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Dev Academy – better devs, bootcamp-style

Posted 5 years ago in Platform by Andrew Tokeley
Posted by Andrew Tokeley

Enspiral Dev Academy logoThis week’s launch of Enspiral Dev Academy is great news for Wellington businesses looking to hire developers and might just work.

A recent comment on our Community site illustrates why and put a smile on my face (which, on this particular thread was something). I had mentioned that Xero have resource constraints like most companies. A contributor replied,

Community Message in Xero

Not an unreasonable reaction (by the way, we did deliver Purchase Orders in November. Phew!) but it assumes money is the primary constraint to hiring people rather than the availability of the appropriate talent. I don’t know anyone in Wellington (or anywhere for that matter) saying, “well, if only I had the money, I’d be able to hire just the right person”. The right people are incredibly hard to find and hiring the wrong people is expensive.

So, it’s critical we take a fresh look at how IT graduates and those re-training prepare themselves for the market. That’s why what Dev Academy are doing is so exciting.

Partnering with the successful San Francisco based venture, Dev Bootcamp, they have built a 9 week intensive developer training course that teaches participants not only the nuts and bolts of writing code but the softer skills that round out becoming a great developer.

That’s right, from (potentially) no IT knowledge to starting a career, in 9 weeks! Impossible you say. Well, maybe, but consider this. The course isn’t simply aimed at school leavers who couldn’t be bothered going to university. It’s not aimed at people looking to fast track themselves to a great salary. It’s aimed at motivated individuals who want to modernize their development skills and learn about what it takes to turn an interest or hobby into something that someone will pay you for.

The course is tough and demands a lot of your time, effort and brain cells. It’s also not cheap. So those that aren’t put off by this, get through the vetting process and pop out the other end could well be some of the most employable people in Wellington.

Xero aren’t directly affiliated with Dev Academy or Enspiral but along with a number of other local industry players will be helping out where we can to give candidates a taste of the real world they’re about to enter.

So, whether you’re already a computer whiz looking to prove you’ve got what it takes, or been stuck programming COBOL looking to modernise your skills – give Dev Academy a call. It could just work.




December 2, 2013 at 4.51 pm

Finding good developers is hard, especially in smaller cities. Have you considered hiring remote workers (not outsourcing to India) as companies like StackExchange and 37Signals have done.

Andrew Tokeley
December 2, 2013 at 5.08 pm

@Craig – sort of. Pretty soon after Xero began we opened an Auckland office to share the product development load. We now have six product teams around the world. In all cases we had either existing Xero’s on the ground to help build the team and share knowledge or the team were working on a new green fields product. Not quite so easy to extend an existing product team with remote workers – communication is just that much harder.

We’ve also had some success hiring people from offshore and relocating them to NZ – something we’re keen to do more of.

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