Barbara Fazekas, Managing Director of Green Fox Academy, gave us an interview about how to transform a lawyer into a programmer, a marketing specialist how can get along with a software developer, and what is their experience of DBH Serviced Office GreenPoint.
Green Fox Academy, founded by Digital Natives and Lab.Coop, provides technology training. Their first course, aimed those people who want to change careers, has the goal of reeducating extremely talented youth into junior programmers. After training the academy also helps its students to find their first jobs, and indeed in the second portion of their training they are working on the projects of their contracted partners such as Epam, Lufthansa Systems, Emarsys, Electool and UHU Systems.
The students learn in a supportive mentoring framework, and in a small groups: in November 2015 the first course launched with just 21 people, whose original majors were law, economics or the liberal arts among a whole variety of other avenues of study. DBH Serviced Office GreenPoint provides a location for the training, so we meet the enthusiastic students each day, and we also had the chance to interview Barbara Fazekas, the co-founder and CEO of Green Fox Academy.
The four-month long training will be over soon, how did you find it? Why do you think the applicants chose your academy?
Our first course was four times oversubscribed, and we held a four round admissions process. We only enroll those we feel will actually benefit from our courses. It is also enlightening and exciting for us that at the beginning we thought that this training would be for those people who cannot find their place in the world. In fact this academy is for very ambitious people. Our students’ purpose is value creation, and they want to do things which matter, and have a concrete results. They want to belong to a performance-based industry, where young people can achieve anything, based on their knowledge and diligence. In this profession there isn’t a hierarchy as there is within, say, the legal community. In IT if you are skillful, and perform better and better, you can move forward in your career. Lots of our applicants had a steady and successful jobs, but they were bored by the atmosphere, and they saw the opportunity in IT to further their development.
What was the feedback from your contracted partners?
There was positive feedback on the corporate side, but the true feedback will be after the final exam when we will see how many students get a job from them. I could tell you, that everybody is amazed by the students’ presentations, and they are enthusiastic, but the objective measure will be the job offers for our students.
Based on our first course’s success and seeing the size of market demand, we expanded our portfolio, and we will launch our second program in April, the Tech 4 Biz course. The training’s aim is to provide a basic knowledge of software development for business professionals. Its focus is that marketers, sales persons, project leaders and managers gain a deeper insight into digital product development, allowing them to cooperate with IT developers more efficiently. During the course the students learn basic coding techniques, and with this knowledge they can fulfill the requirements of innovative companies, and make everyday communication with software developers easier. After the Tech 4 Biz course the professionals can evaluate more accurately the risks during product development, and they can plan the project milestones more realistically. The course brings the business professionals and developers to the same table.
What were the criterions when you chose the office? What were your needs?
Usually only a few people work on a launching startup, moreover they are often overloaded, and this situation was also true in the case of Green Fox Academy. The demand for a learning center emerged quickly. The serviced office construction was a convenient solution for us because I did not have to spend the time on searching for the right service providers. We just came by and everything was ready to go. At other business centers they first tend to show you a bare area, where plasterboard walls and fittings can go. In our case we didn’t have the time and energy for this kind of renewal.
At Serviced Office GreenPoint we are paying a centralized fee so that the landlord arranges all the services and operation thereof. Furthermore the rental agreement was really flexible. We didn’t need to sign an agreement for 3-5 years – which we couldn’t afford as a startup. We couldn’t foresee our growth rate and pace, that’s why it wouldn’t have been good to commit ourselves to such longterm outlay.
It was a really positive experience for me personally – and in other business centers I didn’t really experience the same – the receptionists are extremely nice and kind. They assist helpfully and proactive at each and every request, and have a can-do attitude. This might seem a small thing, but at most of the places we checked I didn’t encounter such a professional service and attitude. Naturally the IT support is excellent, they can resolve everything. To sumup there are no unnecessary back and forth over our requests, the administration goes smoothly and everyone is helpful. I have never felt that I had to ask for a favor as one of their customers.
To whom would you recommend DBH Serviced Office?
I’d especially recommend one for small IT companies who have serious growth potential in the short-term. It is ideal for those who do not want to be tied down for 3-5 years especially if there is potential for expansion beyond the capacity of the office.
Tell us about your future plans!
At the beginning of May we will launch one more junior programmer course, and as I already mentioned we will start the Tech 4 Biz course in April. Right now we are running the admission process for that. Alongside Tech 4 Biz we are expanding our portfolio and we are planning the next semester, the summer, and will start additional training course in the at autumn, those topics have not been made public yet. 🙂
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