Why Power Home Remodeling Trains Their Own Entry-Level Developers

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When students come to Flatiron School, our goal is much bigger than teaching new skills and equipping them to launch their tech careers. We aim to inspire lifelong learners, whose curiosity and love of learning stays with them long after graduation day.  

There’s no better example of that than Garett Arrowood, a 2015 Flatiron School grad, developer, and Technical Education Manager at Power Home Remodeling Group. After witnessing the company’s explosive growth – and accompanying need to scale their engineering team – firsthand, Garett designed the Power Code Academy to build an entry-level tech talent pipeline from within the company’s own ranks. 

Backed by Flatiron School’s software engineering curriculum, Power Code Academy trains high performers across the organization to start new roles as apprentice developers. Over the course of five months, students not only learn to think and build as software engineers, but learn from in-house engineering experts how to excel in Power’s tech organization. 

Here, Garett shares why: 

My company, Power Home Remodeling Group (Power), has grown aggressively over the past 5 years. We have opened up offices across the US and seen huge gains in customers served over this period of time. One key component to our success is the development of a diverse set of technology tools that help Power grow.

To keep up with the overall pace of company growth, the technology department has had to be creative in increasing its workforce. We still use the traditional hiring process, but the time and the energy spent to attract, interview, and on-board candidates are costly. And when it comes to hiring entry-level developers, besides finding a good fit for the business, one takes a risk that the individual has the ability to grow into a competent programmer.

So we decided to take matters into our own hands and create an internal “Coding Academy”. Training entry level developers has many benefits.

Overview

The student-developers…

  • are a proven cultural fit

  • learn business-specific technologies from day one

  • become acclimated to developer team workflows

  • bring expertise from previous roles

Proven Cultural Fit

Since we made the decision to invest in our own employees, we already know our future coders have a strong work ethic and are trustworthy individuals. So the first big benefit to training our own developers is that the students we select have already proven themselves to work well within our company culture.

Business-Specific Technologies

We also get to train these beginners in the technology stack we use from day one. Alongside the big picture of computer languages and frameworks, we can teach the various libraries and internal tools we use to make our company a success. From the techniques we use to process background jobs, store cache keys, or integrate telephony logic, we can prepare our student-developers to hit the ground running when they graduate into apprentice positions.

Acclimate to Team Workflows

Training developers from within the company also lets them get familiar with the technology department’s workflow before they even write their first line of code. When hiring from the outside, it typically takes months for new employees to get used to how our teams function, how we collaborate, how we communicate, our meeting structures, and all the routines that play a part in delivering value to the company.

Expertise From Previous Roles

As our company has grown and new roles have been created, one great challenge is identifying the most important problems to solve. It is impossible to anticipate every workflow bottleneck our non-tech employees encounter.

Our in-house programmers bring first hand experience from other departments into the developer workforce. There is no one more qualified to inform us about the needs of a Scheduling Call Agent or an Outbound Marketer than someone who has lived in their shoes. Their past experiences bring invaluable insight.

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This program was designed through Flatiron School Enterprise, which develops custom retraining and upskilling courses to meet the evolving education needs of the world’s leading companies and universities. Visit flatironschool.com/enterprise to learn more.

Headshot of Anna Lux

Anna Lux

Manager, Enterprise Success

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