Team story

Becoming a full-time software developer in the Dev Academy

Hanna Ylä-Jussila Software Designer, Solita

Published 31 Dec 2021

Reading time 3 min

Our journey at Solita started from the Dev Academy. All of us have backgrounds in different industries and we wanted to learn more about software development and really get into this field of business. The Solita Dev Academy was a great way to advance to a new career – after five weeks of intensive onboarding, everyone is now working on customer projects as software designers. All Academy participants also get a full salary from day one and are hired as permanent employees of Solita.

We applied to the Dev Academy because we had heard positive things about Solita and the company had a very good feel about it. Academy gave an opportunity to apply for a developer job even when you don’t have lengthy work experience from the field in your CV. Many companies are looking for experienced professionals, so career changers and junior employees have fewer opportunities.

In addition, there was never a need to be shy about the “newbie or newcomer” status since there were 13 of us in the same situation.

“A nice bunch of people where I could be myself”

The best thing about the Dev Academy was the sense of community. The group grew close over the five weeks, and even though our sessions were on Teams, we managed to exchange ideas and build our team spirit virtually. Peer support was very important – if someone felt lost, they could share the feeling with others who were in the same situation. We still meet regularly and have an active Slack group even though the onboarding period has ended and we have been assigned to different projects at Solita.

Our group’s diversity was a definite strength. Although our ages and backgrounds were very different, I always felt welcomed and free to be myself. Roughly half of us were changing careers and the other half were younger people just finishing their studies.

No one was expected to be a technology wizard, and we are still constantly learning software development more in-depth at work.

We were also given a good cross-section of what developers do and what their career opportunities are at Solita. The Academy created a good foundation for our new employment and showcased Solita’s ways of working and company culture.

Pair programming, self-leadership, and a cultural induction

The Dev Academy included many topics and we learned a plethora of different things. For example, we practiced pair programming and completed case assignments. We also heard growth stories and real-life experiences from Academy alumni and learned that Solita lets people define their own career development with plenty of opportunities.

Compared to our expectations, the onboarding was less focused on technology and more focused on different working life skills like self-leadership. We were also given a good introduction to the Solita culture and way of working.

Solita takes the culture aspect seriously and has invested a great deal into its development.

Solita truly feels like a value-driven company that uses its values to direct everyday operations. Everyone is eager to help, and you could ask for help from anyone, regardless of their department or title. I feel the underlying theme everywhere is the culture of caring. The people care about each other regardless of their status or position, and everyone feels easy-going. Newcomers can easily adjust and feel welcomed in a culture like this!

The Solita Dev Academy is an excellent way to get hired at Solita and get a fantastic intensive onboarding for a career in software development.

It is a great choice for students who are about to graduate and for people who have worked in the industry for a few years.

The Dev Academy is also a good option for people changing careers, given that you have some knowledge of software development e.g. through hobbies. The Academy participants are hired as permanent Solita employees from day one and they are supported by mentors who guide them with their future customer cases and other practical matters.

Hanna, Ilkka, and Mikko participated in the March–April 2021 Dev Academy course and are now working as software developers at Solita.

  1. Culture