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Issue 36

A retrospective of an alternative year at ACADEMY+PLUS

Gloria Csiszer
Marketing Specialist @ Pitech+Plus
OTHERS

ACADEMY+PLUS is heading to a new generation of students. A year full of activities grew new talents and also grew the confidence of other stakeholders for the project.

This revolutionary learning method for the IT industry, based on program aligned with the market needs, was launched last year in Cluj-Napoca by PITECH+PLUS, after signing a partnership with Ecole 42, from Paris. The main objective of this alternative learning method was to find clever minds that will create tomorrows IT products.

Besides the practice, students develop self-responsibility

After a rigorous selection, during the academic year students accessed a platform where in just a few months they learned different programming languages like: C, UNIX, PHP and JavaScript. They also learned how to work on real projects, having individual tasks or working in a team, which helped their decisional ability. The students developed different skills going to events and competing at contests like: 3 Day Start-Up, Start-up Weekend, Techsylvania's Hackathon and Open Data Hackathon, where 5 of them also won the Best Hack prize for the app I need medication.

During this first year, the staff also focused on the next generations by engaging students and stimulating their interests for coding. At the head office of the academy, on a regular basis, junior kids participated at Coder Dojo, where they learned code related stuff by playing all sort of games on the computer. High-school students from different cities participated at the Game of Codes championship, where they had to code for 12 hours battleship games following specific rules. The second edition of this event will take place this autumn.

Helping recruitment in the IT field

One of the long-term objectives for ACADEMY+PLUS is to increase collaboration between the companies in search of work-force, becoming a source of well-performing staff for the IT market and solving this gap that keeps increasing. The summer is dedicated to mandatory internships for all the academy students. PITECH+PLUS and other IT companies in Cluj already selected them for trainings or hired them on junior positions.

Dive into the pool

July, August and September are the months when new candidates will be tested in order to be selected for this revolutionary and free educational system. In each of this months more than 120 students will experiment the pool, a selection period where they have to deliver daily projects or work with other candidates on more complex projects. They will actually solve the same requests as their colleagues in France who applied for the courses at Ecole 42. This stage of 28 days gathers the subjects covered during 4 years of high-school with maths and informatics specializations. After finishing last year's pool, a student with no background in IT, passed the hiring tests in an IT firm and is a good example of how much this stage matters as knowledge and experience with hands-on projects.

Next level: gamification

The community of students has a very mixed background, and starting with this year the new studying platform developed by Ecole 42 will support this differences. It will be based on the idea of gamification. Progress can be measured by completing assignments and tests online where machine grading and evaluation can be used. All the modules will be customized, in order to increase flexibility and will be personalized for the level of knowledge of each candidate. Those with a higher theoretical level can pass some levels and access higher ones depending on their interests. Depending on how fast they learn and work, they can unlock new challenges and bigger projects.

For the pools that open in August and September, there are still some spots available, the one in July being already filled with candidates. Those interested can access the memory and logics tests on candidates.academyplus.ro.

Sponsors

  • comply advantage
  • ntt data
  • 3PillarGlobal
  • Betfair
  • Accenture
  • Siemens
  • Bosch
  • FlowTraders
  • MHP
  • Connatix
  • MetroSystems
  • BoatyardX
  • Colors in projects

VIDEO: ISSUE 97 LAUNCH EVENT