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Top Four Elements of a Successful IT Corporate Training Program

Mike Rudinsky

We’ve heard more and more from our enterprise partners how difficult it is to train current employees to keep up with changing tech needs.

We realized that the effectiveness of our immersive software developer education model could help.

Over the past five years, at Hack Reactor’s four campuses and through our remote learning program, we’ve honed an immersive, intensive approach that gets outcomes.

Hack Reactor graduates are numerous amongst the dev teams at major companies across quite a few industries, from Adobe to Amazon, JPMorgan Chase to GE Digital.   

Armed with this experience, we’ve created specialized enterprise learning programs that fit together in a comprehensive way to support IT organizations with assessing, onboarding, reskilling and upskilling tech talent.

Over the past year, we’ve worked with organizations like Autodesk and Palintir to deliver enterprise training programs for current employees. We’ve learned a lot about what enterprise organizations are looking for in terms of tech training, and put together a list of the top four elements of an impactful enterprise learning program:

  1. Expert instructors: At Hack Reactor, enterprise training instructors are practitioner educators, meaning before they discovered they were excellent classroom teachers, they spent many years in the trenches on enterprise software development teams sharpening their skills. They bring insights to our client engagements from their personal experiences that adds depth to participant learning. In fact, much knowledge is transmitted from instructor to participant via mentoring during the engagement. Passionate mentoring, in addition to instructing, is standard from our instructors.

  2. Industry-relevant, outcomes-based curriculum: To meet the specific needs of our enterprise training clients, we have to be up-to-date on the latest languages, frameworks, practices and techniques as we build our individualized program curriculum. The staff who preps curriculum has worked at top tech companies, and they work hard to stay current on what’s relevant at enterprise. It’s also crucial to clients that we focus on clear outcomes, so we operate with an outcomes-based instructional design process that encompasses Bloom’s taxonomy (learning to analyze and evaluate concepts rather than just remembering facts), continuous assessment, and backwards design.

  3. Customization and real-world work to ensure ROI: We understand the differing needs of participants, managers, human resources and learning and development departments, and make sure the needs of all of those groups are met. Program customization is the number one way we align and meet the range of requested objectives. We design projects and exercises for the engagement that mirror the employee’s real-world tasks and run through the actual production experience employees will have in their daily role. Participants are engaged through hands-on learning, roundtable discussions, pair programming, group projects and shared research, and assessed regularly throughout the course. This process allows us to clearly map curriculum components to learning objectives, and later, to ROI. By incorporating company-specific projects, we can ensure that employees are trained with the specific knowledge they’ll need to be effective and efficient as soon as they complete the program.

  4. Measuring success: So how can we ensure these programs are working and providing employers and employees with the results they need? Continuous assessment. To start, we assess the employees the company would like to train to ensure we’re creating homogenous cohorts with similar starting skill sets. As the cohort progresses, informal assessments are conducted daily to track participant progress, and formal assessments (e.g. weekly surveys or manager check-ins) are scheduled to evaluate specific requirements and measure each participant’s progress toward cohort-wide goals. We create a continuous feedback loop so that we can quickly adjust and incorporate feedback on the program, ensuring that after they complete the program, each participant can immediately put the skills they learned to use.

It has been an exciting year and we are proud of the programs we’ve designed and clients we’ve served. We’ve been fortunate that clients have invited us back to run additional programs for more employees, so we view each cohort as an opportunity to improve and tweak curriculum for the next wave of participants. Continually refining our programs helps us train employees with the skills that will meet each company’s exact needs and ultimately, help them meet their business goals.

Want to learn more about our Enterprise Training program? Visit us at www.hackreactor.com/enterprise.