Hiring bootcamp grads: Telus’ innovative approach

Graduates of bootcamp-style tech skill accelerators are rapidly becoming the go-to recruitment source for partners looking to hire. Leading by example since 2013, Telus digital was one of the first teams to hire alumni directly out of bootcamp courses. Taking on a targeted recruitment approach has allowed alumni like our very own Cobi Moos to enter a close-knit team within an established enterprise.

Travis Allan – a technology strategist, architect and team lead for Telus’ digital team in Vancouver – was one of the first in the corporation to advocate hiring from bootcamps. “We’ve grown a model around hiring young, eager people who want to learn and are passionate about technology. Partnering with bootcamps has given us first pick from a highly talented pool.”

The hiring process

When seeking new talent, Telus interviews up to a dozen students in one afternoon. The interviews, held at the conclusion of a course or shortly beforehand, are split into interpersonal and technical parts. “Every single one of our interviews starts off with an explanation of Telus’ culture and what we’re looking for,” Travis said. “Sometimes we can make an offer to a candidate on the spot.” Candidates are often selected for interview via demo nights, like Bitmaker’s Meet Your Makers Symposium, which allow for meeting candidates in person after they give live demos of their own work.

Cobi Moos was hired by Telus directly from Bitmaker’s full-time Web Development course earlier this year, after representatives attended his cohort’s Meet Your Makers Demo Day.

“It was quite a satisfying accomplishment to show off a fully functional, mobile-friendly website that my partner and I built in just over two weeks,” Cobi said. “Sharing our work with our peers and development community was an exciting opportunity! Afterwards, Telus requested to interview us for positions.”

As part of Cobi’s onboarding, he was provided with homework for becoming familiar with specific technologies. “Most of my learning has come from diving into and analyzing the code itself. I’m able to seek answers from my fellow coders and learn from being involved in end-to-end projects.”

Ready for new challenges

As a developer on Telus’ My Account Outcomes team in Toronto, Cobi’s role has him working between two senior developers, making assistance during a project readily accessible.

This approach, according to Travis, accelerates the integration of new hires and promotes a strong development team. “If we can train junior developers in-house, typically by pairing them with more senior members, we will produce rock-solid developers. New hires paired with senior developers flourish within the company.”

Though Cobi was hired to work with some languages, like PHP, that are not included in the course, this wasn’t a concern during hiring. “Bitmaker helps you think, talk, and learn like a developer, which are the crucial skills needed for getting involved in this industry,” Cobi said.

“I had some personal experience with PHP in the past, but I never worked with the language along with a framework. Working with Ruby on Rails during Bitmaker prepared me with a mindset that I could apply to using a different framework. Jumping into something new was easier.”

Bitmaker full-time alumni do much more than train to enter a new career in tech — they excel, applying new skills and ways of thinking to become leaders and decision-makers at some of the world’s most influential companies. Thank you to our partners for believing in the quality of our courses and the potential of our graduates!

Interested? Have questions? Get in touch with us at contact@bitmaker.co to find out more about learning with and hiring from Bitmaker.