Our industry has a surplus of brighter junior developers but a lack of open positions to hire them. The current traditional hiring practices are not meeting the demands. Companies need to adopt the right trainee program that can help to upskill the bright junior developers. Our training program at Axelerant empowers junior developers to learn about the industry in a short period of time under guided mentorship.
An ongoing challenge the IT industry has been facing for years is - supply and demand. There are countless graduates looking for jobs. Despite being motivated & passionate to work, they don’t get a job due to a lack of work experience. On the other hand, companies are looking for people with several years of experience instead of focusing on providing a top-notch trainee program.
We decided to close this gap by introducing our 10-week intense training program. We find people with the right mindset and equip them with relevant knowledge. This makes them fully ready for a client project on the first day after their training gets complete.
After associates (freshers) or L1 (around a year or two of relevant experience) developers are officially hired into Axelerant as Front end developers, they spend 10 weeks virtually learning every aspect of being an effective developer. The objective of our trainee program is to help them become excellent developers and great team players from day one of the client project. After completing the 10 weeks trainee program, our developers become experienced enough to handle 2 real-world client projects. They are not only ready to develop the most challenging features but also translate the client’s needs into great solutions.
Our associates have been successful in earning five-star reviews from their project managers, tech leads, and peers. Our junior developers have received the following type of reviews in their very first project:
In this blog, we’ll attempt to elaborate on what makes our trainee program at Axelerant excellent among others.
Overview of Axelerant’s trainee program:
- Hiring right people
- Upgrading the soft skills
- Combining the learning and the doing
- A Real-world setup
- Time compression
- A dedicated and experienced trainer
- Regular evaluation
- Results in a full-time role
Hiring Right People For The Trainee Program
The success or failure of the program starts right from the hiring process. Our entire training program can be summarised in one line - “Finding the right people and building the skillsets around them.” We hire the people about whom we are tentatively sure that they will graduate from the program successfully.
We believe that if someone is coachable, they can be taught anything. If someone takes every feedback as an offense, it’s super hard to upskill them.
A decent ability to communicate effectively is by far one of the most important skills that we look for. Not just speaking, but a reasonable ability to listen and write also is critical to get through. Although it’s fine-tuned and upgraded in the process of the training.
In the initial assessment project, we intentionally give them a task that might require them to do some research and learn something new. The only thing consistent in the IT industry is change. Everything is changing and evolving at the speed of light. If someone does not enjoy and embrace learning, we do not consider them for the opportunity.
Honesty And Integrity
The technical skill that is required for the job is something that can be taught to a person. However, the same cannot be said for the ethical values in a person. We always check if a person’s attitude towards work is positive, whether he/she will put in the required effort to learn, look for ways to perform, and deliver results with integrity. This includes how disciplined they are and how much they value someone else’s time and efforts.
Basic Programming Skills
Upgrading The Soft Skills
Being a successful developer involves a lot more than writing code. A developer needs multiple tools and skillset to deliver successful results. In addition, it’s necessary for developers to embrace learning new things.
One of the biggest things to learn is asking for help and asking it in the right way. We work on the communication skills of the trainees from the very first day of the training.
Engaging new hires in our culture and onboarding them to our core values is just as critical as making sure they have the technical skills to do their specific jobs.
A Real-world Set-up
The trainees work on real business problems, where intense teamwork and time management are required to meet the deadlines. It’s an intense, boot-camp-like experience, but people emerge on the other end of the program, ready to tackle real-world challenges.
The projects closely mimic real client engagements. The time frames are kept equivalent to a real engagement. During this time, trainees are constantly measured and evaluated.
A Dedicated Mentor
A dedicated mentor, or what we call at Axelerant a “trainer” is available to guide the trainees during the entire duration of the training. Guiding necessarily may not mean spoon-feeding. Rather, in our case, it’s the opposite of that. We teach our trainees not to be dependent on someone else from day one. Being dependent is a bit different from being interdependent.
A question well asked is half answered. We train our people to do their bit of research first before asking for help. And if required, they must ask for help. Asking for help in a proper way is a strength, not a weakness.
The majority of mentorship in our program happens by the means of feedback. From the first merge requests, there is a zero-tolerance for short-cuts and bad code.
Regular Communication in Trainee Program
While the trainer and the trainees constantly work with each other at Axelerant, we prefer to set aside a regular time for some honest discussion about the progress. Trainer and the trainees meet every day for a Standup meeting. This regular meeting creates a framework for establishing open communication and helps ensure that the problems are addressed.
Trainees are encouraged to communicate frequently with each other which includes some pair programming as well. We keep looking for opportunities where the trainees can be provided an opportunity to lead the meetings.
Combining The Learning And The Doing
In the case of web development, separating learning from working sounds like teaching someone to swim without stepping into the water. The training program that we offer at Axelerant is on-the-job training with some accompanying study. Our trainees are onboarded in a very real work-like project within the first 10 days of the program.
On-the-job feedback from an experienced mentor makes our program a huge success. In my experience, our trainees with 10 weeks of training are much more upskilled than individuals having 1 year of working experience without a dedicated mentor.
Week 1-2: Basic and foundational training. It’s the only part of the training where theoretical learning is a bit more than doing. Fundamentals of web development are refreshed upon. The machine of the developer is prepared for top-class development.
Week 3-5: The first real-world project. The majority of the learning happens in the form of feedback.
Week 6-8: The second real word project with much higher complexity. Just like the first project, here also the majority of learning happens by the means of feedback.
Week 9-10: Final touch-ups & preparations for the client project. At times, if special training is required for their first client project, this week is utilized for that.
