Finding a first graduate role in technology can be intimidating, and many may question if the skills acquired on a degree course are applicable in the real world.
Even more intimidating can be a career change into tech, which can seem unattainable without the academic background to qualify for entry-level positions.
2i Testing provides an insight into how it is opening up career opportunities in the technology sector for all and is inviting all those interested to a Virtual Career Fair on 6th April (details at end).
Technology opportunities for all
2i is a testing and quality assurance specialist, and central to its value system is providing the opportunity for people of all backgrounds to break into the industry. Within its teams are dozens of engineers who are either in their first job, as the company provides a platform for graduates to enter a training and progression framework, or engineers who have completely switched careers and are in their first tech role after transitioning from an unrelated sector.
These engineers are now on the cutting edge of the quality engineering and digital landscape and are developing their skills across test automation, performance, accessibility, compatibility, security, DevOps and continuous integration.
Recent hires are encouraged to get involved in the hiring of new colleagues by inviting people that they would like to work with in the future, and running the interview process. This instils a sense of empowerment and enriches the community, which 2i reports as one of its greatest achievements: having such a close-knit team, despite working almost exclusively remotely.
Tackling workforce inequality, and encouraging diversity and inclusion
Process and governance are key pillars of the hiring process, and making the assessment and recruitment process as fair as possible is forefront at every stage. Technical tests are fully automated, coding challenges are anonymised to avoid unconscious bias and interviews are in a standardised format. This ensures a level playing field in the opportunity to get that break.
Diversity and Inclusion are other key aspects of hiring, ensuring the top of the filter is as wide and as representative as possible of the communities that the company is hiring from. 2i engages with various boot camps and non-profits to attract a diverse set of candidates, - a passion that runs throughout the organisation.
In a recent talk at the Scottish Testing Group, Adam Pettman, 2i’s Head of Engineering said: “Changing lives is as important as meeting profit targets”.
Three new initiatives are being launched to attract graduates, career changers, and apprentices into the tech sector.
2i has recently announced a partnership with Edinburgh College to provide its students with an insight into the industry. The Skills Boost program is funded by the Scottish Government, and bootcamp students are given a project to undertake, again reducing the barrier to entry to gain real-world digital skills.
Edinburgh College head of school for Computing, Sam Blyth said: “I’m very excited about this innovative new approach to addressing the tech skills gap in the region alongside 2i Testing. Now more than ever we need to ensure that students leaving with a college education are more than ready to join the workforce. I’m very proud of what we have started and look forward to following our students’ success.”
A program dedicated to career changers, aiming to tear down the sector’s barriers to entry is soon to be launched by 2i. The program will be free-of-charge, open to anyone to complete at any time, and will include technical resources, interview tips, and will share real-life testimonials from some of the 2i engineering team who have already made a successful career change.
2i has made a commitment to the Scottish Government to introduce apprenticeships in Scotland as another low barrier route for students without a degree and is working on setting up apprenticeships in England.
The apprentices will complete a longer training period upfront and will study for formal qualifications up to full degree level alongside their work. This initiative will give college and school leavers an alternative route to gain digital qualifications without the traditional full-time university course, while also gaining real-world industry experience.
Complete training and support for graduate and career-change junior engineers
2i has created a training path to give new starters the support they need when starting out. On entering the organisation, 6 weeks are dedicated to training the university and bootcamp graduates in test engineering and digital skills, and they are provided with mentoring and coaching from experts in their fields. On top of this, they will benefit from additional external training to gain industry-recognised qualifications in software testing.
As this training provides practical, hands-on experience in the exact tooling that will be used when deployed onto projects, the engineers can confidently hit the ground running as productive and capable team members on day one.
2i rotates engineers around projects every 6 months to provide a broader range of digital tech experience and ways of working. This promotes a quick understanding of the good and the bad in various projects and creates more well-rounded engineers, capable of recommending potential technical and process improvements from a very early stage in their careers.
And the training doesn’t finish there. Pluralsight licenses and training budgets are provided throughout the engineers’ time with clients, allowing them to continually upskill in areas that are relevant to the current project.
After their first two client projects, one year into their career, engineers are encouraged to take a pause to reflect and consolidate their learning, and to undergo more advanced digital training to further improve their skills without the pressures of client work.
Managing Director, Dave Kelly, summarises: “At 2i we nurture a culture of inclusivity, learning, openness, and sharing. We want our employees to feel empowered to drive change, be it for our clients or for 2i. We want to help them to achieve their full potential and to thrive as professionals and as people.”
2i are hosting a Virtual Careers Fair on 6th April between 5:30 and 7 pm, and are inviting people to go along and learn all about the world of testing and working for 2i.
Find out more and register here: 2i Virtual Careers Fair on the 6th April | 2i Testing