By: Adam Weissman, Back End Associate Developer at BORN Group
For boot camp grads and those early in their tech careers, the conventional
“job-seeker” wisdom is often less about lighting the spark that will make your star burn brightest, but finding a stepping stone that isn’t so slippery that your ambitions are extinguished before your journey even begins. In other words, they say, “Get into a training program, apprenticeship, or junior position as prestigious as possible, so that a second job will be the reward for the first.” While that mindset might be “practical” it disregards that not all training programs are about transforming you from a round peg to fit a square hole, and not all “stepping stones” are for crossing streams — some are for climbing mountains.
Would-be associates at any company should consider the larger ecosystem of talent, and people they’ll be working with and learning from.
But how do you know if a company is just for crossing a stream, or the mountain to climb? It comes down to whether the associate training program is a factory or an atelier. The atelier, as mentioned here, is best represented in its ideal ‘graduates:’ the Leonardo Da Vincis, Michelangelos, Raphaels, and many more whose work you know, but names you’ve never heard of. The emphasis and goal of the High Renaissance atelier (1490s-1527) was to produce work worthy of the top art patrons of the day. In 2021, we might substitute art commissions for eCommerce builds, and the patrons for today’s leading brands.
The BORN Associate Program IS the modern equivalent to the renaissance atelier. The analogy starts with each project-build destined to be its own masterpiece, but goes further with each of BORN’s Practices serving as a quarry; with each custom build: Arctic Fox, Bulldog, Eagle, or Bison (supporting leading eCommerce platforms spanning; Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Adobe Commerce Cloud, SAP Customer Experience, or Shopify Plus) acting as a slab of marble waiting to take life.
But the atelier is truly reborn in the relationships forged by associates with each other, and the Tech Leads that raise them up. In the 2021 class of Salesforce Associates, Tech Leads Matt Meagher and Chris Connell mentored the associates on the nuances of platform-specific problem-solving. Answering questions like; what can go right and what can go wrong, as well as passing down “unwritten documentation” and debugging techniques the way a Master Sculptor might illuminate secrets from one generation to the next.
“Documentation can teach you only so much. Hands-on experience with the platform, day-to-day tools, and problem-solving techniques is where the real true comprehension happens,” stated Chris Connell, SFCC Tech Lead at BORN Group.
“I tell anyone confused on how something works to ‘follow the path.’ Not sure what this is doing? What code is it using? What code is that using? Being able to trace that usually leads to discovery. I show them how the codebase can become documentation,” added Matt Meagher, Front End Tech Lead at BORN Group.
“We are creating a work environment where we consistently identify our team’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values by maintaining open, effective communication and ongoing encouragement. Based on these assessments we regularly promote new roles and responsibilities to challenge each one of us within the organization,” stated Kevin Yao, Salesforce Practice Lead at BORN Group.
And so, as the BORN Associate Program brings the atelier ‘full circle’, we come back to the point of those bootcamp grads and early tech-career starters that might be wondering, “Where do I go from here?” If you’re looking for a program that will help you realize your potential, where once you ‘graduate’ to production work every project is as its own commission, where the work you do is always fresh, then keep an eye out on BORN’s career page for updates surrounding the next Associate Program.
“Fostering a learning-based culture is paramount to growth, retention and satisfaction. Watching the new energy brought in by each batch of associates is infectious. The maturation of those leading the program gain each go-around is inspiring. The unbridled success of this program is inspiring adoption in other capabilities and geographies. I am personally excited to see the growth that comes out of these types of efforts in the coming years!” stated Dustin Holmstrom, Head of Digital Architecture, North America at BORN Group.