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The Value of Apprenticeship and Coaching in Software Development

Entering the tech industry can be incredibly intimidating for an early career professional. From the struggles of onboarding into a new company to the challenges associated with learning a potentially unfamiliar tech stack, it can be a lot to take in. Taking these first steps as a part of an apprenticeship program, and with a dedicated apprentice coach, can be a fantastic (and far less stressful) way to jump into the world of software development. 

Providing Access and a Safe Place to Develop

The software engineering field is often gate-kept by traditional requirements, like prior technical job experience or a STEM academic background for entry-level roles. At the rate the industry is expanding, however, such traditional pathways are not enough to meet the overwhelming demand for both front-end and back-end developers. To help address this challenge, Revelry created a software engineering apprenticeship program that offers an entry point for individuals with varying backgrounds and levels of experience. Through this program, Revelry helps ensure the playing field is level, giving everyone a fair chance to pursue a career in software development. The three-month program, which has been around for about a decade, provides vital opportunities for industry newcomers to make substantial coding contributions, as well as get supervised experience working with actual clients. 

A Dedicated Coach for Navigating New Territory

In the same vein as the apprenticeship program is Revelry’s engineering coaching program; it’s one of the things I enjoy most about working for the company. Every single developer, no matter their experience or title, is assigned an engineering coach. This, of course, includes apprentices. The role of apprentice engineering coach, specifically, is a volunteer one and includes weekly 1-on-1s between the coach and the apprentice. It’s in these safe, learning-centered meetings that challenges, concerns, questions, and ideas can be explored. Having dedicated time and plenty of space for teaching, learning, and collaborating can be so impactful.

Help Mitigating Impostor Syndrome

Possibly the most significant benefit of having an apprentice coach at Revelry is having someone to help mitigate impostor syndrome. According to the American Psychological Association, “up to 82% of people face feelings of imposter phenomenon”. These feelings are common among many new software developers, especially those from non-technical backgrounds. The mentorship and encouragement provided by our apprenticeship coaches serves as an anchor, providing assurance and validation during moments of self-doubt. A key part of the coach-apprentice journey involves supporting and celebrating the apprentice as they make their first commit, no matter the size. This means instilling into the apprentice, as our own Bob Weilbaecher puts it, “that each contribution has value.” This support system is invaluable in building confidence, ultimately positioning apprentices to thrive in their next role with greater responsibilities. 

Mentorship: Developing Better Engineers (and Software)

Having had the opportunity to serve as an engineering apprentice coach myself, I can confidently say that I have a much deeper understanding of the critical role of mentorship in nurturing talent. Through invaluable one-on-one sessions and technical pairing, both the apprentice and the coach develop a better understanding of the power of collaborative and empathic software development. 

Want to learn about joining Revelry’s Apprenticeship Program? Connect with a member of our team. 

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