From students to professionals

From students to professionals

Vasiliy Ivanov Feb 05, 2018

Now, our company is going through the phase of active growth again, and we are faced with a problem of hiring. This issue is beyond the scale of a city and even a country. Only a few universities all over the world really teach students the material that will be useful to them throughout their professional careers. Most universities operate an outdated curriculum, trying to inspire students with the information that was relevant several decades ago. Such universities usually don’t change an educational process, as if they do not notice the changes around themselves and in the world as a whole.

We practice an unusual hiring procedure, which is based on the long-term development prospects of the company. If we aimed to instantly strengthen the company and its development over the next few months, then of course we would look for established professionals simply buying them out for big money and for better working conditions. But, as I wrote in one of my articles, this way is quite fatal in the strategic outlook, because these people will not be involved in the company’s life and they cannot be expected to support when the company needs it.

We fill a lot of vacancies with students by conducting internships or student practices several times a year. We hire both young people who already can fulfill commercial tasks, and those who will be able to grow to become a good specialist in a half year.

As our practice has shown, students who have never worked anywhere but who have a huge desire to start working, who want to create something with their own hands, are really able to quickly reach the level of average specialists in the city and compete with them. So what if the student did not get into the top five best universities in the world, but wants to grow and get his profession? From my point of view, the solution is extremely simple:

  1. Choose the desired goal
  2. Determine the way to achieve it. The student can determine many steps himself, some will require outside help. For this, there are specialists and teachers respected by students, and company representatives who work with students.
  3. Exclude activities that do not exactly lead you to success. I will explain this a few paragraphs later.
  4. Every time when it is impossible to achieve the next intermediate goal, find out what went wrong, what can be changed, how to get back to achieving this goal.

Looking at modern specialists with less than 10 year experience, I can note the same tendency – not achieving their goals, they simply turn off the path and choose easier ways. That's why now there are a lot of iOS and Android developers and website coding specialists on the market. Well, what will happen to these specialists in 5-10 years? With a high probability, only those who possess knowledge in such fundamental sciences as mathematics, algorithmization, and others, in addition to their developing skills on certain platforms, will stay afloat.

So what is learning and how to achieve the professional might with it? I see the answer in the applicant’s ​​understanding of his goal and the subject area he is engaged in. After all, why 20 years ago there were so many programmers with a deep knowledge of mathematics and other fundamental sciences, and now there are only experts in interface development or scripting on one limited platform? Previously, it was difficult to achieve professional results, because old technologies required a huge amount of knowledge to create something working and useful. Now, every future professional has a choice: to study complex sciences, incomprehensible at first glance, or areas where everything is clear.

The true professionalism is born here! The ability to admit that you do not understand a particular area, and try to cope with it, is the key to success. After all, most go in a simple way – they discard what is not clear. They are justified by the fact that only idiots are currently engaged in this area, and they choose to develop an interface, write a script on the server, create web pages, and practice many other simple areas. Well, I am not disrespectful of the activities listed above. These areas are useful, necessary, and it would not be possible to create the final product without them. I just want to say that these areas can be only a part, but not a maximum, of what a professional can do. What decision did I finally choose for myself? I realized that the development is moving in the direction where something is not clear to me. Acting in an understandable area is not development, it is operation of known data.

Entertainment

Above I promised to return to events that are guaranteed not to lead a person to professional success. Here I want to appeal to students and schoolchildren. Count how much you have free time to master the future profession. After many years, I very much regret that I wasted some time on entertainment, not even for my own pleasure, but just to spend time. Now I am sorely lacking that time to fill the missing areas of knowledge. Let's take for example computer games – these magnificent, beautiful worlds, where everything is so clear, where every player feels omnipotent and is capable of something unreachable in the real world. Have you ever noticed with what mood you finish playing? Especially, if you stop compulsorily, whether you need to go to the university or parents put time restrictions on the computer. Even if you played 10 hours in a row, you get up from the computer without a sense of pleasure, without satisfaction from life.

But these are local consequences. Global ones will arise in 5-10 years, when you realize that you cannot take advantage of that time and open a book or an internet page to learn something interesting, find out something new, move one step closer to professionalism.

 

The strongest piece of advice I can give to students and schoolchildren is to constantly catch yourself in a state when you do not understand something and this makes you stop practicing in a particular area. You should clarify those concepts and topics that you misunderstand. I give a one hundred percent guarantee that after everything is clarified, you will be interested in this subject again. And after a while you will feel that you have become a professional in this field. Do not follow in the footsteps of those who look for easy ways out. Easy ways, as a rule, are limited and short.