DeveloperBridge: SoundCloud’s Program for Training People from Diverse Backgrounds to Become Engineers
DeveloperBridge is a year-long, full-time, paid traineeship program where participants learn from and work with engineering teams at SoundCloud. The DeveloperBridge program was launched in 2017 with the goal of further supporting diversity and inclusion at SoundCloud and giving back to the tech community. Now it's 2020, and we just kicked off the second edition of the initiative.
The program is designed to:
- Give back to the community and support the Berlin tech scene by creating junior engineering roles that require no previous experience.
- Provide an opportunity to people passionate about engineering and who haven't yet had a chance to kickstart their careers.
- Support underrepresented groups and people from marginalized communities.
- Promote junior talent.
- Improve diversity in the organization and create a more inclusive environment.
- Benefit from fresh perspectives and be reflective of our diverse user base.
- Give our engineers an opportunity to mentor and coach.
- Hire trainees to full-time positions at the end of the program.
Organizing such a program is a logistical challenge that requires cross-team effort and collaboration. We started recruitment in January 2020, and in the job description, we were transparent about our offering, process, and timeline. To create a diverse pipeline and attract our target audience, we promoted the program on different platforms and at various organizations, such as ReDI School of Digital Integration, WomenTech, Women Who Code, and the Women Who Go course, which SoundCloud hosted in the past.
After one month, we received an astonishing number of applications — 400 to be exact. Together with volunteers from Engineering, we screened the CVs and filtered out applicants who were already professional or full-time developers. The next step was a technical one, consisting of two take-home programming tasks. Since our participants are not experienced engineers, we didn't require them to actually complete the tasks. Instead, we focused on their thought processes and problem-solving skills.
At the end of this, we invited the 21 highest scorers to the final onsite day. During the day, the applicants learned about SoundCloud, took part in introduction sessions with engineering leadership and DeveloperBridge 2017 alumni, and met members of the SoundCloud team for informal lunches. They also had two short interview sessions: pair programming and barkeeper (barkeepers are senior engineers who represent the technical excellency, culture, and mindset of SoundCloud).
Organizing the onsite day was a huge logistical task that required support from volunteers across the whole organization. In the end, 37 people supported the onsite day by interviewing, conducting introductory sessions, chaperoning, and hanging out with the participants during lunch. It was great to receive this support from the engineering team.
Best of all, the onsite day was successful: We made eight offers instead of the seven we had initially planned for, and all of them were accepted!
Here is what one of the finalists, Kaylee, thought of the recruitment process: "From the beginning until now, it has been an exciting, challenging, fair, and rewarding experience. The programming challenges brought an extensive range of brain stimulation, while the personal interview session at SoundCloud was welcoming and relaxing. Live coding with the senior developer was also fun and interesting."
The next step was finding projects and teams for the trainees. We wanted this process to be as inclusive and interactive as possible, in order to cater to the interests of the trainees. We came up with the idea of a "Pitch Day," which is where engineering managers would pitch their teams and projects to the trainees. That way, the new joiners could also meet their future colleagues and learn more about the actual tasks and projects. Neslihan, one of the participants said: "I am impressed with the genuine interest in finding us the project that we would be passionate about."
The preparations didn't stop there. Volunteers from Engineering started working on the training program to onboard the new joiners to all things SoundCloud: tech stack and systems, ways of working, internal policies and processes, and career progressions. In addition to the training program, the new joiners will have mentors and buddies who are also volunteers from the engineering team.
In addition to the benefits for the new joiners, DeveloperBridge has already had huge positive effects on the company. For example, the training coordination group is planning on scaling its training program into a regular onboarding, junior colleagues had the chance to participate in a recruiting process, and colleagues were excited about running the program — this is something they drew additional motivation from in their day-to-day work.
Organizing and executing DeveloperBridge has been a great learning experience for the recruitment team. It is also extremely rewarding to give back to the community by supporting junior talent and giving opportunities to people passionate about programming. We so excited for our eight trainees — Ekaterina, Kaylee, Margaret, Tristan, Oscar, Matan, Neslihan, and Evgenija — to start their SoundCloud journeys.
