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Career kickstart: IBM iX recruits new colleagues with bootcamp

Digitalisation affects almost all industries, and programmers are among the most sought-after professions. That’s why more and more career changers are opting for a career in the IT sector. With its new bootcamp format, IBM iX shows that it is possible to get started as a programmer in four (intensive!) months. From 14 June to 30 September, ten participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of front-end development as part of a challenging and supportive remote training course.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript – at the beginning of the bootcamp these were still foreign languages for some participants. And that is entirely intentional. Precisely because IT and digitalisation are relevant in almost every industry, programmers with different backgrounds are needed. People from outside the field who have switched to programming often think “outside the box” due to their experience and thus develop particularly successful approaches to solutions. Among the large number of applicants, 60 candidates with and without previous experience had the chance to convince in their interview. Because for IBM iX, motivation is one of the decisive factors: only those who were prepared to commit themselves fully to the bootcamp had a chance of winning one of ten places.

Eat, sleep, code –repeat

Although many workshops suggest that you can become a programmer on a long weekend, it’s not quite that simple. For its bootcamp, IBM iX therefore placed great emphasis on teaching the basics. Frontend development is a broad field, and going directly into specific frameworks would narrow the focus too much for beginners. So the participants spent eight hours a day, for four months, intensively learning the programming languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and laid the foundation for successful frontend development.

In addition to guided sessions with experienced mentors from IBM iX and a series of exciting guest lectures, the participants also had plenty of time to apply and deepen their newly acquired knowledge, independently and in group work. “I particularly enjoyed the practical tasks and lectures”, said participant Filip Rubes. “Our mentors were extremely committed and made the material clear to us with many practical examples. Just as important for me, however, were the scheduled time slots in which I was able to independently apply and internalise the material.” His fellow student Marija Susko agreed: “Of course it was hard. But our mentors were extremely motivating, and it was great for me to get such an opportunity and to see how much I’ve achieved in just four months.”

Mentors make the difference

The fact that the bootcamp has been such a success is also due to the mentors from IBM iX. With experience from previous training courses, such as the Apprenticeship Program, as well as a lot of heart and soul, they have developed a challenging program. The interplay of predefined content and flexible adjustments “on the fly” has made it possible to address individual participants’ questions and tasks and to motivate and challenge them every day anew.

At the end of the boot camp, the participants were able to demonstrate their skills in a final exam and set the course for their future careers. Nine of the ten participants started working at IBM iX after a more than deserved two-week break. Seven of them were able to join ongoing projects directly, while two completed a further one or two months of advanced training before they too were involved in active projects. “Although many of us originally come from other backgrounds, most have passed their exams. I am proud to have worked my way into IBM iX and to be part of a group of colleagues who encourage me and support me in further developing my knowledge,” said Marija Susko.

The next bootcamp is getting ready to start

If you are thinking “I want that too!”, then we already have the next chance for you at the beginning of 2022. Starting on 28 February 2022, our next bootcamp in Varaždin will be all about programming in Java.

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