At Codest, we want to help our developers in growing together with the company. Development is the key word! We have established clear cooperation principles and development paths for our programmers. It doesn't matter if they have junior, mid-level or senior position. We are transparent, and every employee knows what we expect and what opportunities for professional development Codest offers. This approach allowed us to create our own development framework. You can read about it below in the interview with Jakub Jakubowicz, our Chief Operations Officer.
Jakub, please describe the opportunities for software developers to develop their skillsets at Codest.
Jakub Jakubowicz: I can start by presenting the employee development process in our company. We have a clearly defined development path for junior developers. We've divided it into four stages. Each includes specific goals to be accomplished. One of the most important things is adapting to our work culture, for example, the manner of creating code and the fact that we attach great importance to high quality by using practices such as code review or writing automated tests. Another issue is how we run our projects.
I would like to emphasize that the development path for each novice programmer is clearly defined from the beginning of our cooperation. As an anecdote, I can say that juniors at every stage are presented with an appropriate handbook which they are required to read; titles include "Master of Pure Code" and "Pragmatic Programmer." As part of a given stage, our developers are also subject to algorithm testing on the SPOJ platform. These are the basics of computer science that we consider important.
Professional growth is very important for developers and we want to help them. So far, we have been receiving positive feedback regarding our ideas for the professional development of programmers working at Codest
It takes about a year. Our experience shows that this is a sufficient period to acquire competences that predispose a junior developer to the position of mid-level. Of course, it can happen sooner if we can see that someone is improving rapidly.
What about senior positions?
A different framework includes employee development from mid-level to senior. Here, we place great emphasis on soft communication. We have a set of problems with examples on how to communicate with a team or a client. Every half-year we carry out an evaluation to check employee development. In addition, developers receive feedback during quarterly summaries. Managers supervise everything, ensuring that all goes according to the agreed development path. In addition, we also assess our employee’s command of English and familiarity with essential tools. If these requirements are met, a mid-level developer will be promoted to a senior position.
Does Codest have development paths for the most experienced employees as well?
We need the support of our developers on the business level. At Codest, we create development conditions for such employees as well. We are looking for programmers who will be able to support our sales activities, for example, during conversations with clients on software technicalities. They are also involved in starting the project and its further coordination. It may be said that we are talking here about a path of a manager, a team leader.
I think this is an interesting option for those who have rather business ambitions and would like to do more than program. Cooperation with clients, managing your own team, developing your managerial competencies – these are the elements of this development path. If we see that someone has such ambitions and has a predisposition to do well, we try to help this person on this path.
Is it difficult to pass all the recruitment requirements?
Very hard :-) Recruitment begins with a short phone conversation with one of our recruiters, during which we get to know each other a little better. The next stage is a programming task and a tech-oriented conversation. We search for candidates who have a solid foundation in computer science and language; the framework itself does not count much at that moment. We care about the knowledge the most.
Are there any other requirements besides the knowledge of technology?
Knowledge of English, at least B2 level. It is, of course, a subjective matter, but in general we want the developer to be communicative and able to talk with the client.
Competition on the market is very high. It may not be easy to convince a developer to work for you.
This is true. However, I think that you can learn a lot at Codest. Let me give an interesting example. We work with one of the largest e-commerce companies in Lithuania. In their project, our developers have used good practices, constituting, our credo at Codest. The CTO of that company later told us that their internal developers could learn a lot from ours. Prior to that, they did not have the quality approach they experienced with us.
By the way, Codest has many programmers who started working with us as juniors, and today reached senior or even team leader positions. From my perspective, this is a great development path that I always like to observe.
I think the clear structure that we have developed at Codest is helpful. Everyone knows their direct superior – they have regular meetings, during which they can freely ask for help in matters related to work, project or self-development.
Where does the development framework help you the most?
First of all, it structures the principles of cooperation with developers as well as their growth. In addition, if a client asks us about our team, we can show not only the developers that work at Codest, but also our culture of expanding their skills. This is crucial in the context of maintaining high quality and the most important value for us. We are convinced that developing the skills of programmers upgrades our software house as well.