How the first Russian bootcamp works and how coders are trained there

Georgy Babayan - founder of the first Russian bootcamp Elbrus. Was born in Moscow. Graduated

Institute of Economics and Statistics (now partPlekhanov Academy) with a degree in Applied Informatics in Economics. He was engaged in venture investing and helping startups. After a trip to the USA, he became interested in bootcamps and upon his return to Russia he opened his own bootcamp Elbrus.

"If they say in the USA that you have a good job, it most often means that your job is bad."

After graduation, Babayan tried himself inventure capital investments, but this area was not close to him. Then, in 2010, he decided to switch to supporting startups. One of the projects (EasyDress) was related to a case that Babayan and his team were solving at the online hackathon Gagarin Capital. The idea of ​​the startup was to help the consumer understand the exact size of clothes when shopping online based on photos on social media. The analysis was done by artificial intelligence.

The startup didn't develop because it didn't have enoughresearch work, there were problems in the technical part, it was necessary to dig into B2B sales. However, the team won the hackathon, for which they received a trip to Silicon Valley. It was in the USA, when choosing an educational program, that George first heard about bootcamps.

Bootcamp - a form of intensive full-time education. It was originally used by the military, now it is used for teaching programming. The first IT bootcamp appeared in the USA in 2012. In 2018, according to the Course Resort portal, there were 108 bootcamps in the United States, and their total revenue was estimated at $ 240 million. According to SwitchUp, there are now almost 500 bootcamps in the world.

George liked this form of training, and heentered one of the oldest bootcamps in America - Dev Bootcamp. It recruits students from scratch and makes entry-level developers. The program consists of 18 weeks of technical training (3 stages) and 7 days of professional training. First, students learn the basics of Ruby programming, then they become familiar with cutting-edge technologies, and finally, they create a web application.

In addition, such a trip was useful forGeorge, primarily in terms of life experience. “You can clearly see that people are different, they have different mentality,” Babayan says and gives an example: if in the USA they say that you have a good job, it most often means that your job is bad. But a detailed story about the pros suggests that the work is really worthy.

Another conclusion he made: to achieve a result, it is very important to work in a team and be able to hear others. If someone has problems, they should be voiced, because the suboptimal psychological or physical condition of one person negatively affects the results of the overall work.

After returning to Russia and analyzing the IT marketGeorge realized that people have a need for very intensive training. This is how Elbrus courses appeared, which took about 150 people in a year and a half, and most of them successfully got a job in their specialty in large companies - Sberbank, Wildberries, OZON and others.

Find a programmer

While working on a startup project EasydressGeorge found it very difficult to find qualified programmers. “I was sure that there are many good specialists in the country, but it turned out that this is not the case. It became clear that there is a need for people, and for people - to learn, to start programming. There are many online courses in Russia, but there are few intensive courses (there is a good higher education, yes), so there was a desire to make a bootcamp here, ”recalls Georgy.

“At the modern pace of life, spend a fewyears to get higher education is too much of a luxury, he says. "In addition, the need for many professions, for example, accountants, is decreasing, and the need for programmers is constantly growing."

George began to recruit people for the team. In parallel, he spoke with bootcamp founders from other countries to learn about their experiences. One of the programmers (potential teachers), with whom Babayan interviewed, worked at Alfa-Bank. Then Georgy came up with the idea to conduct a two-week test intensive on the territory of the bank together with this team member. At the same time, employees of the corporation could go through it for free. For outside students, the course cost 14 thousand rubles.

As a result, only those who are for it came to studypaid. Not a single person who could get the training for free took advantage of this opportunity. “If a person has to pay for his studies, he begins to take a more responsible attitude to it,” Babayan says.

More than 300 programmers are trained in our countryRussian universities and about 250 colleges, there are programming schools for high school students. You can also learn programming in courses. There are face-to-face training options (school branches, courses at universities or training centers) and online training. You can even study for free, for example, on courses from Group, Yandex and Sberbank. Depending on the amount of knowledge, courses last from several weeks to two to three years.

After the test course, it became clear that the marketthere is interest in such training, and on October 1, 2018, the Elbrus school began to operate. About 4 million rubles were invested in the opening. Of these, 2 million were a bank loan, another 2 million were given by Babayan's acquaintances. The money went to rent, salary and program development. Three months later, the project came out in positive territory, and eight months later Babayan returned the initial investment. The main income is tuition fees, revenue is spent on rent, equipment, employee salaries and promotions.

There were only five people in the first set. “Finding people for the first two groups was the most difficult because we didn't have any positive examples of learning outcomes,” he says. The program was built on the basis of the one according to which George studied at Dev Bootcamp, the first teacher was found only three months later, denying 50 candidates, all together developed a training program. For the first participants, a special payment scheme was proposed: they paid 20% immediately, and the remaining 80% after employment. Starting from the second group, Babayan switched to 100% prepayment.

Training marathon

“We try to make sure that people receivethe result I came for, - says Georgy. - So that he could work as a programmer after graduation. But for this he must definitely complete all tasks and follow our recommendations, nothing will happen by itself. " The goal is that at least 80% of graduates after completing the courses get a job in their specialty. According to the school, now 90% of their graduates find work within 1-1.5 months after completing the course.

The training consists of four phases. The zero phase, during which students are taught the layout of sites, takes place online, the other three - in person. The school day is long - from 9 am to 7 pm on weekdays. There are no classes on weekends, but some students study the material on their own. Most of the course is practice, the theory gives only the necessary basic minimum. Students gain the ability to write codes through practical tasks that they perform with a teacher, in a pair or in a team.

