Off to a flying start in Software Development – Testimonials from our Accelerate graduates

Fri, 21 May, 2021

As a tech company and a market leader in our domain we see it as our responsibility to bring on graduates to contribute to thriving software industry. We want to offer our graduates a great start and believe that this programme creates the safe environment that is needed to grow fast in your role. We interviewed Johan Engberg, Line Lead in Tech Development at Kindred, together with three graduates.

Johan, when did Kindred start this program?

We ran the Accelerate program for the first time in September 2019. We had 12 graduates that joined us to be part of our first programme and we are aiming for 12 graduates in the 2021 programme. All graduates finished the 6-month programme and today, 11 of them are still with us, working as team members in their respective teams. I see this as the best evidence that this programme really works, both for the graduates joining as well as for Kindred.

Why does Kindred run this?

This is an important question, and we do it for several reasons. First, we want to offer our graduates a great start, and we believe that this programme creates that safe environment needed to grow fast in your role. If you feel that you are in a safe environment, you will be more likely to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself and that will be the driver for the fast personal as well as professional growth. Diversity of all aspects is particularly important to us, and we are successful when it comes to ethnicity and gender. Having age diversity in our teams is equally important to create an innovative culture. As a tech company and a market leader in our domain, we see it as part of our responsibility to bring on graduates to contribute to a living and thriving software industry.

Who should apply?

Anyone that wants to have a great start to their career in software development. If you have a curious mindset and great drive to learn, not only new tech but also about yourself and your team, this is for you!

We asked a few of our graduates about their experience with the Accelerate program and their time at Kindred. Mikhail and Shiyao, our Software engineers give us their unique insight into what’s it’s like to take part in the program and become a member of the Kindred family.

What made you apply for Kindred’s Accelerate program?

Mikhail: When I was in my final year of university studies, I already had a goal set to start off my career by joining a tech trainee program at a successful company, as these programs are designed to significantly speed up your personal development and open many doors for you right away. So, the great opportunities provided by this program were the reason.

Shiyao: I'm a homegrown JS developer, which means I didn't have a full tech background back in college. Therefore, I felt more comfortable starting with a trainee program when I read that it's an efficient way to boost your learning curve and gain industrial-level experiences.I researched Kindred's products and their multi-brand strategy made it seem very exciting to work as a software engineer here.

How well did the program meet with your expectations?

Mikhail: It has met my expectations fully. I had a chance to view the business from different perspectives and met new friends on the first day. When you are a junior developer, it is invaluable to feel the trust and patience from the team. My team is amazing - not only did they make me feel trusted and gave me the time I needed to learn new things, but they have also guided me in the right direction and gave me interesting and fun challenges on the way.

Shiyao: It meets most of my expectations - I've grown so much. I'm especially happy with the boot camp at the beginning of the program, during which we got well prepared by learning Kindred's values and how people at Kindred get things done. We also had a chance to bond with fellow trainees who are most likely starting their first job as well. Being able to share how we progress all along and help each other out is a truly valuable experience.

Was there anything you weren’t prepared for?

Mikhail: There have been some things that I had never worked with before, resulting in some knowledge gaps that I had to fill. But as I mentioned, I had a chance to learn them on the way and my team was answering all my questions.

Shiyao: The responsibility for delivering product. After boot camp, we joined our respective teams and started to do real work. It was exciting but also scary, knowing that the work you've done will affect and could potentially break the production - I think some of us really did that! However, mistakes are common and unavoidable. The important thing is to learn something from it and make different mistakes next time. 

What happened after the program was completed?

Mikhail: After the program was completed, I proceeded to work in my team and hone my skills further. I also kept close contact with other graduates prior to the pandemic. I am sure that once it's safe again, we will go for an afterwork all together.

Shiyao: I was officially hired by Kindred and joined a hybrid team (backend and frontend) to work on creating authentication solutions. I've been doing cool things all the time and I'm happy with how my career is going forward.

What has been your favourite moment so far?

Mikhail: Workwise my favourite moment is the first time I took a lead on a requirement and managed to get it done. That moment made me realise how far I’ve come in my learning. Outside of work tasks, my favourite moments have been the afterwork events with the other graduates and my team.

Shiyao: The film making by the end of the program! We were asked to make a film as a sum-up of our experience and interviewed many friends and mentors in the company asking for their feedback. It was a lot of fun and made me realise how much progress each of us had made. That's the moment where you look back and feel proud of yourselves.

What are your future plans?

Mikhail: Even though I have been at the company for 1,5 years, I still have a lot to learn. I have a goal set for myself - to become a solid team contributor by Spring 2022, so this year I will be working on following my plan, expanding my knowledge and becoming better.

Shiyao: I'll be mentoring the new round of accelerate trainees to start with. I hope to do my best to help the new trainees and make sure they will have a wonderful time in my team. In the future, I'm looking to continue improving my skills as a frontend software engineer and become a domain architect one day.