Angela Andrews, a systems administrator and teacher’s assistant for Girl Develop It, is nearing the end of the University of Pennsylvania’s LPS Coding Boot Camp.
“Companies really need to look at each person as a whole,” she told Technical.ly on Wednesday, in between rounds of bowling at Turn5’s new Paoli headquarters. “There are a lot of people here now that are career changers, and it’s imperative for companies to start taking into account their experiences before being web developers.”
Andrews was one of a couple hundred attendees at Technical.ly’s NET/WORK Suburbs, which matched 21 companies with both passive and active jobseekers at the ecommerce company’s headquarters. Along with the usual dose of eye-catching swag, networking and professional headshots, the event offered a chance to hear from folks looking to get connected to their next moves in tech.
Awaiting his turn in the neighboring lane was Jason Fairchild, 23, who has his sights set on a position in cybersecurity. “But first, I’m looking for an internship to strengthen my skills,” Fairchild said. “Not a lot of companies offer them.”
For more senior level employees like Alyson (who asked her last name not be included in the article), NET/WORK was a chance to experience companies’ culture at a personal level. What is she looking for in a possible employer? A commitment to professional development.
“Personally, I’m looking for companies who are invested in their employees,” said Alyson, who has seven years in IT experience. “One of the companies said that no upper management will be hired from the outside: they’re all people that started in entry level or mid-level positions. I just really like it when companies seem to value their employees. It means something for people who are there for 40 hours a week.”
(Alyson couldn’t identify which company it was by name, but said it was the company with Yuengling on the table. Most likely, that company was ERP software company Deacom.)
Another Penn bootcamper, Thomas Leis, said the company that lures him should be willing to adjust to his skill set.
“I’m just tying to get my foot in the door as a front-end or entry level developer,” Leis said. “I have the tools but I’m still in a learning process.”
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