Do you remember your time at university or high school? Apart from the funny stories, most of us were inexperienced, yet determined students eager to learn new things. We were looking for any opportunity to expand our skills and learn from the masters. All we wanted was to have the chance to do so. At Vacuumlabs, we believe bright minds should always have the possibility to develop their talent. And this is how we do it.
Encourage senior team members to volunteer
Giving senior team members the freedom to volunteer and help less experienced developers is one of the best ways to support talent growth. Not everyone has the resources to afford private or additional teaching and such opportunities are invaluable for them. Mentoring at various camps or events is beneficial for the community, but also for personal development. Talented individuals will grasp the knowledge easier and mentors will train their soft skills.
We encourage our software engineers to engage in such activities by providing them 15 paid days a year for tech volunteering. Our colleagues are actively helping in organisations such as Trojsten and with contests such as CEOI and IOI. As successful participants of these events, they’re now mentoring students like they once were themselves.
“I personally believe, that the IT sector still has enormous potential to improve the world. Helping young talent to progress in the field they love and enabling them to do something with a positive impact is the most meaningful activity for me”
Says Marian Hornak, a former member of Trojsten and a Senior Developer at Vacuumlabs, about his volunteering experience as a mentor. Trojsten is an association at Comenius University with a 20-year history that organises various events, summer camps and international competitions. Volunteers help students in exploring the beauty of mathematics, physics and informatics.
Organise conferences, meetups and hackathons
What’s a better opportunity to learn and sharpen software engineering skills than participating in hackathons or meetups? But first, they must be organised by someone. The advantages of organising such events are on both sides. Participants will acquire knowledge and you may find new colleagues while contributing to society. Plus, some hackathon projects turn into success stories.
Think of Caroussel, an app to simplify the process of selling unwanted household clutter that closed around $80 million in C Series funding. Or an Android app Cryptofy that can help you to manage your crypto activities
As creators of ReactiveConf (which offers the opportunity to volunteer too), we organise ReactiveMeetups and ReactiveHacks. Our mission with Reactive Universe has become to create a place where we can experience technologies that shape the future.
Europe’s one-of-a-kind tech festival started as a small side project and turned into the most unique, all-inclusive software conference in Europe. Besides our Reactive activities, we also think about young students and from time to time, we deliver inspirational talks at schools.
Invest time in pro bono projects and internal tools
The headline speaks for itself. Aside from helping the community as such, pro bono projects create an excellent opportunity for software engineers to master new technologies without any pressure or hard deadlines.
In fact, they can even expand and subsequently involve developers from other companies to co-operate on good causes. You can read more about our pro bono project created at a hackathon, verejne.digital.
Another great thing to consider is internal tools. Being completely tailor-made, they really are powerful additions to your company’s workflow. For instance, you can develop a bot for booking conference rooms, the automatic ordering of food or from e-shops like Alza.sk. The finance department will also thank you for the automation tools.
Practising or adopting these three hints will certainly be valuable for the IT community as a whole but will also support developers to progress quicker. Consequently, you’ll have a chance to meet tech talent and your colleagues will gain experience on projects without pressure or hard deadlines. Let’s use these tips together on our journey to improve the world around us.