That was cool: Students about IT Expert Project

30 Aug, 2016

A new phase of the educational project IT Expert is about to start, but the participants still remember what was it like during the spring semester. The project involved around 700 students and 40 experts from various Lviv IT companies who helped the youth to become real IT specialists. As a part of the project, Lviv IT Cluster and SoftServe company involved students to work on real projects. Experts and students tell about the training weeks.

“Students are satisfied – so I am satisfied too,” says Natalia Shakhovska, Lviv Polytechnic’s lecturer.

During the spring semester her students worked with leading Lviv IT specialists. As part of the training, they were involved in a real project.

“The idea was to teach students to give motivation and explain that they learn not for learning but for work,” says Principal Software Engineer at SoftServe Ivan Zagorodniy.

Training consisted of several blocks. At the beginning students took introductory lectures and found out about the customer, then they got individual tasks. Ivan explained that the first idea was to work with eight people. But a lot of students wanted to join the project and organizers had to create several groups of 6-8 people.

The lecturer remembers, “Perhaps, at first, some of them were afraid to take part. Then they told each other and more and more students wanted to join the project. Then came even more, although someone still were afraid”.

Those who stayed, have felt like real programmers and saw how the software development works. They not only enjoyed the work, but also communication in the team. For example, a fourth year student Igor Sorokin tells about this enthusiastically:

“It was my first team experience. I liked everything, especially the staff – they helped us, explained how to solve some problems”.

Senior Software Engineer at SoftServe and one of the IT experts Roman Triska said that in the first week he saw embarrassment of some students.

“This format of work was not familiar to them. They thought that we will explain them something, and they will just listen to us as during the lectures. In return, we attracted them to work –  encouraged them to show the initiative, to ask questions. You should not just nod your head, that you understand”.

Ivan Zagorodniy confirms:

“We have a friendly format – to work together. A student used to get the task. Therefore, it was difficult to turn off. This is a problem of our education it has little resources to train people to work in a team”.

However, he disagreed with the statement that Ukrainian universities teach nothing. Most of IT experts graduated from Lviv universities, and the project participants have good knowledge. He says that three of them can be invited to work right now, and in general all the students have a chance to enter the IT Academy.

The students completed the project and the main goal was reached: the students were involved in a real project and were taught to develop software.

“It was also a very useful experience for the group of experts, – says Roman Triska. – We worked with the team, helping to understand, organizing the work. For us as developers, it was learning how to work with the group, coordinate work and reach out to everyone”.

At first it was difficult for students and for us, the experts, as well. But later we understood how to work together. It was a very useful experience. We not only taught the students, we also studied ourselves”, says Oksana Kohuch, Software Engineer at SoftServe.

Mariana Pukas, Senior Software Engineer, agrees with her, “It was very interesting to try myself in the role of a teacher. This was an opportunity to share my experience, to help students to become professionals. I really enjoyed doing this and I would like to continue taking part in the project next year too”.

According to Ivan Zagorodniy, they would like to continue to work on IT Expert project spring semester next year. However, the new stage of IT-Expert project will begin in September.

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