The Sparkbox apprenticeship is still in its infancy. We're excited about what we've seen so far, but we also believe this is just the beginning. The idea originated with our Technical Director, Rob Harr. He painted a picture of a long-term, in-house training where upcoming web developers were compensated, allowed to focus on learning, and surrounded with good direction and feedback. He and I discussed how critical professional mentorship had been in our own careers and how difficult it is to find such relationships. We wanted to provide this kind of environment for others.
We want to grow talent—not just consume it.
In short, we apprentice because it’s needed.
But before you nominate us for sainthood, our cause has not been completely altruistic. Pragmatically, we’re also a growing company, have high expectations of our developers, and see that the right web worker is hard to find. In general, the education system is woefully behind in producing developers ready to hit the ground running. And it's hard to really blame them—ours is an industry that even grizzled pros struggle to keep pace with.
Though we have plenty of room for improvement with our apprenticeships, we’re confident in the direction and committed to the approach. We plan to share more about the "how" of our apprenticeships in future posts. For now, I'd just like to share why Sparkbox invests in apprenticeships...