Two Alberta-based organizations are collaborating to solve a classic problem: How does one get hired if they lack experience and how does one gain experience if they can’t get hired?
This situation is playing itself out in Calgary’s tech talent market as junior software developers graduate from rapid six-month re-training programs but struggle to find jobs, locals have observed.
Thus, learning experience organization InceptionU and software development company New Idea Machine have initiated a partnership that will see InceptionU graduates begin working on real software projects, gaining valuable experience until they’re able to find full-time employment.
Calgary is growing as a North American tech talent market with a growth rate north of 2%. However, there are still critical gaps that need to be filled, says Al Del Degan, cofounder of New Idea Machine, a custom development and mentorship startup in Calgary.
Del Degan notes how there are currently 2,500 open tech jobs in Calgary alone. He says many positions, such as senior software developer, are simply in short supply.
According to Del Degan, the goal of the partnership is to accelerate the growth and career development of junior developers so they can enter the tech workforce sooner.
“Our partnership creates a ‘finishing school’ for junior developers,” he explains. “We know the longer a new developer works with NIM, the more likely they are to find a job.”
He says that what “started out as a pilot project has now proven itself as a model that works.” Twelve junior developers from InceptionU joined New Idea Machine and 11 of them found work with Calgary tech companies in a period of just three months.
InceptionU CEO Margo Purcell says the partnership benefits “the entire tech ecosystem” of Calgary because “it’s a regenerative model.”
“It serves individuals as well as the tech ecosystem—the companies don’t have the bandwidth to continue to develop people and it benefits individuals because they have oversight to continue learning and they can earn a livelihood while looking for full-time work,” stated Purcell.
73% of InceptionU graduates are employed within nine months of completing the program.