On May 21, 2019, the InnoCamp offline training platform opened its doors. For three years, our specialists have conducted QA manual, QA Automation, Frontend (JS, React), Unity, Talent Sourcing and other tracks. Over the years, InnoCamp has transformed from offline to online, and the InnoCamp team has developed new areas of study, including a mentoring program.
We asked Ihor Bekh, Head of Education (InnoСamp), how the platform was created, what the prospects are for program graduates and what problem of the Ukrainian market has been solved by the online Juniorship program
— Hi Ihor! Three years ago, you joined the Innovecs team and headed the InnoCamp division. What have you achieved and how the training platform has changed during this time.
— When I came to Innovecs, the CEO, Alex Lutsky, already had an idea to create an educational platform, because he realized that it is impossible to develop IT specialists without systematic training. The name was ready, we had to form a concept within the team — what we mean by InnoCamp. We focused on creating a space for student learning, as the name of our platform comes from the word “campus”. On May 21, 2019, we opened the doors of InnoCamp and launched the first QA Manual course.
Every year our learning platform has evolved and improved, therefore, I can identify 3 main development stages:
- InnoCamp 1.0. initially was an offline platform where people worked in teams on a pet project, using the eduScrum methodology and were as close as possible to real work. We held expert sessions with Innovecs employees, workshops and offline lectures. We put a lot of emphasis on space and held our meetings offline.
- InnoCamp 2.0. pertains to the era of covid, when everyone started working and studying online. The transition to distance learning was easy for us, because from the very beginning we practiced the method of blended learning. We worked with LMS (learning management system), a digital product where we held records and stored home tasks. This was our advantage that helped to quickly transition from offline to distance learning.
- Now at InnoCamp we practice internship programs: Internship, Juniorship and Mentorship, where students work in real teams.
— At the end of last year, you together with your team developed and launched a practical online internship — Juniorship Development Program. What is special about this mission?
— Juniorship is an online program for students who have completed specialized courses or an internship program and lack commercial experience. Upon completion of the program, talented juniors are offered collaboration on projects at Innovecs. Thus, Juniorship has challenged the problem of the Ukrainian IT market — any junior is required to have six months of commercial experience. And where would you get commercial experience, if you cannot be hired without it?
The Juniorship program takes place in two stages: training on a platform and working with a mentor. Our mentors are trained on a special course called ‘Become a mentor’ and have at least 3 years of experience in the technology stack.
The program is still ongoing, but several of our students are already working on real projects at Innovecs.
In general, we expect that at the end of the program all juniors will become part of our team. Overall, according to the latest estimates, about 40% of our tracks graduates work in Innovecs.
We are result-oriented, and the success of any educational product depends on the number of employed graduates. That is why we are responsible, take care of our participants, and do our best to help educated juniors to start working on one of our projects as soon as possible.
— What is the mission of InnoCamp?
— Everything is quite simple and concise: we upgrade your skillset and help to identify the right career track. We wanted our mission to reflect in the results of our daily work. The InnoCamp team uses best practices, identifies problems, and analyzes how a person changes in the learning process.
The purpose of corporate training is to integrate into a team, to know what stand-up meetings, demonstrations, and retrospectives are and how to apply knowledge in practice.
— What are the main areas of study at InnoCamp?
— InnoCamp has many programs because we provide training for both external audiences and our employees. As for programs for external audiences, there are several formats:
1) First, there are tracks. This is a certain route from point A to point B, where at the beginning of the journey we have a graduate, final year student, or switcher, and at the end of the track, we get an intern on one of the Innovecs projects. By track we mean time spent together in Innovecs or online, working on a learning project in a team with other students. The time during which a person improves soft and hard skills, technical skills, and English. We have successfully launched tracks dedicated to QA manual, Automation QA, Front-end (JS, React), Unity, as well as tracks for Talent Sourcers.
2) Internship is a program for students and graduates who have only theoretical knowledge and no practice. For them, we offer work in teams on eduScrum technology, where they work on a pet project. Upon completion of the program, students take an internship position on the project.
3) Juniorship is a program aimed at graduates of the Internship program or people with experience, for example, who have finalized a pet project. The graduate holds a junior position on one of our projects.
It should be noted that we do not compete with IT courses, private schools or universities. We consider all players in the market as partners. If an entrant completes popular IT courses, it will only be a competitive advantage for him or her. The diploma of completion of profile courses guarantees that you have knowledge and we, in turn, can assist with practice. We look forward to partnerships and are always open to graduates of courses or universities.
Innovecs is a big company and we are constantly striving to develop our teammates. We try to cover the needs of different audiences — from students to managers.
For example, we work with beginner adaptation programs, English development programs and manager development programs. We constantly conduct in-house technical workshops and soft skills trainings for team development.
In case a specialist wants to move from one level to another, we develop a learning plan and individual development plan (IDP). We also run training programs for global technical certifications and a training program for scrum masters.
— What can we expect from InnoCamp in the future?
— Globalization. Innovecs hires anywhere, in any country. The same will happen with training. We will go beyond the borders of Ukraine and make our educational products available from any location. Our materials were developed not only in Ukrainian but also in English. This gave us the opportunity to teach students from the US and the Netherlands. The plan is to teach students from all over the world.