ECHO’s Spring School of Development
ECHO’s mission to empower people and organizations through technology extends not just to our clients but to the greater community as well. In alignment with our mission and as part of our social impact initiatives, ECHO joined Bit Alliance, an alliance of the biggest software companies in Bosnia & Herzegovina, in 2018. Bit Alliance works towards one primary goal – to develop more opportunities in the IT industry market by helping create a highly skilled technology workforce and develop better IT industry infrastructure.
To achieve this goal Bit Alliance consistently creates projects that target the education system, including schools, universities and even internship programs, to help create a pipeline of technology professionals in the industry. Earlier this year, Bit Alliance put out a call to its members to create a training bootcamp focused on teaching young students a useful technical skill, free of cost. All participating organizations had to submit a project proposal and the best proposal would be funded by Bit Alliance.
Led by Sejla Jahic, a software developer at ECHO, and Midheta Djuvic, ECHO’s global HR Coordinator, ECHO submitted its proposal for a Spring School of Development to help new software developers learn and gain hand-on experience with Salesforce quickly. Out of the many submissions Bit Alliance received, ECHO’s proposal was chosen to be funded, and the team got to work to prepare their new program.
To select interns who were not only hardworking but keen on learning technical skills, Midheta encouraged all of ECHO’s current interns to apply and conducted one-on-one interviews to determine the best fit for the new program. Sejla designed the program curriculum and created online course materials focused on two main areas, Salesforce administration and Salesforce programming. Once everything was prepared, ECHO’s Spring School of Development kicked off with five interns who showed a lot of excitement, inquisitiveness and put in some serious hard work!
The program consisted of homework tasks as well as two exams, the first one took place halfway through the program after the completion of the Salesforce Administration section and the second after the completion of the Salesforce programming section. All five students passed both exams and some of them even excelled at them. In fact, Irina Hajdukov, one of the interns in the program, topped the program and was offered a full-time position at ECHO as a junior software developer.
"I appreciate having this kind of opportunity to learn. It was the perfect addition to my internship, because a lot of things we talked about during our lectures, turned out to be very useful to me in real tasks on projects that I got during these past two months. Also, when I think about other people who didn’t know anything about Salesforce before, they got an amazing chance to learn a useful technical skill, which would be a great head start for them if they would start working for ECHO or any organization that uses Salesforce." - Irina Hajdukov
The end of the Spring School of Development was bittersweet for both the teachers and the interns. A lot had been learnt and achieved in these two months, but the fun learning experience was coming to an end. This program is just one of the many steps that ECHO strives to take in order to share knowledge, learn constantly and give back to the industry and society. Others include constant internal and external trainings, certifications,conference attendance, as well as social impact efforts like supporting BH Futures Foundation and Jericho Foundation. The Salesforce Spring School allowed us to pass on critical Salesforce skills to the interns which will help them become better technology professionals and add value both to their careers and the organizations they end up working for.