Business Applications Academy by Global Mediator: episode one?

October 18, 2021

Chapter one, verse one

The ambitious idea of enriching the pool of future-ready IT specialists, tech-savvy BC developers, is a great responsibility and a serious challenge. In summer 2021 Global Mediator launched the Business Applications Academy to become one step closer to implementing the plan. The first episode of “training the future BC engineers in-house” series is now completed. We are pleased to share this story and its results, as well as our experience along the way.

“If you have the ability, you also have the obligation to use it. This fundamental truth applies to expanding the MS Dynamics 365 talent pool with open-minded and proactive software engineers. Therefore, Global Mediator willingly invests its time and knowledge into sculpting the next generation professionals, trusting that they will share the company’s values and implement its best practices for delivering the customer-focused, tailored business solutions.”

– Nicolai Krarup, COO at Global Mediator
Who’s who

Global Mediator is extremely lucky to have a large team of enthusiastic and seasoned (the average experience is 7 years) BC developers who happen to be talented mentors, too. Once the team came up with the educational initiative for undergraduates, many of our pros volunteered to nurture the new generation of specialists in our area of expertise.

The strong technical background of the applicants – mechanical engineering technologies, computer sciences, software engineering, as well as analytical thinking and basic knowledge of Java, C++, and C# – made them the most receptive students. They absorbed the information and acquired the new skills quickly, asked questions, and delved into the BC coding details – in short, did everything to prove one more time that the Academy was the right thing to do – for both sides.

Expectations vs reality

The Business Applications Academy has become the first training program of this scale for Global Mediator – as well as the first large online teaching experience. It was a bold initiative and, frankly, we are positively surprised with the outcome despite the fact that, as practice shows, there is (sometimes) a clear-cut difference between the planned and the reality. The most controversial part of the story was the pandemic. It both made us play by its rules and allowed the students from all over the country to apply – and get hired. Nevertheless, it never hurts to have more experience and we made the right conclusions based on the journey we had completed.

So, how did it go? In light of the COVID reality and online format of the trainings, it all went as expected. Occasionally, the organizers and mentors had to adjust to the circumstances along the course, but that even made us more flexible and agile. We are happy that eventually a large part of the applicants have become our teammates and now share the principles of our organization.

What helped us succeed? Well, it is all about people – the teams worked like clockwork – and the company’s organizational principles and values. Considering that this was Global Mediator’s first experience of training the BC software engineers online because of COVID, the mentors and participants may have been extra focused. We showed once again that the “no micromanagement” approach works perfectly with this team because they all stepped up – the complete dedication of those involved was impressive. The Academy-engaged team masterly tackled any issues related to the guest access to sessions, as well as any technical and software challenges.

“The privilege to be creative and share the experience empowered the Global Mediator’s mentors to produce a good training program. The Academy proved to be an excellent starting point for the persistent junior BC developers.”

– Olesya Lukyanenko, Director of Talent at Global Mediator

We highly appreciated the fact that Global Mediator’s junior developers and QA engineers, who are already good at BC coding, attended the training sessions to enrich their knowledge from the experienced mentors. Indeed, this level of trust motivated us greatly and emphasized that we had been on the right track with teaching the future BC developers in-house.

Lessons learned

Even though we have reached the goal of encouraging promising junior BC developers to step into the world of business processes, we went through quite a lot during the Academy period. And there are the factors that we have to reckon with the next time the Academy opens its door (or better say – turns on the machines – if we still have to deal with the new online reality) to the students.

  • A well-organized process is a must. The structure of the training course this time required some tiny tweaks and adjustments on the go. Improvisation and flexibility are outstanding abilities, but when it comes to sharing knowledge and teaching people, the good traditional approach – structure comes first – rules.
  • To save the developers’ time and efforts during the future occurrences of the Academy – some materials for the sessions (video trainings) might be recorded beforehand – and reused for some time.
  • Since the Business Applications Academy is mostly targeted at senior undergraduates, we will have to ponder over better timing next time to ensure that the training sessions do not overlap with the universities’ exam period.
  • We are open to feedback. The one we received this time encouraged us to prepare even more practical assignments for the students, spend more time analyzing home tasks with the mentors, and be more flexible with the deadlines.

Having that in mind, Global Mediator’s team has gained invaluable experience in online teaching. And, despite any oversights, we managed to successfully make it through and welcome the new members of our BC development teams. Based on the experience we have now, we are looking forward to launching the refurbished series of the BC training sessions next year – with the feedbacks addressed and omissions analyzed and re-evaluated.

To be continued…

You learn a lot about what you do when you teach others. The team’s input and commitment throughout the entire process proved that anything is possible when you have people by your side who want to learn. Our mentors worked to present even the most difficult material in a simple and comprehensive manner with a personal approach to every applicant. The 2021 Business Applications Academy from Global Mediator was not a random one-time event, and we will do it again as an annual springtime activity – we believe it to be perfect scheduling for the Global Mediator’s scale. So, see you next year – with the clearly structured training course and challenging Business Central-related tasks to accomplish.

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