The Evolution of the Aptera Academy
The Aptera Academy was originally created for developers to learn the hard skills and soft skills needed to jump into client projects. Eventually, it was opened to all client facing Apterans, including Business Analysts, Quality Analysts, and Project Managers. Just recently, we’ve made it available to clients.
Aptera’s CEO TK Herman and Director of Operations Mark Petroff joined Aptera Live to chat about the Aptera Academy. In the episode, we go over how it began and where it is today. Watch the episode now or read more about it below.
What is the Aptera Academy?
The Aptera Academy is our onboarding process, but more importantly, it’s a way to recognize that new employees shouldn’t be expected to hit the ground running. Whether someone’s joined Aptera right out of school or they have many years of experience, it’s important that they’re caught up on any technical skills, our processes, and the vocabulary of an Aptera developer.
“We feel that it’s important to invest in our employees and provide a nice smooth experience into our industry and our company,” Mark explained.
The Academy’s format is very similar to how we run projects with clients. It’s a full team experience with between four to six members in a cohort format. They go through different lessons – some on their own, some in a group format, some pairing with their mentors. One of Aptera’s Agile Coaches runs it.
The core of the Academy is usually six weeks. After that, individuals move into an apprenticeship where they join an active team that’s working with clients on a project. While they’re in this stage, they should take the concepts they’ve learned during the Acadamy and onboarding and apply those in a functional team.
The Origin and Vision of the Aptera Academy
At the beginning, the Aptera Academy was a way for us to experiment with newer techniques, ways of approaching development, and how teams form and run.
Once we had experience with it, we realized what a great thing we had, and that we should start taking everyone through it.
“Honestly, the people that we have here is our most important asset,” TK explained on Aptera Live. “We want to do everything we can to bring people in, give them an environment where they can learn and grow, and also become accustomed to how we do business.”
The Aptera Academy is designed now to set everyone up for success from the very beginning. When new employees start, we can walk them through our processes, bring their skills up to where they need to be, give them a glimpse into how we do business, and how we take care of our customers.
Encouraging a Culture of Learning
We’re proud of our culture of learning at Aptera, and the Aptera Academy helps instill that mindset.
“We have a mindset here that if we don’t know the answer to a question, we say, ‘I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out together,’” TK said. “The inside of the Academy is where that starts to get baked into the mindset.”
While the Academy is a large investment, it pays dividends in setting up a learning posture. In the Aptera Academy, we acknowledge that you’re never going to stop learning in this profession. So, no one really graduates from the Academy, it’s just the foundation you need to get started.
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