To wrap up this article, we’d like to share with you the experiences of some of our past trainees:
One of the first thoughts I had, when I joined Axelerant, was whether I would be able to deliver high-quality Drupal solutions. As someone who’s not dabbled in Drupal at all, this was a haunting question. However, Axelerant’s ever-evolving training program has not only taught me how to use Drupal but made me so comfortable with it, that I was not nervous at all when I was assigned my first project. Instead of being nervous and unsure of myself, I was excited for new challenges because I knew I was well-equipped to take them on. That’s how you know the training worked!
In August, I joined Axelerant as a Front-end developer. During my training, I got an opportunity to work on Drupal and pattern-labs specific projects and a variety of tasks, with a gradual increase in complexity. In the first project, I built the entire website from scratch in Drupal and twig. The aim of the project was to consider every element and detail of the mockup and create a pixel-perfect responsive website.
Among many other projects, I worked on a task in which I created the reusable components of the website in pattern-labs and integrated them in Drupal. The project’s end goal was not only to save time (through reusable components) but also to promote consistency. It aimed at serving an adaptable foundation that other team members can build and improve over time.
Besides acquiring industry-specific skills, I learned how to adapt myself to a diverse culture, deal with deadlines, and effectively recognize and solve problems. Also, my mentor's feedback helped me to find my strengths and the areas that needed more work.
I have been associated with Axelerant for the past four months. During this period, I went through rigorous training which has helped me gain a considerable amount of valuable experience. The training helped me achieve knowledge with respect to my responsibilities and made me focus on the core areas of work. The projects I have worked on during my training were very similar to the previous client projects that Axelerant has been working on. For example, in one of the projects, I created reusable components in Pattern-Labs and ported them to Drupal. This helped me understand the diverse requirements that clients have and gave me the confidence to work on the future projects.
Besides working on technologies like Drupal, CSS, Sass, Js, Pattern-labs, and twig, I learned how to create responsive and accessible websites. As a result, I have a clear understanding of the quality standards of the project that clients expect from us.
Also, open communication is one of the strong skills that I learned during my training. I was able to overcome the fear of asking too many questions. My mentor and team members always appreciated my habit of asking too many questions. It helped them ensure that I really understood my responsibilities and I performed them correctly.
I started working at Axelerant as an Associate Software Engineer. I've gone through four months of training. I started working with various technologies and one of them is Drupal. My experience working with Drupal was quite awesome, as I haven't worked with such technology before. If you notice, these tools provide a complete package and a lot of flexibility. I did my site-building part in Drupal and I handled my front end with technologies like SASS, CSS (Flexbox & Grid), Js, Twig Templates. I did two different projects during my training. In the first project, I started with the site-building in Drupal and created custom components from scratch. In the second project, I created the components using Pattern Labs and ported them to Drupal. Simultaneously, my focus was on the Google Lighthouse report that lets you assess and score the user experience on your web pages. These projects provided me with a lot of exposure like how we can handle or complete things in a specific time zone.
During my training, I felt like I was working on a client project, as in how to meet the deadlines and solve things in an efficient manner. I'm greatly thankful to my trainer who guided me throughout this journey at Axelerant. Besides, there are a bunch of talented engineers in my organization who supported me whenever I faced any issue. Also, I would like to thank the organization for the thought process they have enlightened in me. They have helped me recognize the sense of achievement which inspires me to work more efficiently.
Prior to joining Axelerant, I had no idea about Drupal, i.e. what Drupal is, how it works. At Axelerant, I’ve gone through a guided training program which made me feel comfortable with Drupal and helped me understand its capabilities as compared to other CMS’s out there. Now, I can take complex Drupal projects with confidence and deliver high-quality work.
Before joining Axelerant, I had no experience with Drupal development. Initially, I thought that it might be a bit hard to get comfortable with Drupal. But I found the training program at Axelerant to be very much guided and evolving at the same time. I have been in the training period for about more than two months now and I have gone through real-world use cases and developed various projects using Drupal, Twig templating, Pattern Lab, Scss, JS, Ddev, Gulp, etc. I feel a lot more confident in delivering Drupal solutions now. A big thanks to the training!
My journey from knowing nothing about Drupal to developing various Drupal applications has been a great one. It is because of my training with Axelerant that I’m able to create a custom theme with numerous components like a responsive navigation menu, blog pages, search form, slick slider, and testimonials. I've learned a lot about Drupal, composer, and Git version control systems and have raised MR regularly. As a developer, I have learned how to manage my time and manage pressure as a result of this time-bound training. I am now ready to tackle any frontend project in Drupal and apply the knowledge that I have gained through this training.
Undoubtedly, training is one of the best parts of an organization’s induction as there’s a lot of exposure and learning involved. In Axelerant, it's more than training. I had no prior experience in Drupal before joining Axelerant. Once I went through the training, I got more confidence and I was able to work on any projects that I have been assigned with proper time management. Training teaches you everything about Drupal and you will not feel anxious taking/working with your first project. Thanks to Axelerant’s Training!
From Drupal zero to Drupal hero in less than 3 months, I have learned so much from Axelerant’s training program. Vivek’s excellent teaching and courteous personality helped me tremendously through my journey at Axelerant. The training program not only polished my existing FE skills but also prepared me for new and more complex challenges. The most interesting, productive, and enjoyable training that I've ever been to. Thank you.
If you are also excited to learn new things, head over to https://www.axelerant.com/careers and choose the position you are best suited for, and click apply.
If you are looking for a great technical delivery partner for your next gig, reach out to us at https://www.axelerant.com/contact
Vivek Agarwal, Frontend Trainer
He's a extroverted introvert (there is such a thing) who spends his free time studying with his daughter or singing in the shower.