Americaneagle.com is a web design, development, and digital marketing agency with a forward focus and a commitment to inclusive company culture. When it comes to hiring, they're looking for people with a passion for coding and a desire to learn. Erin Frobish, Human Resources Representative at Americaneagle.com, shares why this agency has hired four Coding Temple alumni and what sets those grads apart in the hiring pool. Plus, find out why that final bootcamp project does make a difference in the interview process!
Tell us about Americaneagle.com! What is the engineering team like at your company?
Americaneagle.com has been in business since the late 70s, and we are known for our web development, design, and digital marketing services. We are family-owned and privately held, with our headquarters in the Chicago area and offices all over the world. Our development team is composed of front end developers, back end developers, and full stack developers.
I’ve been an HR Recruiter at Americaneagle.com for 5 years, and I come from a recruiting agency background. My primary focus is hiring and recruiting new talent. I represent the company at roundtable events, networking events, and career fairs. I present our company to different coding bootcamps and walk candidates through our entire interview process.
So far, Americaneagle.com has hired 4 Coding Temple grads! What positions are they working in?
Our Coding Temple alums typically start in entry-level development positions, but even as entry-level staff, they are put on multimillion dollar projects with Senior Developers. We do this because we want them to get exposure to a lot of things that our company handles. Coding Temple grads typically assist a Senior Developer so they can work on any project but with guidance.
What do your Coding Temple hires work on at Americaneagle.com?
When new hires start at Americaneagle.com, our goal is to guide them through our training program and move them to a team where they can contribute right away. Some have come in and were immediately assigned to our bigger clients, while others work with the latest technologies on our in-house platform ROC. In addition, they could also support long-time clients, such as Chicago Auto Show, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ron Jon Surf Shop, and WeatherTech.
What can a new tech hire expect in the onboarding process? Are bootcamp grads mentored?
We understand that everyone works at a different pace, so we offer a 30/60/90-day training plan, and new hires will have an assigned mentor tailored to their specific interests. The mentor will be your go-to person — our new hires shadow them in meetings or help them with whatever project or CMS platform they're working on.
During training, our new hires learn how we use WordPress, Sitecore, Sitefinity, and Kentico as well as our proprietary system called ROC Commerce. Usually, a new hire would focus on one of those platforms to begin with, so they don't have a million things to learn. We have check-in points at the end of the first, second, and third months to ensure that we're supporting them in the proper ways. We want to make the process work for each person we hire.
What is your team looking for when interviewing coding bootcamp grads?
It's mainly about someone’s experience, passion, and personality. We hire people with so many different backgrounds here! If you have passion and an eagerness to learn, then we are interested in you. It doesn't matter if you graduated from a bootcamp or where you got a degree — we even hire people that don't have degrees.
We are huge on our company culture, and we want to hire people that love technology. We look for people who want to work specifically for Americaneagle.com rather than just anywhere. As an employer, we can tell when somebody doesn't care about our company. We want to hire someone who wants to grow with us, has done their research, and knows who we are before I even present to them. And we are also looking for people who have some understanding of front end, back end, or full stack.
What sets your Coding Temple hires apart from other candidates?
Coding Temple grads typically have career experience outside of tech, which we see as a positive. We will hire someone who got their degree in computer science right out of school, but we will also hire someone in the banking industry or who worked freelance before applying. We like seeing that a candidate has experience working with teams or has a business mindset, which works well here. We have also hired people with no experience at all.
We love that Coding Temple graduates have a final project to show us during the interview process. It's also most impressive when somebody has a side project or passion project that they weren't required to do. That tells us that they are actually very interested in learning more about new technology — specifically, development — and that they took it upon themselves to do something extra.
What is the path to rising from entry-level to mid-level to senior-level at Americaneagle.com?
We don't have a corporate environment at Americaneagle.com, so there isn't just one path someone has to follow in order to grow here. I've seen people start on one team, and two years later, they move to another team. We know that people’s passions change, and we want to get them where they want to go. Maybe I'm biased, but I love that aspect of our company culture from an HR standpoint!
Have your Coding Temple hires been promoted or moved up?
Yes, absolutely! Our company is a fast-paced environment so any new hire learns quickly. We offer certification reimbursements and training sessions on the latest technologies, like .NET Core and React. Growing from within is big here at Americaneagle.com and the majority of our seniors started as entry-level developers and worked their way up. We pride ourselves in having a support team in place that not only helps acclimate new hires to the company, but also presents opportunities for those who are looking to grow with the company.
What can a coding bootcamper expect from the interview process at Americaneagle.com?
We do an initial phone screen to get to know the candidate and share more information about the company. Then we have a .NET and C# coding challenge that we send to those that pass the phone screen. We want to know the basic level of someone's skills regarding technologies because we're more of a Microsoft company and heavy on .NET, C#, and Core. It's a very basic challenge that we also send to interns. If an individual passes that challenge, we'll invite them into our headquarters to present a 10-minute demonstration of a project they've worked on before. We want to learn about their responsibility within a project and what they've learned from it.
You’ve been a tech recruiter for nearly a decade — how have you seen tech hiring change?
Right now, it's more of a candidate market than an employer market. Our hiring needs change on a regular basis, depending on what projects we start to work on. In general, companies are starting to hire more, too. We hired about 100 people in 2020, and this year we are already over 100 hires and hope to continue that growth.
Plus, there are always new technologies emerging. While some of our projects use the latest, greatest technologies, other companies rely on older technologies. We're looking to hire people with a wide range of interest and experience to mirror these changes.
Do you have any advice to other employers who are considering hiring a bootcamp grad?
Embrace change! New ideas are always a good thing. If something that you're doing right now isn't working, there are plenty of free resources out there, like networking groups and recruiters open to sharing hiring techniques that have worked for them. For example, here at Americaneagle.com, we look for great people, no matter their degrees or background, and we trust that the skills will come.
Will you be hiring Coding Temple grads in the future at Americaneagle.com?
We’re looking for more candidates wanting to code and help clients with these projects, so yes, absolutely!
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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