The Austrian Voucher Program
The Austrian Voucher Program in cooperation with everyone codes has successfully ended in June 2021 at Caritas Vienna. The basic program of the coding school in Vienna started in November 2020 and ended in March 2021 with 23 participants.
Within five intensive months, the training program focuses on conveying the participants the necessary coding skills for landing an entry-level programming job. At the same time, the program also fosters the development of a sense of community among participants by means of various extracurricular activities. The everyone codes alumni network the sustainability of this community. Thus the program does not focus on the development of coding skills alone, but offers a complete package consisting of intensive support for overcoming daily challenges at the workplace as well as for gaining all relevant soft skills.
Growing strong together, no matter the pandemic
Already five years ago, when we started our journey, we realized that the community feeling within the learning group is key. And that comes with a lot of person-to-person interactions. The challenge of this batch was that it had to be organized online. Therefore we had to figure out how to substitute the personal interactions. Fortunately the first week of the program still took place in person. We knew that we had to focus on building the relationships and setting up the communication. The mission was accomplished - our participants already felt no more like strangers and could easily interact with each other after just a few days.
When the program moved online, we did not need to go far. Our participants proactively suggested their own online channels, where they managed to regularly socialize. On top of this, we organized weekly retrospective meetings where we as a group (participants and the team) could reflect on the past week, connect and find out how everyone is doing. The goal was that whenever anyone felt like they needed support with their assignments or even something a little bit more personal, the group was there to hold the space or lend a helping hand. There is nothing more a community builder can wish for than seeing their people rooting for each other and growing strong together.
Companies are back on the hunt for talented junior developers
After the basic program three immediately found a job. Fourteen participants went on with the advanced training to deepen the coding skills and become even better fit for the labor market. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses put on hold their hiring activities. Now we see that companies are getting active again and asking us for developers again. Therefore we hope that we manage the placement of a majority of the graduates.
The biggest challenge when finding a job as a software developer is that companies are mostly looking for seniors with at least two years of experience. As many of our participants are new in the field and do not have sufficient working experience in the field, we are now trying to find different ways to find suitable job offers for them.
In this context, we are focusing on cooperation projects with IT companies to set up mentoring and training programs. Furthermore we are again planning the Employability Day in September, an event through which our graduates get connected with IT companies from our network.