Developers Club geek daily blog

1 year ago
About a year ago we interviewed trainees from the Mainframe Quality Engineers command and learned a point to sight of students on combination of work and study and secrets of a successful beginning of the career.

Now we want to share opinion of those who risked to invite in young graduates in the teams developing EMS products.


Sergey Pospelov

the unit manager of software development for Mainframe in EMC

The main reason why people employ students and graduates - it is shortage in the market of the suitable frames possessing the necessary skills and knowledge. For example, when data domain very narrow, such as programming on the assembler under z/OS. Also personal qualities are important: the person has to be sane, be able state clearly thoughts, to responsibly carry out objectives, to work in command and to proportion requirements for a salary to the knowledge and abilities. And if it is not possible to find the suitable specialist meeting the necessary criteria in any way it is worth taking the graduate or the student and "to mold" from him the employee of dream. In a word, if you cannot find an ideal — create it! image

But such approach has also features which need to be considered. Education of the young employee can take a lot of time. It is strongly influenced by approaches and vision of the senior companions, with all their merits and demerits. And the main issue of successful training whether you have a worthy professional mentor? Can he state the thoughts clear for students? Whether is at it for this time? The typical error — to give the student to the weak mentor as all strong are busy. Rates of professional growth of the pupil directly depend on example level for imitation.

At the same time it is impossible to dismiss also a possibility of own error when you employ not the most perspective candidate. In due time our command also faced it: the due attention was not paid to campaign for a set of students, and as a result the applicant was nearly one. Its training demanded many forces, and only when we took one more student, it became clear that other young employees can be trained quicker, literally seizing all on the fly. Therefore it is necessary to approach very attentively selection of candidates, this stage defines how quickly the person will join command, will begin to yield worthy results and how soon he will grow up in the professional of the highest level. Also at due diligence and attention it is possible to train qualitatively and not the most talented student, and it is possible, his talents will just reveal a bit later.

Having considered this experience, we built solid system of selection through student's projects (that represent joint student's projects of the development center of EMS and technical colleges, it is possible to learn from Mikhail Salamatov's performance at the SECR-2015 conference). I want to tell with confidence that students can solve complex problems. Tell about it also stories of many large companies which grew from successful youth startups.

It is necessary to remember influence of the current traditions and habits — behavior models of collective — on the employee's potential. The matter is that students can sometimes solve problems quicker and more qualitatively, than it was found possible up to this point. Especially well it turns out when they do not know that a complex challenge. For example, if work can be performed in a day, and all repeat around that such things usually become week, the young employee will surely solve a problem the whole week. Therefore the worst that you can make is to set to the student the task, having told that it difficult, and you do not wait for fast results. Or to give on a task it is a lot of time, proceeding from that how many your specialist spends for its solution. If you realize the true potential of the young employee, you get chance to construct more effective command.

Successful work of beginners also stimulates also all other collective. The person is more senior, the less at him remains desires to study something new. Therefore old residents will use the methods checked for years even if there will be more effective methods of a solution. And students are a young blood, an efficient method to display group of stagnation and to open the new horizons. However progress of young people is capable to cause strength in command. Students can put on airs at the first progress and call into question experience of people around. And occasionally it is difficult for experienced colleagues to recognize that someone young found more optimal variant of a solution. All this will lead to undermining team work and the general falling of performance.

And what it "team work" and "command spirit"? For me it not silent sitting behind monitors when the desire to escape home at 18-00 soars in air. The ideal command is a group of the enthusiasts who are actively interacting with each other arguing how to make something it is better and more correct, occasionally having absolutely forgotten about time. Owing to early age, students are complete of optimism and youthful maximalism. And it infects the others. So if your command loses energy and spirit of innovations — it is time to employ young people. And that life boiled further, it is necessary to put more than forces and time in different team buildings and collective actions.

What else it is possible to tell about young employees? They support collective, common cause and the company much stronger. On the one hand, they have nothing to compare yet, with another — there is a wish to believe that they got to the best company at once. And if to support this positive spirit, the youth will not begin to think of job search in other places.

In addition to a spirit of students there are also expectations which can often be far from reality. The brought-up on the Hollywood movies, some beginners consider that their career has to fly up immediately up. In this regard it is difficult for them to concentrate on the current tasks supposedly "all the same in half a year I will do something greater". Often they still are admirers of different modern tendencies. Therefore be going to fight against the various "ideal pictures of the world" imposed by the Internet and books: your office rather multi-colored for creation of the atmosphere of creativity? You use Jenkins and Git? Or perhaps you still did not pass to SCRUM? Or SCRUM at you any this? Why you manage not as it is written in the book at the famous Guru of management? Really you did not read it?

Other features which should be considered: students continue to study therefore they can sit at lectures then when they are necessary most of all. So it is not recommended to take them in support and for other works demanding permanent presence. Also there is a risk that having ended VUZ, the student will leave. Perhaps, its work at you was good only as a side job. Or during the training period the salary was not so important, and now it seems what in other place will be sytny. Besides, young employees can be lost unexpectedly because of army, the decree, etc. But it is not necessary to despair, students will study up sooner or later, and forces put in them and time at the correct approach will give you return still for many years.

