Nowadays, it is not enough for a programmer to write excellent lines of code; it is also becoming more and more important what soft skills they have. What is the added value of a psychologist developing these skills? What methods are worth adapting in a corporate environment? Our psychologist Fruzsina Fejes answered these questions by presenting the Green Fox strategy.
Applicants for a Green Fox course have to go through a five-step selection process, including the assessment of soft skills. That is why the selection process is led by our psychologist, Fruzsina. “We use a playful test to assess the competences that will be decisive during course and later on at work, as well. It is important to highlight that the result of the test does not tell us whether someone will be a good or a bad programmer. It tells us whether their personality traits will enable them to cope with the upcoming very intensive training and later with the job market.”
The test assesses, among other things, candidates' problem-solving and planning skills, goal-oriented thinking, self-awareness, perseverance, tolerance of monotony, adaptability and learning skills, willingness to work in a team, general professional interest, IQ and EQ, stress management skills and resilience.
Fruzsina Fejes adds that in their future work, where junior programmers would encounter completely new situations, tasks and responsibilities, it might be important to apply a growth mindset. That's why we focus on the acquisition of flexible thinking from the very beginning of the course.
“Students need to believe that skills are not something they are born with, but something that can be developed through practice, so we apply this approach when we design our training courses.”
Thanks to the selection process, students come to us with strong soft skills, but we still place a strong emphasis on developing personal skills throughout the training. In the market, it is common to ask for the help of different specialists in different fields, for example, a communication specialist may only provide presentation training. As we have several full-time psychologists in our team, we at Green Fox have a much broader spectrum of thinking. Fruzsina and her colleagues can deal with several areas alone, and they can also put the psychologically important theory behind the practice. Besides the acquisition of knowledge, students must understand why they do what they do and why it is important.
Our psychologists are coaches at the same time. This is of key importance because some stuck points are more effectively dealt with one-to-one. Usually, we are not the ones who initiate individual sessions; we consider it beneficial if the student comes to us. Both individual and group training can add a lot to the development of soft skills and self-awareness, although it should be emphasised that students will get the most out of these if they put in the necessary effort. For example, you can develop your presentation skills from zero to perfection in 4.5 months with practice - we've already witnessed it!”
The effectiveness of the process is demonstrated by the general openness of the participants by the end of the course. Fruzsina adds that “one of the reasons is that they believe they can learn something completely new in a short period of time, so they discover that they are capable of much more than they thought they were.”
During the training sessions, mentors and psychologists work in symbiosis with the students: we teach them programming by creating a real working environment, while at the same time developing their personal skills to get the most out of them. This gives us a comprehensive picture of students, so we can effectively help them in finding a job.
This close cooperation is of particular value to our corporate partners. If an employer can define the skills, competencies and personality traits that are most important to them, we can help them in matching the right programmer with the right position and corporate culture.