💎 Partnerships in remote environments is one of the most important aspects to construct in a company. Watch the video to the end to get good tips on how to do it successfully.
📼Wondering how to create partnerships in remote environments? Play this video to get three top tips that will help you to achieve it. You'll hear from Olga Shvets, HR Business Partner, and Viktoriia Litvinchuk, People Team Operations at Unstoppable Domains, who will explain the essentials of this process.
📼How to build partnerships in remote environments? Tip #1: Communicate Effectively. Communication is the key to enabling your remote team to be successful. Choose the channel that works best. For this, chat with your employees and see what they use to communicate, that's how you find the best solution. Also, make sure your team is on board with your internal tools and they know what, how, and where they need to use them.
📼A requisite for building partnerships in remote environments is Tip #2: Show appreciation. Appreciation is shown through your actions. Let your employees know that you value everything they do for the company. Create a special gratitude channel where everyone can share their appreciation for their colleagues for some contribution. Celebrate some wins, promotions, and everything that is important for the company. If you appreciate the employees, employees do the same for the company.
Create Partnerships In Remote Environments Using Trust - Tip #3: Give Honest Feedback
Use engagement surveys! They are a quick and effective way to receive honest feedback from your team and you can see what's working well and what needs to be improved. Your main priority is to create spaces where managers and employees can share honest, relevant feedback.
📨 Are you interested in joining Unstoppable Domains? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Olga Shvets
If you are interested in a career at Unstoppable Domains, you can connect with Olga on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Unstoppable Domains
Unstoppable Domains is bringing user-controlled identity to 3 billion+ internet users by issuing domain names on the blockchain. These domains allow users to replace cryptocurrency addresses with human-readable names, host decentralized websites, and much more.
By selling these domains direct to consumers for a one-time fee, the company is making a product that will change cryptocurrency and shape the future of the decentralized web by providing users control over their identity and data.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
💎Want to know what engineering teams are like at Workiva? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 Engineering teams at Workiva are constantly hiring. Marie Yue, Senior Engineering Manager at the company, tells you what they look for in a candidate and what the dynamics of teamwork are like.
📼 The typical path in the engineering teams at Workiva is that you grow into a senior, and then you move into a lead role. From there, there are a few different tracks that you can take depending on your interest. You can become a staff engineer, an architect, or even an engineering manager. What are you waiting for to apply?
📼In the engineering teams at Workiva every member should feel empowered to do their job effectively. For this, each has to understand how the work they do day to day solves customers’ problems. Managers will always seek to be aware of members’ career path aspirations so that they can look for opportunities and projects to help each person reach the next step in their career.
Engineering Teams At Workiva: A Safe Space
Marie Yue’s team is a safe space for people to make mistakes and ask for help, and each member feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. She wants to make sure that everyone is individually empowered to lead and make decisions. For this, the team has regular meetings where they do fun things like play virtual games or eat lunch together, and they also like to re-review and add to their team working agreement once a quarter.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Marie Yue
If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Marie Yue on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform the way people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do—from how they build their software, to how they serve their customers, to how they treat their employees.
After two years of remote programming, we’re excited to welcome the 2022 NIKE, Inc. Internship Program back to our U.S. offices this week!
This year’s class of 318 represent the top 1% of 34,000+ applicants from 113 universities – including 10 Hispanic Serving Institutions and five historically Black colleges and universities. And that’s not all! Many of this year’s interns are Division 1 student-athletes, representing Track and Field, Rowing, Soccer, and Volleyball, to name a few.
During the nine-week internship – built around the theme of Never Done Shining – interns will work across Nike, Jordan and Converse taking on meaningful projects for the business areas they’re supporting. We can’t wait to watch this talented, diverse group kick off their Nike journey and shine!
Want to learn more about the program? https://jobs.nike.com/internships