When preparing for a new job, it is always important to make sure your training and experience matches the needs of your future employer. That is especially true in the tech world, as companies are looking for developers that can begin making an impact and adding value to their team from day one. In order to ensure our bootcamp students are gaining the skills they need to succeed, we work in close collaboration with our employer network, like Quicken Loans.
We recently caught up with Teresa Wynn, Senior Vice President of Technology at Quicken Loans to discuss what the company looks for in their programmers the impact Grand Circus grads are having in the workplace. The mortgage lender employs dozens of GC alums, and we love watching their careers grow in one of Detroit’s most renowned companies.
How would you describe your organization and what does your team try to solve?
The software engineering role is getting harder to fill as more companies are competing to hire the best talent. This is why we always try to be innovative in how we problem solve. To meet the needs of our company, Quicken Loans has partnered with several local organizations to facilitate opportunities for people who have a passion for technology and software development. Through a combination of external bootcamp-style trainings and internal training programs, we are creating opportunities that will fill the needs of our organization.
In your opinion, how does Grand Circus prepare students for careers in tech?
Grand Circus bootcamps give students the technical skills they need to get their tech career started. More importantly, Grand Circus also focuses on the students’ soft skills which help them excel in the workplace. The program recognizes that when its students are seeking employment, their interpersonal skills can be as important as the technical skills to achieve success on the job.
Grand Circus has been a strong recruiting resource for us and our partnership has been going strong for a few years now. As a result of this program, many graduates have received offers for internships and full-time positions.
What are you looking for when hiring programmers?
When we interview candidates for careers in QL Technology, their technical skills, of course, are important. However, we are equally interested in finding out if they will be a good culture fit. We look for several core competencies in a candidate like communication, emotional intelligence, coachability, time management and creativity.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in tech?
Be open to learn all that you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s better to ask a lot of questions at the beginning than to stay quiet and assume. Never assume.
More specifically, for someone without a background in tech or a computer science degree – what advice would you give them and what should they know going into tech?
Having a career in technology can be both rewarding and challenging. It also means that continued education and learning is a must. In order to excel, you must stay on top of developments in the industry. Changes in technology happen rapidly, so you must keep up with the latest research and ideas.
What resources would you recommend to new developers?
For anyone considering a career in development or for new developers looking to improve their skills, our training team at Quicken Loans recommends these resources:
How do you support continued learning for your employees?
Several areas of our company are dedicated to the personal and professional development of our team members. For example, QL’s Tech U is a team of learning and development leaders within Quicken Loans Technology, which provides classes designed to provide technical skills to our Technology team members. These classes allow our teams to learn QL-specific applications basics or increase their knowledge regarding a specific programming language.
Another example of continued learning is “The Journey.” This program is the one-stop shop for both personal and professional development throughout the Quicken Loans Family of Companies. Here, you’ll find a collection of courses, programs and resources designed to help team members become leaders in their own lives and help leaders create dynamic teams.
Thank you toTeresa for sharing insight on the hiring process and to Quicken Loans for their continued support in our Employer Network! We’re excited to see this partnership strengthen, and hope these insights will help future bootcampers prepare for the job hunt!