A boot camp may conjure up images of rising at dawn, cold showers, brutal physical workouts, and lots of shouting. If so, think again, because boot camp just became the latest method for training aspiring young developers looking for C jobs and .NET jobs.
Both graduates and school leavers interested in an IT career are discovering that getting their hands dirty through work experience – and now boot camps – is what impresses employers.
Put through their paces
A UK Developer Boot Camp, launched last week by Microsoft, QA Training and e-skills, is designed for young people who want to kick-start their programming careers. Apprentices come from all over the country and are the first cohort to be put through their paces in the Software and Web Developer Apprenticeship.
Boot camp consists of 9am to 5.30pm training, which is a blend of instructor-led and practical exercises. Participants have small team projects to work on in the evening plus, there's a drop-in surgery each evening to go through any specific content with the tutor.
"This first week of boot camp has been great: learning new things, understanding what working in business is like, and on top of that, getting paid", says Kris Smith, apprentice with IT support firm Xperta.
Emma Roberts, from IT services company Atos Origin, confirms that boot camp offers a blend of theory and practice. "It gives you the opportunity to try out in real life what you’re learning, while getting used to a real working environment."
Developers in demand
Research shows that skills in software development, particularly those for C# jobs and .NET jobs, will continue to be among the most highly sought after in the sector. The UK alone forecasts it needs an additional 67,800 software professionals by 2019.
Stephen Uden, head of skills and economic affairs, Microsoft, says of the developer boot camp concept, “We believe that a strong supply of developers is vital to the future of the industry, and will enable innovative small companies to grow."
Get your hands dirty
Chris Jones, junior analyst with ICT Customer Services Direct, reports that work experience has helped him redefine his IT ambitions. “My aims shifted slightly during my time here. Originally I wanted to get into developing IT areas, research and development and the like.
“But since spending time in various positions that I had previously thought as ‘repetitive work’, I changed my mind. I really enjoy working with virtual environment systems, something I knew little about before the apprenticeship.”
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