Mentoring, competency models, open salaries, conferences. These are but a part of how education and professional growth work at Applifting. We asked Jana Procházková from our People Care Team to give us a more detailed picture.
What does education look like at Applifting?
There are many different ways for Applifters to learn and grow. The cornerstone of it all is mentoring. It goes hand in hand with a so-called competency model, this map of different skills that take you from a trainee to a junior, medior, all the way to a senior. Each level has a list of skills that everyone working with a given technology must learn. It doesn’t take much time for a trainee to become a junior or even a medior, some manage within a few months or so. But the higher you go, the more complex the requirements—including soft skills—which makes it harder to advance as quickly.
Everyone gets introduced to their respective competency model already during the hiring process. At the same time, they know that once they come on board, they will get to pick a mentor to guide them through the model and help them improve their skills, thereby earning more money as well.
We also support Applifters in attending seminars, workshops, and conferences—if the team finds it worthwhile, and if there's a budget for it. Not too long ago, we also came up with a new role of tech leader, where the people involved have enough time to develop education in their respective technology and help people improve in it. It’s an integral part of their job.
Nowadays, we’re taking a more strategic approach to education and soft skills development in particular, something we don’t have as much experience with compared to hard skills. At this point, we’ve experimented a little bit with a leaders academy, but we know it’s in its early stages.
Speaking of the new tech lead role: what else does it entail and how did it come to be?
Like I said, it’s a brand new position, so we’re still in the process of giving it its final shape and trying things to see what sticks. For now, tech leads work on a project for one of our clients, but it only makes up 50 percent of their work. They devote the rest of their time to educating people in the technology they work with, mentoring them, and being ambassadors for Applifting in general. What we have in mind is that in the future, our tech leads will be organizing hackathons or cooking up new ways of sharing experience gained on individual projects. That’s because we found out that a lot of the time, people communicate only with their team members, which is something they’d like to change, to share their struggles and successes also with other developers in the same field. So, really, this is something that came from within the company. And that’s how the position of a tech lead came to be.