IT-start project: creating the future

The pandemic will be over, but IT will remain. Now it is especially pleasant to remember successful projects with which we can influence the future. One of them is the “IT-start”, the key organizer of which Sibedge has been for 3 years.

How did it all start?

In 2018, together with the Department of Labor and Employment, we initiated and launched this project for the first time — a set of career guidance activities for 8-10 grade students. At first, we just wanted to explain to student what IT actually is about, to sway them to the "light side of the force", and to do some hunting for the future bright stars for our company. After all, if you remember your path: what not do many people do before they come to IT – chemistry, fire-fighting, oil business. How much time and effort was spent just because there was no professional reference point. This is just one of the problems that IT-start challenges.
It is extremely important for us to invest all available resources in our future: this is a long-term investment that will really pay off in 5-7 years. And it is not just about future rock-star hunting. There is also a significant social aspect: we participate in the life of the city, develop the region economically, promote conscious choice of profession, and motivate students to fall for IT.

"When I didn't know anything about Sibedge, I managed to take a photo of the hackathon in 2018. It was my way into Sibedge. I remember guys in identical T-shirts. I was surprised at them being so close, so kind and warm, and then I started to recognize them in the office and made some acquaintances", shared Elizabeth.

A few facts and figures

In 2018, three IT companies, the Department of Labor and Employment, and 280 students participated in the pilot project. The project was stretched over time, so it was not an easy task to hold the students' attention. We learned our lesson. In 2019, 9 IT companies, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and Employment, and 580 students took part in the project, and the project itself consisted of seven dynamic stages:

  1. IT-quiz, where students were immersed in the world of IT and evaluated their knowledge in this field.
  2. 4 field trips to our company, where we revealed to the students the subtleties of the IT-world professions. The students had meetings with a Project Manager, an Analyst, a Developer, a Tester, a Designer, a Lawyer, a System Administrator, and an HR.
  3. 2 workshops: CEO Alexander Kalinin told the students what one needs to know to become a CEO, and what skills are required in the world of IT; Our Python developers immersed students in Python programming through a game that was created specifically for them.
  4. 8-hour hackathon "Let's go into UX/UI!", where the teams of the top ten schools had to design the interface of a device or a Messenger" mobile app. From an idea to the prototype.
  5. Concert-awarding of all participants, which summed up the results of the completed stage of the project.
  6. CV workshop, where everyone was taught how to write a CV.
  7. The project resulted in the summer internship, where 7 students worked in our company for a whole month as assistant analysts, system administrators, testers, programmers, designers, PR and HR specialists, performing real work tasks.
As a result – 49 bright events.

"To be honest, at the beginning I thought that these were pointless events, PR or something, nothing more. But after each of them, I had the best impressions, which I did not expect at all. I can definitely single out the guys from one of the past hackathons who made a prototype of the game, where they drew all the character skins in paint, my jaw really dropped, the guys were cool and deservedly got the first place", said Sergey, a system analyst.

"Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by the students — they were so active, initiative, and willing to work day and night. It was incredibly difficult to tell them straight to their excited faces that we couldn't take everyone for an internship. When you see their inspiration, enthusiasm, and their first results, you know perfectly well that everything is not in vain", confessed Lyudmila, an expert in the development of the training programs.

According to the results of the final study, 60% of the project participants decided that they wanted to work in IT in the future. And not all of them went for development. For example, our HR experts found an assistant who was really into the personnel management in IT. We are sure that in 5 years some of these guys will join our company!

"As a participant of the project in 2019 (I eventually completed an internship), I want to say that the project really bears fruit and changes lives. Before that, I didn't even think about going into IT. Many thanks to the organizers for changing my life (and the lives of several other students who completed the internship). Now I am actively engaged in programming and I am not going to stop, " said Maxim.

What about the plans?

Unfortunately, this year the project had to be postponed, but we set our new goals: following the results of the third "IT start", we plan to influence the number of budget places in universities. After all, now we will have visual statistics on how many places are necessary for everyone to have the opportunity to enroll.

The employment center took our project as a model and plans to adapt it for other industries as well. Schools are competing for the opportunity to participate in the "IT-start" events. The main course of the project is its further scaling.