Alexander Yakovlev

the unit manager of software development in EMC Captiva

Last year I decided to use the partner EMC program with the St. Petersburg Higher education institutions and to attract in command of students. The main objective was in unloading the experienced employees from routine tasks and to give to regular engineers the chance to stay mentors of less experienced programmers.

Interns should not have been too much in relation to key employees. The command has to have an opportunity "to digest" them, otherwise there is a risk of a negative impact on projects instead of positive. If you think of enrollment of students for work too, then take them only in the stable, well worked well together command, with the adjusted communication mechanisms. image

We approached selection of candidates so carefully as if it was necessary to close the senior engineering positions. It was important to understand what questions and as often future beginner will begin to set to specialists with what productivity he is ready to work what his motivation, whether it is capable to work in command as he perceives criticism and councils, and many other things.

As a result we managed to select the best candidates, and last year I took in team of three interns (ITMO, St.Petersburg State University). They exceeded my expectations. Technically complex challenges on which they worked under the leadership of mentors were offered each student within a year. Coped perfectly, according to colleagues, worked at the level of full-fledged programmers. Afterwards we suggested all three to enter the state. Two remained with us to work as engineers, and the third decided to pass into a startup in other city.

Thanks to so positive experience, this year I admitted to department of one more intern from St.Petersburg State University which already managed to prove as the serious and productive engineer. In several months we decided to charge it development of a difficult UI feature on which it works under the leadership of the chief architect of Petersburg department of Captiva.

In my opinion, acceptance of interns in command is an excellent opportunity to unload the regular employees. And in case of successful cooperation interns will be able to enter into command already taken place and qualified engineers who got experience over your products within your worker process. And it pays back such inconveniences as need to adapt to the educational diagram, especially during an examination time. Just to it it is necessary to be ready from the very beginning and to consider in plans.

Alexey Akopyan

the unit manager of software development in EMC EOS2 Cloud Engineering

Feature of work with students (and in general with the young specialists only beginning the labor way), is that they have an active period of accumulation of experience and knowledge. Therefore it is necessary to think out for them such tasks at which solution they will be able to study something new, without having committed at the same time too many follies. The ideal picture looks approximately so: in the project there is a task for which solution it is necessary to carry out some comparative analysis of n of possible technology solutions. There is the senior engineer who represents at least some of these solutions, and there is enough time to consider them all. Certainly, in life all these conditions are not satisfied by time, and the head should show a lot of ingenuity to balance all interests, and also load of the senior employees, interns and themselves favourite. At the same time interns need to find time regularly: to talk, listen, ask questions. I specially avoid words it seems "to advise", "edify", etc. because an opportunity to express and think independently much more valuably. At least, in the development area of new products.

Andrey Pakhomov

the head of department of development of the Center of researches EMS to Skolkovo

Very often there is a temptation to use students in production, but all as a result lose. There are, of course, happy exceptions, but then it is worth calling it work part time, but not internship. In what a difference? Interns are future specialists who will develop the industry after us, they have to possess all necessary skills and capabilities. And for achievement of a new stage they need to master more knowledge, than there was enough at the previous stage. However it is important to remember that despite development of technologies and processes, there are certain values which, as a rule, remain invariable. I think, many will not agree with me, but I consider that the internship has to make of the student of the specialist of the future. The specialist for today he will become if you include it in your project. To be a specialist of the past he is trained in HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION. Most of students perceive internship as study continuation. It is the correct approach, and quite so have to treats it employers. And if you create from the intern of the specialist of the future, then have to plan for it higher starting point, having focused its development on studying of even more advanced technologies. image

Proceeding from this provision it is obvious that it is necessary to select smart, capable, and, above all, motivated students. Having brought the intern into the company, it is necessary to discuss on what project he will work. Perhaps, it will be something connected with production, say, creation of PoC of architecture, modeling of super-syllabic structures or interactions. The main thing that the project was interesting as the intern, and you. At the same time it is necessary to try to involve technologies which are owned by nobody in the company including the intern. Further define the purposes of the project and plan work. Here it is important to find "golden mean", without having left the intern with a problem in private, but also without having overloaded him with control boundaries, risks and Gannt's charts. During work it is regularly necessary to trace progress of the beginner, to connect specialists mentors who are good for preparing for such role in advance. An important role in training activity is played by the regular presentations which the student has to carry out at first to other interns, then for specialists in the project, etc. At last, sooner or later the intern will reach the level when it is able independently to provide the project to the customer. But many heads do not trust interns and leave them "off-screen", representing development independently. Here it is important not to follow the tastes of the concerns, and to give to the intern an opportunity to tell about the work and to directly receive a comment about a product.

Such technique of work with interns allows not just to teach the student to the fact that you are able itself, but to develop him as specialist who will be popular will be able independently to develop and to help others.

In comments we suggest readers to share the view of involvement of trainees and students for work in real projects. :)

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