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How to pick the right path when you’re looking to upskill or reskill

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So, you’re looking for a career in computer science but are wondering what approach best suits you. More specifically, you heard about low-code programming and are wondering if you have what it takes to learn the new skillset to change your career and be proficient at it.

According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2020, 55% of the surveyed companies report a skills gap in the local labor market. Additionally, circa 44% of skills employees need to perform effectively will change by 2025. This is huge, considering these employees will be at risk of job displacement, and not all companies are investing in much-needed training.

Unsurprisingly, the search for talented professionals in computer science is booming, and both college and coding boot camps are struggling to keep up with the market’s demand. Moreover, the landscape of technologies out there is so vast that it is hard to pinpoint which one is right for you. And when facing all these challenges, it might be complicated to decide what to do in a timely manner.

At ITUp, we focus on delivering training programs on the OutSystems Platform, the leading low-code platform. We offer both reskill and upskill programs, but in this article, we will focus on the benefits of our Turn Up program, our most comprehensive reskill program.

The search for talented professionals in computer science is booming, and both college and coding boot camps are struggling to keep up with the market’s demand.

What is a low-code Platform and why do we think OutSystems is the right technology?

Low-code Platforms allow faster development and deployment of solutions since most software can be created through visual representation. Furthermore, all developed components can be reused by different applications, therefore, accelerating the development and deployment of new solutions.

Low-code is especially advantageous for developers as it empowers them to work more efficiently, allowing experienced developers to complete more projects quicker. On the other hand, low-code helps newly certified developers achieve productivity faster. Typically, they also require less training when compared to traditional programming languages and paradigms.

The simplicity and ease-of-use of these technologies allow people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to quickly learn the fundamentals of low-code tools.

The OutSystems Platform goes a step forward than most low-code solutions being the only one that combines the power of low-code development with advanced mobile capabilities, enabling visual development of entire applications that easily integrate with existing systems.

Low-code allows experienced developers to complete more projects quicker, and helps newly certified developers achieve productivity faster. They also require less training when compared to traditional programming languages and paradigms.

What is a coding boot camp?

If you google the definition of “boot camp”, the one we think fits better with what trainees face in these training programs, states that a boot camp is “a short, intensive and rigorous course of training”. Originally applied to military recruits training, nowadays, it also applies to coding training programs.

Coding boot camps are training programs that enable students with little or no coding experience to focus on developing their coding skills. These programs are intensive, immersive, and typically last between 6 to 12 weeks, 8 hours a day, requiring students to put in around 4 extra hours per day for studying.

Boot camp training programs usually follow a weekly schedule, introducing the basics of programming and quickly evolving into more complex topics. The programs have theoretical and hands-on components and can take place in a classroom or remote setting (using platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, amongst others).

Coding boot camp alternatives

A few years ago, a college degree was the best, and in some places the only, way to become a developer. Students would spend anywhere between 3 to 5 years cramming for exams, pulling all-nighters to be able to finish their projects on time, and, let’s face it, sometimes not learning nearly enough as they would like to learn (we needed our fair share of time for partying, right?). Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of advantages of pursuing a college degree, and they work particularly well if you’re fresh out of high school. From my experience, it gave me stamina, endurance, and, more importantly, a sense that I can learn whatever I need to if I set my mind to it, and if I have time.

And here is where things make a difference, time! It is one thing to enroll in a college when you’re a teenager or a young adult, and you can spend a few years studying, however, it is a different matter when you have been working for a few years, have responsibilities and a family, and can only spare a few weeks or months.

Besides, let’s face it: you are more focussed, more mature, and you have a purpose in mind: quickly improve your job situation, either by finding a new one as a programmer or embracing new challenges inside your company.

Is a coding boot camp a good fit even if I come from a non-tech background?

Coding boot camps present an opportunity for professionals or recent graduates with a non-tech background to change to a programming career. However, we know that deciding to change careers and enroll in an intensive and immersive training program is not easy. Most of the students that enroll in our reskill programs are looking for a career change due to either a job that failed to fulfil their expectations or a lack of employability.

