• Blog
  • 3 Min Read
  • September 12, 2021

Jump Start Your Career as a Software Developer

By Nazaret Kazarian, VP Engineering

Get paid for real-world, hands-on experience with mentoring as part of our “Start at Upstream” graduate program

When you study computer science, software engineering or related tech disciplines you hear all about the job opportunities awaiting. Probably even before that, this was a crucial factor in choosing  what you want to study. Now you finally have your degree. Congratulations are in order. 

What’s next though? How do you get your foot in the door?

Start at Upstream” makes it easy. Our 12-month paid internship program gives new graduates professional experience to jump start their career. To give you a glimpse on what is to follow on this learning journey, here’s how the first run of the program unfolded.

The hiring process

July 2019, Upstream’s engineers have developed a comprehensive trainee program for software developers, designed to transform graduates into seasoned, highly skilled pros through rigorous training and mentoring. It all starts with the candidates submitting their applications and then receiving a phone call from a member of our HR team, who explains the evaluation process and the technical test. 

“I knew Upstream by reputation, so when I heard about the program I had to apply. When I received the first call from them, I was really excited.”

George Zindros

Next, the candidates hit the ground running, as they join a group tour of Upstream headquarters, so they can see the work environment. The HR presents the company and the program to them, while they perform the first round of technical and numerical tests and have their one on one interviews with the engineering team leads.

 

See what we do and show what you know

Twenty-five candidates are then shortlisted to participate in a full-day event, where they’re divided into five teams, each with a lead, to work on a development task that simulates the way Upstream engineers work in their everyday tasks. Candidates will act both as team members, where they will build and demonstrate their teamwork skills, and as individuals, coding and delivering a solution on their own.

Team leads prepare an exercise that’s as close as possible to the real-world tasks, requirements and limitations that Upstream engineers deal with on a daily basis. It includes a build environment and unit tests for four different programming languages that reflect different backgrounds of the candidates.

Team leads test and calibrate the exercise’s difficulty by simulating the process a few times with volunteer Upstream engineers. The exercise starts with a teamwork phase, where each team brainstorms the solution design, followed by the implementation phase, where candidates have two hours to implement the solution on their own.

“I enjoyed every part of the selection process. Every test, assessment and activity was both challenging and fun making it an experience to remember”.

George Tsompanelis

The bootcamp

The hiring process concludes with a meeting where all the team leads choose 10 out of the 25 candidates. Those new hires start a 40-day intensive training schedule covering a wide variety of software development topics, including Java basics and advanced Java multithreading, asynchronous programming, Spring and JPA. Each day is filled with in-depth presentations by team leads and architects, with live coding sessions. Practice exercises build upon the previous ones to incorporate the new concepts and technologies. Optional algorithmic exercises enable trainees to practice their analytical thinking skills.

“These two months were like being back to university but on steroids. Never before have I learned so much on such a short while. I don’t think there’s a similar training program out there. People would pay a lot for such a kind of training!”

Timos Polemitis

Throughout the program, each trainee has a personal mentor, who provides guidance about company processes and explains real-life scenarios for applying what they’ve learned. Mentors continue to be available to trainees long after they finish the 2-month bootcamp.

“At any time you can reach out to your own mentor for feedback and advice. As you learn how to be a part of the team and apply all you have learned in practice it is reassuring to have a head figure with the skill and will to back you up every step of the way. “

Filippos Papaspyrou

Hands-on, real-world experience

After graduating the bootcamp, trainees are allocated to Upstream’s software development teams. Induction is very gradual because they have to learn a large existing code base, but they soon become productive and participate in the product development just like veteran team members. After a few months, they rotate in different development teams to get hands-on experience with multiple products.

At the end of the program, 70% of the trainees became regular company employees and are still invaluable members of Upstream’s software engineering teams. All of them however acquired real-world work experience to make their CVs stand out and open doors around the IT industry.

Does all that sound like an experience you would like to live too? Get ready to jump start your career! Visit www.startatupstream.com to submit your application now!

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