Many developers smile when they think back to the first time they saw “Hello World” greet them from their screens. The code worked, the sky’s the limit! As a boot camp student, that first greeting is usually followed by an intense course guiding you through the skills and technologies used by the field you want to specialize in. It’s a flurry of information, lines of code, and learning to Google effectively, and by the time you graduate you’re keen to put everything you’ve learned into practice.
In my case, that goal was working with Web Development. As I neared the end of my boot camp studies, I applied and got accepted to join Jayway’s first J-academy program. The program aims to discover new developers from non-traditional tech backgrounds and provide practical experience to fill any technical knowledge gaps. Set against the backdrop of the pandemic, it launched during the autumn of 2020 and led to another added learning experience – how to work as a team remotely!
Together with three other participants, a senior developer, a UX designer, and a project manager, we worked in structured sprints to experience agile development and often shared our ideas through pair programming. As the weeks went by, we took part in several workshops hosted by colleagues keen to introduce us to their different areas of expertise. All along, we had regular syncs with our mentors who were always willing to help with whatever we needed.
The end product was a web-based application called ‘Bridge the Gap’, which allows companies to check if there is a gender wage gap in their organization. Feel free to try it out and share it with your colleagues.
As well as learning about the industry and developing our own skills, J-academy also introduced us to Jayway as a company. It was a good way to experience what life is like as a Jaywayer and understand the company culture. I personally found that these three values stood out the most:
Sharing. Whether it be hosting a workshop to colleagues, giving constructive feedback, or recommending a good playlist to type away to, Jaywayers believe that knowledge should be shared.
Creativity. Looking to find new developers during a pandemic? And hoping to diversify perspectives within the company? Start J-academy! This initiative is Jayway’s approach in a nutshell: using creativity to come up with innovative ways of achieving a goal.
Passion. Everyone we met throughout the program clearly cared about what they did and why they did it. Being surrounded by others who are actively pursuing their interests wears off on you – and certainly makes for interesting conversations! (Return to the first point to see how these might be shared).
Fast forward to March 2021 and all four of us who had been participants in J-academy have now joined Jayway as Web Developers. We all come from different backgrounds – including graphic design, mathematics, hospitality, and marketing – and look forward to combining our experiences from previous industries with what we learned from the program. We’re thrilled to be part of the Jayway team and are all keen to keep the learning momentum going!
As I sent my “Hello World” email to all Jayway employees at the start of the J-academy program, I smiled once again thinking back over the process of changing careers. I look forward to working with new colleagues, learning with each project, and giving back to the community that shared so much knowledge with me at the beginning.