ACL Digital has partnered with Hackbright Academy and Devmountain to offer a Gender Diversity in Tech Scholarship! Rajat Sethi, VP of Engineering Services at ACL Digital shares how this full tuition scholarship will increase diversity on ACL Digital’s global engineering teams. Find out what ACL Digital expects from their bootcamp grad new hires, and why other employers should consider diversifying their tech teams with bootcamp grads.
Tell us about ACL Digital! What problems does ACL Digital focus on solving?
ACL Digital, an ALTEN Group Company, is a digital product innovation and engineering leader. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we are a talented workforce and part of the 42,000+ employee ALTEN Group, spread across more than 30 countries, offering a multicultural workplace and a collaborative knowledge environment.
Our technological innovations and design-led digital transformation strategies help enterprises reimagine their business models to unlock growth opportunities, achieve maximum operational efficiency and improve customer experiences.
What is the engineering team like at ACL Digital?
Close to 90% of our employees are engineers. Within our company, there are different verticals including Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT), Education, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Semiconductor, and more. Within each of those verticals are engineering teams that cater to a particular set of technologies. At its core, ACL Digital culture promotes innovation and thinking outside the box, by providing an open and flexible collaborative environment across Europe, North America & Asia.
What do you do as the VP of Engineering Services for ACL Digital?
I play a dual role: I lead strategic engagements for ACL Digital in North America and also carry the responsibility of optimizing sales operations to scale customer success.
Why are you hiring bootcamp graduates from Devmountain and Hackbright Academy?
ACL Digital is an engineering services-centric company that is constantly hiring software engineers to support its customers. Devmountain and Hackbright Academy are both leading coding bootcamp for women and people who are gender diverse. So there is a natural fit here.
Does the bootcamp curriculum at Devmountain and Hackbright Academy line up with the skills you’re hiring for?
It does 100%! The stack these bootcamp students learn – – is what our teams are always shorthanded on.
Tell us about the Gender Diversity in Tech Scholarship at Devmountain and the Gender Diversity in Tech Scholarship at Hackbright Academy that ACL is sponsoring! Who is eligible for these scholarships?
At ACL Digital, we believe real progress happens when we act on what we believe in and we believe that we need to do more to improve representation from all sections of society in the tech industry. Devmountain and Hackbright Academy are committed to diversifying tech teams as well. These scholarships are for anyone who has the same belief system.
How much does this scholarship cover?
This is a full tuition scholarship.
Can students use this scholarship towards either their Devmountain or Hackbright Academy tuition?
Yes, they can apply it towards either Hackbright Academy or Devmountain programs.
Are scholarship recipients guaranteed employment at ACL Digital?
This is our first foray into sponsoring scholarships to improve DE&I metrics and it is our intent to funnel the majority of graduates of this program into our hiring process. It is in ACL Digital’s best interest to employ as many of these scholarship recipients as we can.
Why is this scholarship important to ACL Digital?
The challenge of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry is nothing unknown and it is our belief that the talent pool of the future will be increasingly diverse. If we don’t act now, there is a possibility that we will be left out. This scholarship is an effort to stay relevant while doing our part in improving DE&I metrics of the tech industry.
How is ACL Digital increasing gender diversity on its own tech teams?
The ALTEN Group and ACL Digital place the promotion of diversity at the heart of their Human Resources policy. It aims to break down preconceived ideas about the Engineering profession and promote inclusion. In France, ALTEN is a signatory of the Diversity Charter supported by the Les Enterprises pour la Cité network. Cultural diversity is a reality for the ALTEN Group. It is supported by the Group’s international growth and mobility opportunities. In France, the workforce comprises 94 nationalities, and more than 100 nationalities are represented in the Group’s overall headcount.
ALTEN is a signatory of the Engineering Charter for Gender Equality (Syntec-Ingénierie). Given the low rate of 31% of women in the Engineering sector, this signature demonstrates the Group’s determination to continue to make gender diversity a lever. With this agreement, ALTEN wishes to combat inequality and promote the importance of professional Diversity within the Company.
ALTEN and ACL Digital are committed to the four pillars of the Charter:
Right from our hiring process, we are deliberate about removing gender bias from our job descriptions, and we look to promote flexible working hours, maternity leave, and other working hours that are essential to women. At ACL Digital, we have an inclusive culture, and we have women in mentorship and management roles as well. As half of the users of technology are women, we believe that their input to the advancement of technology is crucial. Moreover, in our company, our female counterparts significantly impact our business strategies, and you will find them at all levels of our organization.
What is your team looking for when interviewing bootcamp grads?
It depends on the role. We are interested in seeing completed projects and resumes. That said, we’re aware that it can be hard for text to translate someone’s experience in a resume, so that’s just one part of the process. We also look at how much understanding they have of a project and if the work they did enabled an end user use case, especially for a customer-facing role. Generally, we are looking at individuals with an ability to demonstrate an understanding of how technology is employed to solve real business scenarios.
What can people expect from the interview process at ACL Digital?
There is an initial screening to understand their cultural and technological fit followed by multiple rounds of technical interviews.
Have you had to convince your team to hire bootcamp grads?
Nope — we carry no bias towards bootcamp grads!
What kinds of support do new bootcamp grad hires receive from the ACL Digital team?
We have a specialized program for highly skilled developers with knowledge and expertise in modern technologies to work with our prospects and clients on their futuristic and next-gen transformation projects. We support the deployment of coders quickly and help enhance the speed of innovation platforms and projects.
The program we offer is immersive, and grads can take AI and ML, app development, coding, and big data analytics to support their clients. We welcome students with a keen interest in technology and are ready to engage in teamwork and other gala experiences. Also, our program is regularly updated to keep pace with the latest technology and industry trends.
Is it possible for bootcamp grads to move up in their career at ACL Digital?
We’re a very open company and we don’t tag whether or not someone is coming from an engineering school or a bootcamp. As long as someone is creating value, there’s no hindrance to the team or their success.
At ACL Digital, we have an internal deployment process that kicks in to redeploy a resource coming out of a project. These engineers are given preference over any new external hire. Since we would be investing in their training, we intend to give bootcamp grads a similar preference.
What is the difference between your CS degree hires and your bootcamp grad hires?
We hire fresh graduates out of universities in places like India and England and hire candidates that might be a fresh graduate or a mid-career upskiller. One of the general issues that CS grads from engineering schools run into is navigating the business-side of things. The business-side requires a different attitude. Bootcamp grads are coming from real-world situations and trying to upskill to our technology. People are coming from different domains into the tech field and their prior experience comes in handy for us. They bring in a lot of value to our teams.
Why is ACL Digital a great place for new developers to launch their careers?
At ACL Digital, we rely on our developers with brand new ideas, curiosity, and inventiveness to inspire new possibilities that make the technological environment bigger and create a long-lasting difference. Below are some of the critical aspects of why our developers are the transformation that drives client-centric challenges through to next-gen solutions:
Do you have any advice for other employers who are considering hiring a bootcamp grad?
We look at the onboarding process as a way to give new hires some rails. We typically give fresh graduates a runway of six months to a year to get adjusted and figure out how the world works. If we see a grad who has specific tech experience who was upskilling in a particular technology, we can get more specific according to their background.
If you are hiring a bootcamp grad you know you got it right — Keep pushing to hire more!
Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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