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In Search of Tomorrow’s Web Development Talents

The Dream Production Academy is our program for sustainable growth. Find out how the program works and what we hope to achieve in the interview with Alex Albu.

«An investment in our future»

The Dream Production Academy is a new training program for anyone who wants to gain in-depth insights into web app programming and start a career as a software developer. Alex Albu explains the program and how it came to be.

How does the program work?

During the course of 4 months some of our most experienced senior developers and technology leads will take turns in lecturing, guiding, and mentoring our Academy program participants.

Our Academy program sets itself apart from most training programs in the industry in the sense that it proposes a holistic learning experience during which all participants will acquaint themselves with our entire technology stack, as opposed to focusing strictly on backend frameworks or frontend technologies.

One could look at it as journey, really, since our aim is to allow participants to explore how various building blocks interact with one-another during the implementation of a web app. They will be able to connect the dots, while our job is to guide them on the path that is best suited to their inherent skills and interests. There aren’t any quotas we plan to meet, a sound understanding of how things work “under the hood” when developing a project is the most important goal for our participants.

What kind of people do you expect to apply?

We’re looking forward to meet applicants that are curious and ambitious by nature, problem-solvers that recognise the importance of clarity when setting out to achieve a task. As for their background, our experience has proven no academic diploma or previous experience in the field automatically qualifies someone for a certain position in our team. Concepts can be taught, skills can be honed, but what we’re really eager to find is one’s drive to grow. And in all honesty this is a rare trait of character.

How are applicants selected?

Assessing applicants that come from such diverse backgrounds (fields of study, previous or current position, extracurricular achievements or interests) can be a daunting task but we were expecting a motley collection of applications.

One thing you learn early on in our field of work is when a challenge is too complex the best approach is to break it down into smaller problems you should be able solve easier. So that’s what we did in this case as it was clear we don’t want to compare apples and oranges. Instead, we defined a common denominator which we felt is relevant enough for the participant profile we are searching for: logical reasoning questions.

It may sound superficial and in some cases some of the questions we ask even sound trivial, but this approach provides a level playing field for applicants regardless of their past experiences.

What kind of projects will they work on?

Hands-on assignments are the core concept of the entire program, so throughout each curricula module participants will work on individual mini-projects that will gradually take shape as one topic is being covered. We want to offer them the chance to assimilate knowledge but at the same time grasp how rewarding it can be to build something on their own.

At the end of the program all the projects that were completed during the course of each curricula module will serve as building blocks for their graduation project.

Why did you launch this program?

Our team has constantly welcomed colleagues that joined us while still completing their studies or even some that had no formal training in programming, and in all cases the thing that made a difference was not their experience or know-how but their mindset and drive to learn and grow into their role of developers.

It’s with our outstanding track record for nurturing young talent that the first edition of Dream Production Academy took shape.

What’s the benefit for our clients?

We take great pride in working with clients that have been with us for 8-10 years now. It’s extremely rewarding to know we were able to contribute to some amazing success stories over such a long period of time, however it’s just as important to recognise that during years of collaboration our organisational culture was moulded to our clients’ standards and expectations.

Speaking of our culture, we have always favoured quality over quantity, even at times when a fast increase of headcount might have been considered lucrative. Growing at any expense has never been part of our philosophy as we believe extreme team augmenting in a short period of time decreases the chances for a proper integration of newcomers in our teams and results in an improper assimilation in our culture. You may be lucky and find people that fit right in and “hit the ground running” but usually the richer the person’s professional background is, the more points require alignment.

The Academy is our way of growing sustainably. Instead of aiming to grow just so we can take on more projects and risk having the costs of such a growth shifted to our clients we prefer to take a healthier approach and make an investment in our company’s future.

What will make the program a success?

There are various ways to measure the success of such an endeavour, but personally I believe we can consider the program a success if we manage to help our Academy program participants take their first steps in their career as developers and thus have a positive impact in their professional lives. If we manage this we will be one step closer to welcoming several amazing new colleagues in our team.

About the program

6 participants will start an intensive learning program and take their first steps in web app programming during the first edition of Dream Production Academy this August.

About the person

Alex Albu is a partner and founder of Dream Production AG. As Head of Project Management he plays a key role in our development team in Timișoara, Romania.