How to Attract and Retain the Best Tech Talent




According to a 2017 Job Satisfaction report, turnover rates may decrease when organization’s further the knowledge of their employees.

This commitment to professional development is central to a learning culture—a culture that supports an open mindset and shared learning toward organizational goals.

If you read Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, you may think employee learning and development (L&D) requires a million-dollar budget. Luckily, that’s not the case. At Devetry, we don’t have a million dollar L&D budget, yet we’ve successfully created a learning culture.

How Devetry Fosters a Culture of Learning

As a people-first organization, learning permeates our company culture. Our commitment to L&D positively impacts our productivity and our ability to attract and retain talent. Here are three ways we promote a learning culture at Devetry.

1. Mentoring among senior and mid-level developers. As a team of developers with different skill levels and skill sets, we encourage collaboration (without assigning formal mentors). Senior Developer Brian Schiller says, “One mid-level developer asks me for help with certain data-handling questions and I go to him with style and design questions. Some people have a better knowledge of security best practices. Some people are really good at document-oriented databases. Others know relational databases.” Our open office at Devetry fosters collaboration; “We can quickly troubleshoot a problem or brainstorm ideas for clients in an informal and efficient way,” says Whitney Todd, Software Developer at Devetry. It’s often a matter of wheeling a chair over to look at a screen.

2. Accessible and transparent team communication. At Devetry, we use a team chat system (like Slack or Rocket.Chat) to troubleshoot. We have a separate channel for each project, along with a general dev channel. Our team chat is a good place to ask for feedback by sharing screenshots and screen recordings. We intentionally balance our chat use with in-person communication. At some companies, mid-level developers can spend days waiting to speak with a senior person. “At Devetry, team members with more experience take the time to teach and mentor others,” says Whitney, “This is invaluable.” While it’s important for senior developers to have uninterrupted work time, we don’t want a mid-level developer to wait a day and a half for something that takes ten minutes. At Devetry, we have an open door policy so all team members—regardless of level—are more available.

3. Strategic team composition. At Devetry, we thoughtfully construct project teams to promote learning and development. **“**We often start a project with one senior developer doing a really deep dive to understand every corner of a project—this is especially true for projects that existed before we picked them up,” says Brian. The senior developer studies the architecture of the software and evaluates which assignments are most appropriate for each mid-level developer based on their unique skill set. This model is mutually beneficial to our employees and clients: It fosters collaboration among developers and lets our clients work with a consistent team throughout their entire project.

At Devetry, our learning culture is founded on informal mentoring, accessible and transparent communication and teamwork. The attitude of ‘being available’ permeates the company. Whether you’re early in your software engineering career or a senior developer with ten years’ experience, the help goes both ways. “It’s something I brag about,” says Brian, “I’ve never worked somewhere with such a strong culture of collaboration.” Our culture of learning helps us attract and retain the best tech talent.

Author: Brett, Co-Founder & CEO

Devetry partners with clients to identify critical needs and build custom software. Understanding client needs comes first. Choosing the right technology comes second. Learn more.