3 Signs Your Team Is Ready for Reskilling

Jeremy Walsh

Written By Jeremy Walsh

Last updated on September 5, 2018

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In overseeing corporate partnerships for Software Guild, we work with companies to figure out the needs of the organization, what challenges they’re facing, and how we can help. If you want to really upskill or reskill your workforce in a new technology, sending them some eLearning resources is not going to cut it – today’s tech teams want an immersive learning experience. Here are three motivations we hear from companies who are interested in corporate training – are you seeing any of these signs in your own teams?


1. You’re having trouble hiring new tech talent...

By 2020, there will be 1.4 million open computer-science-related jobs and only 400,000 computer science and IT graduates from college each year. You may be feeling that talent shortage as you’re hiring developers.

Even if you’re hiring CS degree grads, companies are still spending a lot more time onboarding and ramping people up. The Learning House published research in May – and I'm hearing this anecdotally from companies as well – people are graduating with CS degrees, but there's a gap between graduating and being able to hit the ground running at a company. That's a big challenge for the talent pipeline. This is where bootcamps can really make a difference, taking a new hire beyond theoretical knowledge and having them work on projects.

A perfect example is our recent partnership with a Fortune 100 company – the short story is they had us come in and reskill their workforce. They used our process to identify talent outside of their technical departments to fill open tech positions. It saves the company a lot of money, gives them more goodwill, and retains valuable institutional knowledge with their employees. Rather than laying off portions of their workforce, they're making efforts to retain and retrain their employees.

2. The developers on your team are leaving (or looking) for other jobs

Why would it be important to provide training opportunities within your company? Stack Overflow recently published some great research that gives us insight into this issue.  For example, over 2/3 (75.2%) of all IT workers (out of tens of thousands interviewed) are either actively looking or open to a new job. Further research shows that on average, employees looking for a new job are spending 5 hours per week doing so.  This is extremely costly in terms of time wasted, but also having disengaged employees.  What is interesting though, is that when you ask developers what motivates them in a job, the number one priority is opportunities for professional development.  One key way to retain talent is to train them up in current and emerging technologies. If a company can go the extra mile and work with an organization that can tailor the training to meet specific needs and desired outcomes for both the individual and the organization, employees become engaged and retention can improve.

If you aren't providing resources to keep your workforce engaged, then they're going to get poached. You can have a great onboarding program, get your new hires all ramped up and then three months later, you’ve lost them. You've got to make sure that you're providing resources for developers to be engaged or you're going to lose them.

Bootcamps are uniquely positioned to do that training because we’re pushing the envelope and we're always looking for the newest and most innovative way to not only deliver training, but also looking for what’s next on the horizon in tech. Our whole approach is the “flipped classroom” – you have pre-work that needs to be done before you get to class, and once you get to class, we’re going to be building stuff together. Ours is a hands-on, collaborative, transformative experience. That immersive education gives you more engagement; that’s the difference between a bootcamp format rather than typical “corporate training.

In traditional, corporate training, you’ll typically see:

  • Death by PowerPoint; presentation instead of instruction
  • Advanced topics; introducing concepts before students are prepared
  • Lecture-based; classroom time is spent listening instead of doing
  • Videos instead of live instructors; no “flipped classroom”, with little actual application of knowledge

3. You want to make sure all of your developers are on the same page

As a team lead, you have to manage a balancing act between empowering your employees to learn on their own and making sure that their upskilling is aligned with your company’s goals.

In a group of 100 developers, you’ll have 20 people who are really engaged, staying on top of new technologies, going to conferences, taking eLearning courses, sharing knowledge on their blog etc – they’re natural learners. You’ll also have this middle pack, who are engaged, but not self-motivated. So if you provided training for them, they’d eat it up.

We talk to companies all the time who want to offer training that appeals to their entire dev team, but also ties back to the company initiatives. This is where a bootcamp like the Software Guild can help. Your bootcamp training can include what you need - curriculum customized to meet your specific training needs and instructors with expert backgrounds. This creates a powerful training opportunity where your team can immerse themselves in engaging instruction.

At the Software Guild, we take a collaborative approach. We work with companies to align their business strategy with a talent strategy, design a custom learning stack created specifically for their needs and deliver new skills through immersive hands-on code education.

Pro-Tip: Train every 18 months!

The shelf life for training is about 18 months on average. Every 18 months, your employees need to learn a new skill.

Types of companies that can benefit from corporate training

Large companies that have been around for a long time and are built on an older infrastructure can benefit from moving into a more modern infrastructure and coding processes.

Recruiting companies can also benefit from bootcamp training. We'll come in and train up the candidates that they are placing into tech companies.

Of course, smaller startups can also benefit from upskilling and reskilling, but they may not necessarily need a custom, in-house curriculum. The way that we've been able to help smaller companies is, for example, bringing employees into our traditional bootcamps in Minneapolis. Maybe a smaller company has about five people who need to be reskilled – we'll bring them into our .NET or Java programs.

Read more about Software Guild on Course Report or by visiting the Software Guild website.

About The Author

Jeremy Walsh

Jeremy Walsh

As Senior Vice President of Enterprise Learning Solutions, Jeremy Walsh’s focus is on strengthening the value proposition for Software Guild partners by deploying technology training solutions to transform your talent pipeline. Prior to joining Software Guild, Jeremy spent the last decade overseeing different business development initiatives for organizations such as Apollo Group, Kaplan and Mount Washington College.

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