It’s been almost a year since the Bachelor’s Program Internet of Things was officially launched. For freshmen of the program, this was a fruitful year – they have managed to work on their own practical projects as well as cooperate with a bunch of Lviv IT professionals. By the way, they try to be actively involved in the program, similarly to the way it was before the program was launched. Today we will talk about one of them – Volodymyr Fedak, Solution Architect at SoftServe and Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Computerized Automatic Systems at Lviv National Polytechnic University.
Volodymyr Fedak was among the originators of the program and a member of the working group. His involvement in the program was logical since he manages projects related to IoT at SoftServe. In the working group, Volodymyr was engaged in one of the most important missions – he was developing the curriculum for the 4-year program.
“We tried to get rid of the subjects that have nothing to do with the Internet of Things. The university agreed to make concessions and the program was approved. Now the program includes only those subjects which will be needed for students to become professionals already during the studies, not when they start working at an IT company. Now, students will start their first jobs having confident and some prior experience unlike some 5-8 years ago”.
It was possible to compromise with the university since the IT companies which were engaged in the program creation guaranteed future employment for students. This, however, is not the only concession on behalf of the university. In particular, IT specialists have an opportunity to directly participate in the teaching process and apply their own instruction and grading methods. To simplify learning a bit, the university allowed teachers to use file managers for grading laboratory works without the need to copy them to the department’s server. Furthermore, it was agreed to cancel lots of tedious paperwork.
This semester Volodymyr is teaching students.
“I’m more or less acquainted with the students already. What was my first impression? Well, they are indeed motivated and they are trying hard. However, to achieve something they still need to learn a lot”.
Volodymyr is teaching 2 courses in Java and Python.
“Similarly to the previous semester, students will be working on projects. They need to get programming skills. They will be learning the Internet of Things domain later in the course of the program, but firstly they need to get some knowledge in programming and hardware build. Consequently, the first two years of the program will focus on programming, hardware, web technologies, and later they will learn the details”.
Ideally, in 4 years Lviv IT industry will grow with 50 IoT specialists. This will be very appropriate, since, according to Volodymyr, Lviv and Ukrainian IT industry is lacking IoT professionals.
“Internet of Thing is developing every year and, of course, IT companies get more projects related to it. It is not just SoftServe where this tendency can be traced. If you read blogs of Amazon or Cisco it becomes clear: these companies are putting a lot of effort in the development of the Internet of Things. I think that in half a year the number of projects may considerably grow and there will be a huge demand for professionals skilled in different data transfer protocols and programming, including hardware programming. There is a demand for such specialists already. Recently we had clients who were looking for such developers, and we, the company with over 4 thousand employees had difficulties finding the right candidates. It is going to be more difficult every time since the number of such projects is growing. There are two ways out here: teaching such professionals locally at IT companies, or teaching them at the university level”.
Volodymyr Fedak advises doing this at universities, since this way it is possible to reduce spendings on teaching people after university. Lviv IT companies are already interested in this: they unanimously supported the Bachelor’s Program Internet of Things. In total, more than 50 professionals and teachers from Lviv Polytechnical National University have been working on the program. Volodymyr says it was a successful cooperation, since IT employees are real professionals in what they do, while the teachers understand what are the best ways of teaching and transmitting information.
Volodymyr has his own teaching secret: he tries to interest students and not to pay attention to the formatting of paperwork or any other formalities. Understanding whether the student has a grasp of the subject is the key thing here.
He invites other IT professionals to get involved in the program:
“For IT employees it is a great opportunity to secure their knowledge in a particular field, since, the practice shows that even if you are an expert, students usually ask tricky questions – hence, you will learn as well. Furthermore, there is always a need to share your knowledge. At IT companies this need is satisfied through mentorship in different projects. Here you can do it a bit more globally – in front of the whole class eager to learn from your experience”.