11 Oct 2019

As part of our overarching goal to create a company culture where our employees have the opportunity and support necessary to do their best work, we are creating a place where we can centrally house all the content, tools and training materials that they may need. We are creating Unosquare University with the goal of preparing our employees, and our company, for their next assignments and our next clients because we believe that by continually learning and growing, we will all succeed.

We started by creating a centralized location where our employees could access third-party content from well-known providers like Pluralsight and Udemy where they can take courses and stay on the cutting edge of the technologies our clients require. More recently we expanded with a digital training library from Amazon Web Services and developed an e-book lending library to make all the resources available to our employees located all over the globe. Our next step is to include materials created in-house by our own subject matter experts - our employees. We believe in the old adage that the best way to demonstrate mastery of a topic is to teach it and we’re encouraging everyone at Unosquare to do just that. Furthermore, by creating materials for Unosquare University, our employees are becoming trainers, mentors and teachers and exercising a whole new skill set to add to their professional toolbox.

A great example of the internally created content we’re encouraging is the training program that launched in our Belfast, NI delivery center in September. Our team there created a three-week curriculum for recently graduated Computer Science students that was not only an introduction to the company but also a primer on the basics needed to be a success on client teams. The program was such a success that we’re globalizing it to make it applicable to all our development locations where we on-board trainees and newly graduated Computer Science majors.

The curriculum covered 28 topics ranging from Project Management methodologies and the typical SDLC to source control tools, front end technologies and modern approaches to automated testing. Seventeen of our employees in Belfast volunteered to teach topics like Git 101, Design Patterns & Anti-Patterns and a mock project using Minecraft to demonstrate understanding of material learned in the Intro to Agile & Scrum and Project Lifecycle courses. The program was delivered as a mixture of in-class and hands-on material and ended with mini-project that included mockups and client requirements. I’m excited to work with the team to improve the program based on the feedback from the inaugural class and see it launched company-wide at the beginning of next year.

Another source of materials we are developing will come from our Guild program. Centered around a specific technology or social purpose, our Guilds are organized around a topic that is interesting and admirable to the group. We have Guilds organizing around things like Fullstack JavaScript, .NET and Women in Tech and several more are in the formational stage. Our Java Guild, for example, meets to share resources and experience with each other and to create materials that demonstrate their expertise to the rest of the company.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a series of posts from our Java Guild entitled “How to REST (& build a) ful API + UI Apps easily“ explaining how to create an API in Java (backend) and consume it with some JavaScript frameworks (frontend) in the easiest possible way. This material and more like it will add valuable knowledge to the Unosquare University library to help future developers more easily understand the concepts.

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