that should be read, courses that should be taken, and some general recommendations for preparation. In addition, we suggest what else you can do in parallel with the course to improve your knowledge and skills.
What are the advantages of taking courses within the company?
Yulia: React is quite a popular technology, and many front-end developers want to learn it. And it’s cool to take a course right in the company. Yes, you can learn React on your own, but there are no guarantees that the chosen course will be sufficient and that you will not have to buy another one to close the knowledge gaps after the first one.
There are currently 11 people in the group. After graduation, most of them will be able to work on client projects with the support of a mentor and gradually develop in this direction to become more independent units.
Dmytro: After completing the course, a person receives a certificate from the company, which confirms his knowledge and is simply a pleasant reminder of another step on the path of self-development.
Unfortunately, some people did not finish the course due to a lack of knowledge, a high workload, or even blackouts. But this is not the end – you can try to get the certificate again after watching all the recorded lectures and completing all the homework.
Maksym: In the course, you can get 90% of the knowledge to start your work, and a significant advantage of training within the company is that all tasks are based on real examples of tasks from clients. This makes it possible to quickly understand how the company works and find many answers on your own.
In addition, when a mentor works with you in the same company, it is more relevant as you can get practical experience. In addition, you can always ask for help without additional explanation of the context.
How to improve an existing course?
Maksym: Although we consider this course a success, the first group was a pilot. For the next group, the course will be improved based on the feedback and results of the first one. We will analyze all the process details and determine what needs to be changed so that the course becomes even more effective and those who pass it get even more useful practical knowledge.
Yulia: If the second and following groups pass the course with good results, this could be the first step to organizing a whole school of courses within the company and the possibility of quickly spreading new knowledge to any department or team.
Tips for those who want to launch courses in their company
Listen to your employees because some of them can teach others.
The basis of a good course is not only good material but also good teachers. Unfortunately, only some people with the most experience know how to share it correctly. Therefore, your task is to find a person, or rather a team of those who can combine creating and teaching the course and check homework with a detailed analysis of all the mistakes made.
Encourage employees to take courses.
Taking courses within the company has many advantages, both for the company and for the employees. Correctly conveying information about these advantages will help you quickly recruit a group of interested people and improve the qualifications of the entire team to perform urgent tasks in the shortest possible time. For example, the advantages of this course were that the mentor was always in contact and could quickly check any task, and the training took place during working hours.
Add tasks to the course that are as close as possible to those that the company receives from the client.
Note that you’re not just adding another useful skill to your developer stack and confirming that knowledge with a certificate. The main idea is that your development team, and therefore the company, fulfill customer orders faster and with better quality. That is why it is important to add to the practical tasks of the course those tasks that a developer faces when working with a client.
Give detailed feedback on each task.
One of the most important parts of the successful completion of any course is the independent application of learned theory in practice. After all, a person will perform actual tasks in the same way as homework in the course. The difference is only in the level of responsibility. Therefore, it is important to ensure that each homework assignment will be analyzed and all questions will be answered. The more detailed the feedback is during the course, the fewer questions to mentors will appear during work in the future.