It has been more than three months since the Bulgarian government declared a state of emergency. Since then, we transitioned all our operations from an onsite to 100% online format. We did it swiftly thanks to our vast experience and led by our belief in the uncompromising quality of our education.
We know that COVID-19 has changed the daily lives of millions of people all around the world. For us, this period revealed and validated six important lessons that we hope will be just as useful for you, as they are for us.
We believe that they should stick with all of us even when the crisis passes because they could be helpful in everything that we do - work, study, our daily interactions.
This is one of the most important lessons that we regularly remind our students - don’t give up at the first obstacles you come across.
We know that learning a new skill could be daunting. Let us assure you that if you feel uncertain about starting something new and pursuing a career as a software developer or a QA engineer, it is absolutely normal.
It's the feeling you’ll most likely get when you want to improve yourself, develop a new skill, or leave your comfort zone to do something new and challenging. Just remember how hard it could be to start working out!
Well, we are not experts in CrossFit training, but we know the software industry, and we know how to groom top tech talents.
We closely monitor the situation in the IT sector and based on the global trends, proactive communication with our partners, and our most recent alumni who are now entering the tech sector, we have some good news for you.
The IT sector will be among the least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic - it services the full spectrum of businesses around the world, including the food industry, logistics, and transportation, finance, insurance, healthcare, software for communication and work, etc.
The IT sector is future-proof - almost everything around us runs on software and today we are even more reliant on it - for work, communication, and leisure time. Did you know that for the first quarter of the year, Netflix is worth more than Disney? Amazon’s shares are reaching all-time high records and Zoom is booming.
It also allows for an easy transition to work from home - you can work from anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
So, don’t give up - you have a lot of options in front of you in the IT industry.
Even before COVID-19, we were already living in a very dynamic time, and those who are open to learning new things or, in some cases, old things in a new way – had an important advantage.
The current situation once again showed the importance of being able to quickly adapt to the ever-changing world. The fact that you are reading this blog post and you are browsing our website, it’s clear evidence that you are quick to act on signals of change. That’s great because all of our students and alumni have this in common – they want to stand out from the crowd.
Our number one priority is to help them do it, to be their mentor on the path to a successful career in IT.
We are not that different from you. We also understand that change is the only constant in the world. To ensure your success, we keep upgrading and augmenting our programs based on our decade-long experience, the pulse of the industry, and the feedback of our students.
And we adapted. We had to transform from a onsite to 100% online training experience in a matter of days.
So, we made sure that our online education is just as effective as the onsite format by transforming and adapting our approach.
We increased the time for a one-on-one mentorship and guidance with our trainers.
We ensured all students have an abundance of learning materials carefully created and curated by our trainers, including video, demos, etc.
We organize extensive group Q&A sessions.
Every student can reach out to our trainers in a direct message and set an online meeting to talk about the challenges they may face or to ask for advice.
We collect feedback from the students (it’s important to listen, remember) to take the pulse of their progress, to hear their suggestions, and how we can be more helpful.
We keep track of the progress of every student. If we feel that someone is slipping, we talk to them to understand the underlying reason, and help them get back on track.
To summarize – adaptability is the key to your success, regardless of the circumstances.
In difficult situations, even your best efforts can have a negative impact if you are not able to communicate them well.
The COVID-19 outbreak was yet another example that people need to know what to do. And the instructions must be presented clearly and in an unambiguous way.
We live in a world overloaded with information - for better and worse. This makes it hard to be unbiased to everything that happens and to isolate yourself from anxiety, worrisome, and even fear.
To help students adjust to the new situation, our team started sharing regular tips and tricks for smarter and more effective ways to study from home.
We started publishing a detailed schedule for the upcoming lessons, meetings, tests, homework assignments, etc. We post the updates every Monday, and if there are unexpected events, we inform the students as early as possible with additional information.
A valuable lesson that could be easily forgotten because of a wrong assumption.
Here is an example. You are afraid to share information very often as this will make you seem annoying. Well, we are sorry to say it, but this is a wrong assumption. The constant stream of information can guarantee you all interested parties will feel safe and reassured that you understand the situation, and you are doing everything within your power.
If you are not transparent, this leaves people guessing, makes them more susceptible to misinformation, and as a result - more prone to false theories. Keep them up to date. They will prefer it compared to being kept in the dark!
How to do it? Is remarkably simple - explain what you are doing and why you are doing it.
For example, our CEO Alexandra Mechkova sent an internal email with all the measures we are taking, why we are taking them, and what will be our next steps to address potential issues that can result from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our CEO also sent a similar email to our students. In it, she described and explained our actions as an academy, what we are doing to keep the same quality of education, and that we’ll keep guiding them even after their graduation during the job search.
Do not let false assumptions take over the situation.
To be able to avoid bad surprises, you must prepare for the future. The COVID-19 situation is unprecedented, but you must be ready for disruption. You must plan for things going sideways.
For us, almost everything we’ve done over the last ten years (the focus on the quality of the education, always listening to the feedback we receive, building a team that takes its duties not so much as a job, but more as a mission) is all coming together now. Plus, we’ve quickly adapted, tested and learned new things, that will help us navigate through the crisis and come out of it stronger.
As it turns out, future thinking is one of the essential tools that we have in our arsenal.
The lesson here is to take advantage of the difficult situation to invest in your development, expand your knowledge and skills.
You can turn this into a great opportunity. For example, daily you save time from commuting, why not invest it in a new hobby, or in the development of a new skill? We have a few suggestions for taking your expertise to the next level.
Remember the beginning of this blog post? The IT sector is future proof in part because of this final lesson. A lot of companies were already undergoing digitalization. They had a well-prepared plan on how to do it gradually, which would have taken a long time.
Because of COVID-19, most of them did it in a matter of weeks, not years. Digital transformation is now an essential and important part of every strategy. It’s imperative for the future of almost every business.
That’s why we decided to integrate Microsoft Office 365 into our education process. Therefore, our students will have Office 365 accounts, Telerik Academy emails, and they will use the full capabilities of Teams, SharePoint and more for free. We believe that this is another great opportunity to work in a close to a real-world setting.
These are the lessons that we wanted to share with you because they are valuable for the situation today and the world of tomorrow. Don’t forget that you can invest in your future by applying to our Alpha programs.
Ivaylo studies Computer and Software Engineering at the Technical University of Sofia. But he didn’t need to finish his formal education to start working as a Junior Software Developer at Americaneagle.com, thanks to the Telerik Academy Alpha .NET program.Read the story
Is it possible to become a Master Junior Developer in 6 months without previous experience? Yes, and it's time to learn how.Read the story