Getting from bootcamp to job in a few weeks
In just 3 months after graduating from our Frontend Bootcamp, four students had already found work as professional developers. Now, 7 months later, the employment rate from that cohort has hit 80%. So what’s the secret, and what is Re:Coded doing to help?
min read //
July 15, 2021
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In just 3 months after graduating from our Front-End Web Development Bootcamp, four students had already found work as professional developers. Now, 7 months later the employment rate from that cohort has hit 80%. So what’s the secret and what is Re:Coded doing to help?
Elif Chorghay hit the ground running and was the first to get hired a little more than a month after graduating from our coding bootcamp in August 2020. So far so good, but her fortune got even better. Prior to accepting her first job offer, she had attended a mock interview with a Re:Coded Hiring Partner and they were so impressed with her, that even though it was just meant as a bit of interview training, they asked her for an official interview.
In the end, they ended up offering an even better package so by November she was already on her second job in her new career as web developer - this time at Akinon, a cloud-based omnichannel commerce platform based out of Istanbul where she is currently working.
The mock interview that kicked it all off is a central component in the services offered by Re:Coded Career Services. At the time Elif and her classmates graduated, they had not only gone through five months of intense coding training designed to give them the skills to start working as professional developers immediately. They have also received training on how to write a good CV, how to make a profile stand out and how to ace a job interview as well as going on company visits.
Everyone fails a lot. You will learn from it. Sometimes, our graduates ask me if I think they should introduce themselves to a certain employer. In that case, I always answer the same – ‘what is the cost?’ 3-5 minutes of your time - what is the risk?
— Etem Özdemirci, Re:Coded Business Development Manager
That parallel training is conducted by Re:Coded Career Services who start their work in the last phases of the bootcamp. For those who are eligible and chose to take up on this offer, Re:Coded is facilitating portfolio checks, speed interviews, mock interviews and ono-to-one career coaching six months after graduation.
We talked to Re:Coded Business Development Manager Etem Özdemirci about the work that went into helping Elif find work.
"When that happens, I feel great. The same thing has happened before with Kolay Ik (a global HR software company based in Istanbul) and generally we’re targeting local companies like this to be Hiring Partners."
Hiring Partners sign on to our mission to help aspiring youth from untapped communities in their path towards employment in the digital economy. Sometimes they open their doors to a company visit, sometimes hiring managers will help out reviewing CV’s and some are even setting aside time to conduct the kind of mock interview that ultimately led Elif to get her first job offer as web developer.
"Of course, we hope something like that happens,« Etem explains. »First of all, it’s meant as training for the students, but we also want to show off our students to these employers. It’s just a mock interview so there are no promises, but you never know if it might lead to employment for some. It’s also a chance for employers to screen for new talent."
Some Are faster than others
Not all find work through Re:Coded and not all as fast as Elif. They’re well trained to go job hunting on their own. Aydin was next to find work in October, 57 days after graduating. That took him 55 applications and 4 job interviews before he landed a job at Associate Software Developer at NMQ Digital - a global company with offices in London, Bombay and Istanbul.
Now, a little more than 6 months later 8 out the 10 students looking for a job after the bootcamp are hired. Like Aydin, 6 of those came to Türkiye from Syria in the wake of the civil war that has raged since 2011. Not bad in a country with an estimated 4 million Syrian refugees but where only 63.789 had received a work permit in 2019 (~1,5%) and nearly 60.000 of them were male.
There is no magic formula to find work, but as Etem explains plunging in deep and learning from failure is actually a great way to find work.
"We try to tell our graduates to be proactive. Go for trials and don’t worry about failing - you’ll learn something new every time. Those who succeed are often the ones who dare to embrace the ambiguity and start their search early. It’s really all about getting a response and seeing how you deal with that. What are the reflections that come from that."
Others have followed suit with Mohamed finding work in October and with Hassan who found an employer willing to go through the tedious process of applying for a work permit for a Syrian with temporary refugee status. Two are even employed at Re:Coded with Halit joining the team as Trainer Assistant and Bahaa as Digital Marketing Coordinator.
"They were all very actively seeking advice during open office hours with our Career Services Team as they were searching for work. They would ask questions on how to find work as a freelancer, how do I reach out to a specific company but also on how to deal with a situation where two companies are in play and how do you use that to your advantage in negotiations."
Generally, Etem and the team are encouraging students to take the long road.
"Start by building relationships and reach out to people in the ecosystem. Contributing to open source projects is a great approach and don’t be afraid of sharing ideas and feedback on others projects."
Even with all the useful advice and organized coaching, it’s often the mental factor that is most important in finding work. It is really about overcoming fear of failure, Etem says.
"Everyone fails a lot. You will learn from it. Sometimes, our graduates ask me if I think they should introduce themselves to a certain employer. In that case, I always answer the same – ‘what is the cost?’ 3-5 minutes of your time - what is the risk? Try to calculate the expected outcome and go for it. That’s the best advice I can give."
Re:Coded Career Services
During the bootcamp
While students go through the bootcamp we start to prepare them on how to find work through:
- Career prep curriculum. Students go through coursework such as Effective Networking, Writing a Killer Cover Letter, Technical Interviewing Techniques and more.
- Employer Info Sessions with top tech firms in Turkey for students to gain a better understanding of what it's like to work as a developer and what HR teams are looking for in job applications.
- Weekly Office Hours where students can ask questions or get any support they need in applying for jobs.
- A Capstone Project that provides our fellows with an actual simulation of what it's like to work as a developer.
- Demo Day, where fellows present their capstone projects which helps them to improve pitching and presentation skills.
After the bootcamp
Students that opt-in for career services receive training and support to help them nail their job interviews and expand their professional networks.
- CV Review with international Re:Coded Career Mentors - most often professional developers working in global tech firms volunteering to help our students.
- A standardized template for all student profiles that includes links to relevant profiles and their CVs that is externally shared with potential employers.
- Mock Interviews conducted by industry leaders (i.e. Bloomberg or Akinon) who give students specific feedback on how they can improve their interviewing skills.
- Speed Interviewing Event with employers that are looking to hire in the short or medium term.
- We facilitate opportunities for graduates to build and expand their professional networks.
- We encourage them to stay in touch with other fellows they met during and after the bootcamp.
- We tailor match our alumni with prospect hiring partners ask for relevant talent (eg: frontend, UIUX etc) - this more ad hoc process initiated by partners talent request.
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