In early January, all six participants of the first cohort successfully completed the Nebraska Dev Lab Pipeline Program. The pilot cohort was graciously funded in large part by the sponsor organizations (ALLO, Nelnet, NRC Health, Don’t Panic Labs, and Doane University) and two worker training grants from the Nebraska Department of Labor.
Later in January, the participants and those who work closely with them in their sponsor organizations were surveyed to gauge the success of the program related to the intended outcomes. All six participants completed the survey, as did six of those who worked closely with them.
Here are some of the highlights of what was learned from the survey:
- The purpose of the program was realized as it provided the participants the knowledge, skills, and professional standards necessary to begin practice as an entry-level software developer. Five of the six participants are currently working as a software developer in their sponsor organization. The sixth participant has taken a position as a software product manager.
- The participants currently working as software developers and those who work closely with them agree that they all are competent, effective entry-level software developers who can successfully design, develop, implement, and adequately test a software solution using a variety of development tools when given a problem of significant complexity.
- Some of the strengths of the program to be retained include:
- cohort, team, partner, project, and competency-based experiences
- the individual professional development plan and studio time to work on that plan
- mentoring throughout the program
- the apprenticeship at the sponsor organization
- the cohort project for a non-profit organization
- immersion throughout the program at both Don’t Panic Labs and their sponsor organization, and the availability of practicing professionals while immersed.
- Some of the suggested improvements to the program include:
- more interaction and coordination between Nebraska Dev Lab and the mentors
- introduce the commercial development tools used in latter stages (VS Code, git, etc) earlier in the program
- early identification of the team the participant will be joining at the sponsor organization to more effectively customize the individual professional development plan
- a smoother transition between some of the Doane-led and DPL-led instruction.
Several changes to the Pipeline Program were outlined in last month’s newsletter. The survey responses both reinforced those changes and brought to light additional changes that will be addressed.
Overall, the pilot cohort for the Pipeline Program was very successful. Sponsors and participants in future cohorts will benefit from the changes made from the lessons learned. Sponsors have already made commitments for the next cohort, but there is room for additional sponsors.
More information about Nebraska Dev Lab can be found at dontpaniclabs.com/devlab.
Now Seeking Sponsor Organizations for 2021 Cohort
Nebraska Dev Lab is now accepting applications from sponsor organizations for our next cohort.
Organizations interested in sponsoring participants should email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this opportunity.
More information can be found at dontpaniclabs.com/devlab.
Nebraska Dev Lab is an academic/corporate partnership between Doane University and Don’t Panic Labs, which aims to help address the shortage of qualified software developers in Nebraska.
Through the Pipeline Program, organizations sponsor individuals with no programming experience who are seeking a career change. At the end of the twelve-month immersive experience, these individuals will become high-quality entry-level software developers in their sponsor organizations.
Learn more at dontpaniclabs.com/devlab