KS Dev Team Benefits from Custom Coding Course

Dec 12,2018

The Knowledge Services mantra “People-First Technology” recently took on a whole new meaning when a group of our developers set aside time to invest in their skillset and explore new technical ideas. As our group of five team members took part in a 4-week custom C# course, they were able to develop new skills to help accelerate their team’s movement towards a next-generation platform.

Continued Education Course

After reviewing basic .NET and object-oriented principles, the instructor began to introduce ideas like design patterns and unit testing with dependency injection and mocking.

“The material was pertinent to what we’re moving towards as a development group. It was very intense, consolidated training, and there wasn’t any fluff material which is typically what you find with traditional training. It was completely interactive training, fluidity with the lesson plans according to our interest and abilities concerning a topic,” stated team member, Tony. “I really enjoyed the experience.”

According to team member, Neil, the “training was more individually focused than I ever imagined. At times, we each had our own Teacher Assistant and could work at our own pace to maximize our learning.”

While a few of the attendees were familiar with C#, much of those skills were self-taught and on-the-fly. In contrast, this structured and personalized training allowed for a more in-depth understanding of both fundamental and advanced concepts.

“It’s rare to get a learning opportunity tailored to your specific needs, where you can skip over the things you already know and adjust to topics that are important to you as an individual and for the company as a whole,” stated team member, Zach.

Supporting Careers Through Education

Since we first opened our doors, education has been at the core of Knowledge Services. We believe in the freedom to explore new ideas and concepts that might challenge traditional thinking, and we encourage our team members to do the same.

For instance, rather than remaining in Talent Services, Zach chose to transition his career and join the software development team.

“I originally came into my role here with just the knowledge I gained through self-teaching,” he said. “I’m grateful for the chance the company took on me, being someone who was simply interested in this area and willing to learn all that I could to be successful in my role. I was even more grateful when they acknowledged the further potential I had and presented me with the opportunity to attend the course. It’s a great feeling knowing Knowledge Services is willing to invest in their employees like that.”

We know we are only as good as our team members, which is partly why we place such importance on continued education. “I feel like I am now more able to contribute to my team than ever before,” stated team member, David.

Continued education courses provide a welcoming space where collaboration flourishes, furthering a team’s professional progress and development. “The entire experience was really involved and hands-on. There was constant discussion and collaboration was always occurring,” according to Zach. “In addition to everything we learned, it also served as a great bonding experience for our newly formed team.”

New Skills & Application

Following the four-week course, our team members were back in the office and ready to apply all they had learned such as: Application Program Interfaces (APIs), industry-standard best practices for writing unit tests, software design patterns, “short-cut” C# syntax, and how to code more efficiently.

“I have found the work we did in these areas to be extremely valuable,” said Ben. “APIs make it easier to connect multiple loosely coupled front-end products to our backend and will become even more important as we continue to modernize and help in building shared services for web and mobile. Unit testing is essential to writing maintainable software and allows us to know when we have broken our code at the push of a button. Design patterns allow us to expand our application in readable and maintainable ways by using the best pattern for the job.”

Ben continued to elaborate that upon returning to the office, he was able to immediately put his new-found skills to use. “I was able to utilize the skills gained to make a direct and measurable improvement to the Knowledge Services code base. We successfully completed our first sprint as a team, replacing old code with a reusable solution for file validation in C# and wrote unit tests surrounding our new, cleanly written code.”

Continued education courses that enable team members to learn new skills and grow professionally, such as the custom-tailored course, are opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. But more importantly, it’s up to the team members’ passion and commitment to success to fully capitalize on these opportunities. “I was so thankful for this opportunity that I wanted to make sure to get the most out of it,” said Tony.

Neil concluded, “I believe I now have a strong foundation for future growth.”




By Hannah Klare | Dec 12,2018

KS News