Earlier this month, we welcomed the first of our 2016 graduate software developers to the company and it’s been great to begin to get to know them as they settle in, through our active graduate week programme.
While chatting with one of the new team members I was surprised and disappointed to hear that he felt he’d been overlooked by many recruiters for graduate software development positions, based on the fact his first degree was outside a technology or numeracy discipline. I can’t help but feel this is a short sighted view of individuals and their talents.
FROM COMPOSITION TO CODING
Laurie, who’s 27, graduated withan MSc in Computing from Edinburgh Napier University, after showing an aptitude for coding while still at school. He had also spent spare time on his own projects, including building websites between graduating in September 2015 and starting his job at Scott Logic at the first available opportunity in February 2016.
Laurie is undoubtedly a determined and talented individual, having started playing several instruments at a young age before being accepted into music school at 10 and eventually graduating with a degree in music. He then went on to work in the music industry, but decided to pursue a career in software development after becoming dissatisfied. Job security was an important aspect to him and coding was something he had always enjoyed.
After applying for the graduate programme at Scott Logic he was invited to interview due to his evident aptitude for coding and his determination during his Masters to catch up with others that had done technical first degrees. We asked him to take part in coding tasks and puzzles to test his overall ability, rather than focusing only on his degree.
THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
We pride ourselves on hiring candidates based on their whole skill set and their ability to code, as well as their academic achievements and experience. We ensure a fair assessment by providing coding exercises and puzzles to give candidates an equal chance to showcase their individual talents - the exercises are in a variety of different formats such as Java, C# and psuedo to ensure we are supporting candidates with different background knowledge. Laurie still plays the piano every day but this doesn’t make him any less of a coder; in fact his dedication to maintaining a professional standard and his continued enthusiasm for more than one discipline allowed us to see that Laurie exhibits several of our core cultural values - excellence, passion and professionalism.