Working Together: Building an Internal Education System for Scandiweb

Have you ever tried explaining to a child why the sky is blue? Or why birds can fly, while humans can’t? If you have, then you probably know how hard it is to find the right words to explain even the most familiar topics and not lose the child’s attention along the way. 

That is why in the ideal world, the person explaining something, better known as the teacher, is not only more experienced but also knows how to put the right information in the right form, taking into account the student’s profile. In the same ideal world, a curious child, let’s call him a student, even though not all students are children, is someone with an interest and motivation to find out more about the field of the teacher’s expertise. Both of these roles are equally important to make the educational process cooperative and, as a result, effective.

Here at Scandiweb, we take education seriously and we want to make it useful for every employee. We want to build an educational environment that covers all the aspects of our work and guides anyone from the very basics to the level where they can even grow to a co-CTO role by just going through our internal educational guides. Sounds ambitious? That’s because it is! And this level of ambition is justified.

As a company, we are open to people who are just at the beginning of their career journey or want a career change and lack experience in a new field. We are often proud to become someone’s first job or summer practice that grows into proper employment.

Did we mention that we are also rapidly growing internationally, employing people from all over Europe, Asia, and even some parts of Africa? This is exactly why we have to provide a solid educational environment that would allow any employee in any part of the world to access guides, methodologies, processes, timings, FAQs, and much more with just a few clicks and some good old motivation to learn. 

Of course, building an educational environment of such a level from the ground up is not an easy task, so we encourage everyone in the company to contribute both as a teacher and as a student.

Imagine yourself as the student: From your first day, you’ll receive a step-by-step guide for your professional growth. Just like how we are trying to make sure that every junior developer or project manager has not only the essential information on how to set up their daily tools and systems but also position-specific guides and courses.

For example, you may know nothing about the Magento platform when you join Scandiweb as a developer, but that would change soon. We have an Introduction to Magento course built by our CTO’s team that takes you deeper into the development process with each course block.

Or maybe you are a new project manager who has never worked on a website design project before? No worries, we have a Design Process course that takes you through every step of the design project, including many case studies from our real projects for a better understanding of the theoretical guides and business practices in Scandiweb.

Then again, that’s just one side of a student’s participation in the company’s educational environment. The other side, and equally important, is that the student can provide valuable feedback on the structure, form, and content of the educational guides, share their thoughts on the complexity of quiz questions, and help catch some technical bugs. This allows us to regularly review and improve on our educational materials—by adding missing topics, going further with explaining the existing ones, or changing course tasks—and keep the relevant discussions open.

Okay, but a teacher just writes guides and checks tasks, right? Of course not! That’s only a portion of what a teacher does, though a very useful one that we must recognize for there is a clear benefit in putting together an educational guide. For example, when trying to explain a complex subject to someone, you may be forced to look at it from different angles until you find the one that brings clarity to the discussion. While doing so, you may also realize your own blind spots that you would otherwise not have noticed.

Now imagine you are a senior developer writing guides for junior developers: You make sure that all the important information is included there and you have clear expectations from your team after everyone passes the educational course. You are playing an important role in the education system we have strived to develop within Scandiweb.

However, not every person is keen on writing or talking in front of a camera for a video course. So we’ve made sure to offer other ways in which one can contribute as a teacher. Say you belong to this latter group, you can instead join our mentor’s community and help your developer-mentees with their daily issues on projects! And it only gets better because these issues will later be reviewed by the CTO and covered in an appropriate guide. How cool is that? 

We recognize that we are just at the beginning of the road to building a complete and flourishing educational environment at Scandiweb. But we are working hard for it.

We have already started with the guides for developers—carefully putting together all the aspects of their work, trying to figure out tasks and quizzes to validate their understanding after each course, deciding on project timings and reporting requirements, establishing the relationship between internal education progress and salary revision, and more. A guide on project management is in the works and other departments are starting to develop their own job-specific guides as well.

The big goal is to make education an important part of Scandiweb’s culture, becoming the core that ensures the high standard of performance and a highway that takes every team member along the path of career growth.

So how does one explain to a child why the sky is blue?

Get them interested, get them excited to find out more. Make learning their usual fun routine, not something foreign and complicated, not something that someone else needs, but something that they want. Discuss, offer various sources of information suitable for the age and level of understanding, experiment, and, finally, acknowledge the job well done!

This is just a glimpse of the efforts we are making to make Scandiweb a place where people not only work but also grow. If you liked the picture we painted for you today, why not try and be part of it? Head on over to our Careers page and find opportunities for you to join our team. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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