For these professionals to be successful on such a drastic career change, we’ve noticed a few common treats that make it more likely for them to succeed. From our experience so far, we can say that the top 4 things they have in common are:

  • They are motivated to enroll in an immersive, full-time, intensive and very demanding training program
  • They like solving complex problems
  • They are team players
  • They have basic computer skills

An OutSystems report showed that, although the majority of low-code users are professional IT developers, a whopping 44% are business users collaborating with IT. Furthermore, at ITUp, around 90% of over 300 attendees of our Turn Up program are from a non-technological background. This is the best testimonial to the OutSystems’s platform versatility and agility, and why we believe that investing in an OutSystems boot camp is a great path for reskilling your career. And as if this wasn’t enough, the demand for OutSystems Professionals is so high at the moment that there is a talent shortage in the market.

Our Turn Up OutSystems Coding Boot Camp

Our 12-week OutSystems Coding Boot Camp, Turn Up, is immersive, full-time, intensive, hands-on, and very demanding. But in the end, it will be completely worth it. You will learn to:

  • Design, Develop and Deliver Customer Full-Stack OutSystems Applications
    You will learn your way around the OutSystems Platform and will have the basis to work as a junior consultant in a real-world customer project.
  • Conceive Logic Solutions to Challenges
    The course will prepare you to think logically and implement solutions for intricate functionalities from basic to moderate complexity.
  • Define Models that solve Customers’ Data requirements
    You will be able to participate in data model definition discussions with the project’s team. Designing and querying databases are also a fundamental part of the boot camp syllabus.
  • Integrate with existing systems
    As part of customers’ digital transformation paths, integrating with existing systems is a crucial skill in which you must excel.
  • Troubleshoot application functionalities and common errors
    Unfortunately, there are no Applications without the occasional malfunction. Is it, therefore, critical that throughout the boot camp, you learn how to test, debug, and resolve code issues (including in a visual development environment).
  • Present Solutions with Professionalism
    During the boot camp, you will also focus on mastering soft skills that will be essential for your day-to-day job as an OutSystems Professional. In the end, you will have learned how to demonstrate eloquently and with clarity the developed solutions.

Turn Up Syllabus in a Nutshell

The course syllabus is developed in-house by our OutSystems Experts, being constantly reviewed, ensuring a continuously up-to-date curriculum.

It comprises a 1-week pre-training module, and 12 weeks of theoretical and practical tech modules, and extra modules on Human Skills and Coaching, and Agile Methodologies. After the successful completion of all the modules, the trainees will be able to take on the OutSystems Certification Exam.

Insights from our Alumni

“Although I didn't have any deep IT background, the Turn Up boot camp gave me the foundations to efficiently manage, develop, and deliver any OutSystems Project at a high level. With an amazing and inspiring teaching team, together with an up-to-date and challenging program, at the end of the boot camp, I was able to easily take my Outsystems certification exam. I feel ready and prepared to face any tech challenge throughout my career.”

Alan Santos, Turn Up Alumnus From Financial Officer to Expert OutSystems Consultant at Linkit

“A key factor setting ITUp apart from others is their Career Coaching and Soft Skills team. By guiding you through real-world scenarios in projects and in pursuing career opportunities, they give you the tools to succeed and present yourself with confidence to co-workers and customers alike.”

Luís Galaio, Turn Up Alumnus From Assistant Consultant to Tech Lead at Green Lemon Company

“I have always been passionate about technology and solving problems, but my skills were not enough. With a degree in psychology, I lacked the tech background to even consider enrolling in a coding boot camp. However, when I read about the OutSystems Technology and how simple it was for newbies, I decided to find a way to learn it. ITUp’s boot camp was the right match for me: it was challenging and intensive but totally worth the investment. I have been working as an OutSystems Developer for nearly a year, and I couldn’t be happier!”

Tobias Almeida, Turn Up Alumnus From Workforce Manager to OutSystems Developer at Farmodiética

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