Entelect BootCamp graduates are in big demand in South Africa
‘Every year we handpick and hire about 20 of the top BSc Computer Science, Engineering and BCom Information Systems graduates from all mainstream universities around the country for the Graduate BootCamp. The graduates attend intensive training for two months while on full salaries. After this, they work on client projects free of charge for three months under the mentorship of our team leads. At the end of this period, clients are given the opportunity to retain them on our projects at our standard junior rates,’ says Entelect MD, Shashi Hansjee.
Entelect CEO, Dr Charles Pritchard ‘Our clients benefit as they get to work with the country’s top graduates on a risk-free basis for an initial period before they commit. Our graduates escalate their technical careers, while our seniors also benefit personally from from helping junior colleagues in the specialist areas that they are most passionate about.’
The BootCamp course covers both the practical and theoretical side of business analysis, programming concepts, Microsoft.NET, Java Enterprise Edition and SQL development. All graduates work through this full syllabus, regardless of which solutions stream they will be working on, giving them a rounded understanding of the full software development life cycle. ‘By the time the graduates have moved through the programme, they will have collaborated to write components of systems in various languages and platforms, all of which would have been vetted and code-reviewed by various technical leads,’ says Hansjee.
‘Of course there is a downside risk. It takes us about a year to recover our investment in each graduate, so if the graduate leaves early, we lose financially. That said, it’s a risk with which we are comfortable as we go to great lengths to live up to our goal of being the best company in South Africa to work for. Despite the high demand for engineers, we manage to maintain high staff retention rates – not an easy task considering the dynamics of the industry,’ says Pritchard.
Entelect’s client base is amongst the best blue-chips in South Africa. Their appetite for the development of big custom systems that differentiate them in the marketplace keeps climbing, hence the demand for software engineers. The culture of ongoing training and mentorship that spans more than 15 career-enhancement programmes, is a real differentiator for Entelect employees. These range from leadership programmes to technology accelerators and specialist technical forums.
Asked about the current state of skills in South Africa, Pritchard says, ‘There is a severe shortage of high-end software engineering skills in this country. Our problem is not the pursuit of new projects as word gets out that we consistently do a great job but instead, one of finding quality engineers to help us deliver on our order pipeline. If we could hire 30 people today, we would take them! Technology is becoming such an integral part of everyone’s lives, and businesses simply cannot run without an innovation focus in this industry. We believe investing more in quality software engineering training programmes as a national priority, and if we don’t embrace it as an industry and government collective, we as a nation will lose out on the significant employment opportunities available in the IT sector. South Africa has this massive potential just waiting to be unleashed!’
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