This September we completed the 5th edition of the Eclipse Summer Academy – our original internship program for future IT community specialists, innovators and leaders, which is geared toward students and graduates.

Wrocław is a city with exceptional students and graduates. It is home to the top Polish Technical University and with other higher education units and technical and business faculties, it enables us to acquire highly talented people with great potential.

This year’s competition among those wanting to take part in the internships with Eclipse was fierce, and we received over 100 applications. We improved our recruitment process over last year, to find the most talented and interesting candidates we could, who would not only prove their technical skills and knowledge but who also share the same values we do – people who are curious, creative, courageous, and who care, to build a vibrant community of future Eclipsers.

We used 3 stages of recruitment:

  1. CV screening with code samples,
  2. development task,
  3. face-2-face interviews with the best candidates, where we discussed the given solutions to the task and checked language skills,

This allowed us to select 10 fantastic interns – 8 developers and 2 testers.

Over the years we’ve managed to establish a core group of tried and tested Eclipser trainers and lecturers who combine their passion for the business, processes and education/teaching with their teaching styles.

These people are highly involved in the preparation of our educational program and are supported by other Eclipsers, who want to participate and are willing to share their knowledge.

Our trainers and coordinators develop the interns and grow their skills and ideas not only during the carefully prepared internship program but also on a daily basis while cooperating with our Clients/Partners.

Knowledge sharing and a common understanding of the Agile approach and Scrum through training sessions are frequently practised in our business and present the perfect opportunity for the interns to take part. We also regularly enhance competencies with external courses and IT conferences.

Interns count on assigned buddies who support them with ad hoc queries and are accountable for substantive matters. The coordinators are responsible for the overall plan of the internships, the coaches for certain blocks of knowledge and practical skills and last but not least they work with every Eclipser, who is there to help them to grow and develop in the team.

Each year we aim to improve our Academy program and provide tailor-made training and tasks.  The Interns undergo technical training (programing and testing) where we use techniques such as programming Katas, pair programming, programming tasks and topics supported by interactive courses held by our trainers.

Once the theoretical elements of the learning are completed, the Interns’ first group project starts; held in Scrum and delivered for a wider audience as a result of 2 weeks of regular sprints. We also provided courses related to Agile, Scrum, SAP Commerce, Project Management, Customer Relationship Management and soft skills training, to cover a wide range of learning opportunities, enabling the Interns to become a skilled part of the team.

Learning by doing, the next phase of the internship involves joining a “real project” and becoming part of an existing team. In this environment, they watch and adapt to our ways of working in a team which is an essential part of cooperation in Eclipse. All in all, the Interns became an integral part of our community. We also make sure there are plenty of non-work-related events and activities to help with team building and keep the levels of fun up.

Running the Eclipse Academy introduces diversity to our business. It brings new perspectives and approaches to technology and introduces a sense of innovation. With our internship program, we can give back to the local community by promoting our core values and influencing the future of Wrocław’s IT industry.

Offering an internship program is also a great investment for Eclipse. Not only does it develop “homegrown” talent, but it is also an investment in future generations. We’ve learnt that interns who are provided with thorough training, support and respect during their tenure, and then go on to become full-time employees fully support the next group of young people joining Eclipse Academy.

Krzysztof Chmielewski – Development Facilitator and Eclipse Summer Academy coordinator for Developers and Mateusz Mańka – Analyst Developer and trainer, share the same insights. They also note the importance of establishing favourable interpersonal relationships in both; the group of Interns and with other, more experienced employees. In return, we at Eclipse gain the opportunity to reconsider our ways of working, get a boost for self-development and are provided with fresh inspiration.

Jacek Szwałek – Test Manager and Eclipse Summer Academy coordinator for Testers adds that creating balanced teams of Interns – Developers and Testers – is the best way of teaching cooperation in the team, where each role is equally important and complements each other.

Observing these teams that start with “carte blanche” is a great opportunity for Eclipsers to have a second look at our existing teams and implement improvements if needed. Jacek highlighted that we managed to find candidates who are true fans of testing and watching their growth and passion for gaining knowledge is truly inspirational.

The program was a huge success this year and it resulted in us offering full-time positions to all of those who took part which is a fantastic result for all those involved and for the future of Eclipse.