Now recruitment takes place once a month, group size- 20-30 people. The course lasts relatively short: 12 weeks, but not everyone completes the training - because of the high intensity, it is very difficult to cope with the load. There are also those who have to stop studying for other reasons, for example, for family reasons. If less than six weeks have passed since the beginning of the training, the student is refunded. In addition, there is an intermediate certification during studies. If the teachers see that the student is not doing well and the program is too complicated for him, he will be offered to try a different format of training in the bootcamp: less intensive, remotely and other options.

From 2009 to 2016, the number of IT professionalsincreased by 44%. In Russia, most of them work in domestic companies - foreign companies and companies with joint ownership account for about 11% of specialists.

According to the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, every year from universitiesabout 25 thousand IT specialists are produced, of which about 60% are programmers (about 15 thousand people). At the same time, analysts note a fourfold shortage of qualified specialists. Also, about 10 thousand people every year leave the profession - by age, change their field of activity or emigrate.

The concentration of IT specialists across regions is uneven. For example, in 2016 there were no more than 100 programmers in Ingushetia and Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, while in Tatarstan, Nizhny Novgorod, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen regions and a number of other regions there are more than 10,000 people, and in Moscow - more than 122 thousand.

According to the survey, 48% of IT professionalsare considering the possibility of moving to another region of the country, and 16% already have this experience. The main motives are an increase in wages and career growth. The respondents named the USA (13.5%), Germany (11.4%), Australia (9.2%) as priority areas for emigration. There is no exact data on how many people actually left for another country. But, for example, Oleg Tinkov said that in a year 10 of his employees moved to Silicon Valley.

Babayan's school has career coaching: students are assisted with resume writing, taught to negotiate and negotiate salaries. A career coach communicates closely with partner companies and negotiates preferential employment for graduates without going through the initial stages of selection. These partners include VTB and OZON. Many graduates get jobs on their own - about 4% of them now work at Sberbank, although there are no special agreements between it and Elbrus.

Usually graduates are invited to a positionjunior developers, but some take higher positions right away. Most often, students are in demand in the banking sector and retail, followed by small startups and outsourcing.

According to Rosstat, in 2016 there wereabout 450 thousand IT workers. Slightly less than 20% of them were employed in the state and municipal sector, the rest in non-state companies. At the same time, almost a quarter of them work in Moscow, about 11% - in St. Petersburg.

Programmers can be conventionally divided into threecategories. Application programmers deal with application software (games, accounting programs, editors, software for video surveillance systems, fire extinguishing systems, etc.). They also adapt existing programs to the needs of the company or user. Such specialists can be on the staff of the organization or work for outsourcing.

System programmers work with networks and distributed databases, create services to control the processor and peripheral devices.

Web programmers write the software component of sites, create dynamic web pages and web interfaces.

Programmer salaries depend on various factors: region, experience, programming language, place of work. If in Moscow programmers receive on average 100 thousand rubles, and in large corporations (Yandex, Avito, Kaspersky and others) the salary of experienced specialists can be 200 thousand rubles or more, then in the regions the average salary of programmers is 30 –40 thousand rubles.

"Pilots" for corporations

During their studies, students create softwareproducts that solve practical problems. For example, an application that allows you to record interviews. Most of the exercises are created by teachers, but some of the tasks are real orders from companies, which thus receive a prototype of the product for free and in a short time. We have experience of such cooperation with BMW, Otkritie Bank and other companies. At the same time, customers are warned in advance that the product is created by students, and it may be "raw".

For the biology department of Moscow State University, Elbrus students have developed a base,where the results of scientific studies on rats are entered. “For example, a rat is injected with a conditioned aspirin and it has a seizure. Researchers understand: yeah, the rat does not need to inject aspirin, other drugs are needed. And all this is entered into one database, ”Babayan explains. The bases with which they worked in the laboratory were written a long time ago - back in the 90s on MS-DOS, and on many modern computers they did not even open. Elbrus has created a prototype of a new program, which is now being used in the laboratory.

According to Georgy, in Russia competitors in the formathe has no bootcamps. There are various programming courses - both face-to-face and distance. But only Elbrus provides such intensive training for the profession of a programmer. Each format has its own pros and cons. “Our advantage is short terms and a large amount of knowledge that students receive. The downside is the high price (170-230 thousand rubles) and intensity. A person can choose for himself which way of achieving the goal suits him best, ”Babayan comments.

The staff of the company is still small: eight teachers, four people in marketing and sales, and a few people in outsourcing. If you compose a portrait of the average student Elbrus - it will be a man of 27-28 years old with higher education and work experience who wants to change his profession. As a rule, those come here whose work is already related to computers, but who lack the skills of writing codes. However, there are also students with a completely non-technical background: sommelier, seafarer, miner.

Most of the students are local, but there are also those whospecially comes from other cities. Among the students there are not only Russians, but also people from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan. Also a Hungarian and an Englishwoman, who spoke Russian well, studied at Elbrus. While this is a prerequisite - training is conducted in Russian and Babayan does not plan to invite English-speaking teachers in the near future.

Clients come mainly thanks to word of mouth - recommendations of friends, acquaintances, former students. Another part of people learn about the bootcamp through social networks or contextual advertising.

In just two years, about 200 completed coursesman. At first, the school was only in Moscow; in February 2020, a representative office appeared in St. Petersburg. There are also plans to open schools in other cities and expand the curriculum.

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