What's the best way to train my software engineers?
There is no doubt that the expectations on software developers to constantly be up-to-date on the job market are extensively increasing.
We have seen ourselves how fast the landscape is changing and what companies and employers look for in their IT and tech talents. Talent development, or the learning and development (L&D) approach, is very much needed to ensure that your software developers can keep up with the ever-advancing technology there is out there.
Whether its’ learning a whole new programming language, becoming the best at your coding core, or working on your non-technical skills, constant improvement and development is a must.
Stopgap solutions are not effective if your employees are unable to improve themselves in the workplace. Thus, you, as an employer or a leader, will have to come in and provide them with training and support.
Here’s what you can do.
Curriculum Awareness and Upskilling
The most common and effective approach by employers or leaders to ascertain that their developers team are constantly improving their skills are through putting them under training programs or by implementing internal training.
Whether the training is provided internally or externally, it is important to be aware that the curricula are aligned with the upskilling objectives that you want to achieve.
In business development and goals, you want to get the best return of investment (ROI). By being actively involved in L&D training approaches for your team, it can help you realise the different areas that need improvement in your business through your employees’ performance.
Incentivising Self-Directed Learning
Most of the time, only developers themselves truly know their skill level and where they want to focus on in terms of reskilling and upskilling their proficiencies.
Self-awareness and self-directed learning gives software engineers the ability to curate their own learning journey and workflow. However, it may be counterproductive if they were asked to increase workload on top of the deliverables that are already assigned to them. Thus, you should instead incentivise your employees for them to feel motivated when they show progress in their self-learning process.
Furthermore, this approach allows developers to receive knowledge and information in bite-sized chunks. This has been proven to be effective in knowledge retention and usage in everyday life.
To ensure that they are willing to implement this approach themselves, promote alternatives on where and how they can start their own self-directed learning journey. In our article on the affordable and accessible places to learn coding, you or your software developers can choose which one could be the best option for upskilling and reskilling. Other incentives can include getting certifications for finishing a course, fully-paid education, access to world-class instructors for various programming modules and many others.
Skills Assessment and Reviews
Each software developer will have varying skills. To understand your developers programming proficiency, it’s important to do constant assessment and reviews on their skills. This also helps to ascertain their level of proficiency in programming and tech are aligned with what you need, focusing on the best practices of software development in regards to consistency and adherence.
Through the assessment and code reviewing process, you can develop education programs that tackle diverse learning needs for different developers. You will have access to skills data and bridge any necessary gaps or discrepancies that you may find through this data.
It is prime time to consider innovative approaches to help developers and learners achieve the objectives that your organisation wants. It has been mentioned in a study that failing to assess your employee’s skills will result in development initiatives failing to meet the required goals. Up to 38 percent of learning professionals are concerned their needs for improvement are not taken into consideration, which in turn would affect the overall performance of one’s team.
Team Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing
A work environment needs to be a place where employees can sustainably learn and collaborate with everyone. Having a flat hierarchy will give software developers the chance to seek help and gain knowledge from their seniors.
By providing mentoring opportunities and initiatives, developers can identify areas of L&D that they might not be aware of. It will be a constant learning and growing environment for all parties involved. Through this opportunity, issues such as inconsistency, non-transparency, lack of work-collaboration, reduction in productivity, decrease in performance quality and overall negative impacts to a company’s general outcomes can be productively resolved.
And, now that remote working is becoming the norm, it’s becoming easier for junior employees to feel a disconnect with their counterparts. Having team collaborations and knowledge sharing can build more dynamic relationships and a better community in an organisation. It is also a two-way approach whereby senior developers can also learn from their juniors, particularly in the differences of work culture.
Thus, it is important for you to not treat your software developers as individuals who are dispensable. They need your promise, your commitment, your help and your support. At the end of the day, you need them too!
TRIIIO is a Malaysian recruitment firm focused on partnering with companies to find and recruit top talent and build their Software Engineering teams. For more information on how we can help you recruit Software Engineers in this candidate tight market, visit our service page.
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