Data specialist Alchemetrics opened its Research and Development office in Vilnius, Lithuania, at the start of 2018. The company partnered up with Vilnius Coding School which trained and helped select three excellent employees under the leadership of Alchemetrics’ senior developers Andrius Markevicius and Mindaugas Degutis.
Cyril Law, the CTO of Alchemetrics commented on the partnership with Vilnius Coding School: “We think it is an excellent initiative and support the idea that people should be given a chance to learn new skills and acquire a new occupation. We are delighted that Vilnius Coding School not only teaches programming, but supports the students in all stages – from the start of their course to the employment. At the job interviews with potential candidates, we were pleasantly surprised by their motivation, skills and a desire to learn and grow in the IT industry. We are very happy with our new team in Lithuania.
Vilnius Coding School has interviewed Dominykas Gudonis, Augustas Trumpa and Dalius Slamas who are now working successfully at Alchemetrics.
“My search for a job with the help of Vilnius Coding School was much easier than self-help,” says Dominykas, who received assistance from the school in finding a job in the field of programming and changing his profession from historian to junior developer. After completing the WEB Development BOOTCAMP course at Vilnius Coding School, he was employed by the British company Alchemetrics.
In what field did you work before accepting the position of developer?
As the time approached, when I had to choose the field of my further studies, I thought about the subject that I always liked and it was history. Besides my friend also studied history, so I decided to go that direction too. I spent four years studying history and then I even enrolled in Master’s studies.
Why did you choose programming?
While doing my Master’s studies, I read about programming in an article and found information on where to study it. I decided to try to enrol on a coding course at a vocational school. I took a break in the Master’s programme and started learning programming. It was not easy at all, but I liked it though, so I did not resume my Master’s studies in history.
Why did you choose Vilnius Coding School?
Upon completion of the programming course, I realised that I still lacked knowledge, so I starting to look for additional active training and this is how I found Vilnius Coding School. Mostly I enjoyed the principle of mentoring. Also, one of the decision-making factors was the fact that the WEB Development course dealt with both front-end and back-end programming.
How did you succeed in learning?
I would not say it was very difficult because I had already had the basics of JAVA, so it was much easier to switch to another coding language. Also the school had an atmosphere making you feel like home. I liked the teacher and his working method.
How did you find a job?
I tried to look for practice or job before the training, but I usually got the answer saying I was too weak and they were looking for middle-level developers. When I started studying, my project manager Jevgenij suggested me to make a job interview appointment at Alchemetrics and then I just tried. I liked their approach to people and work, and the company’s representatives liked me, so they employed me. J My search for a job with the help of Vilnius Coding School was much easier than self-help.
What are you doing at the company at the moment? How do you improve?
I am a junior developer, therefore, I mainly deal with data and databases. Of course, sometimes I have to write a programming code too. Right now, along with my colleagues, we are transferring old customer data to cloud computing and I am responsible for this project. This is a different area than the one that I studied, so I had to learn new things relating to data. Also, we use a platform that requires JAVA programming knowledge, which I am also improving at the time.
What would you recommend to people who have doubts about retraining for IT career?
It does not matter at all what area you were in earlier, because determination, motivation and desire to improve are the key factors. You should also be fond of that particular field. IT market is not difficult because it is not limited to programming and is quite wide. You just have to try and understand whether this is for you.
“It gives you new contacts, knowledge and greater opportunities, which was the most important thing for me,” says Augustas, speaking about learning at Vilnius Coding School. After completing the training courses of JAVA and WEB Development, he moved from transport engineering to IT and is currently working as a junior developer at Alchemetrics.
What did you do before you took up programming? Have you always wanted to build your career in IT?
Most of my teenage years, I spent on the computer. Many times I hit upon the idea of working in the IT field, but it would always evaporate soon. It seemed to me that it would be too difficult or even not meant for me. When I graduated from school I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, but I still needed something to choose. I was interested in various study programmes, and since I liked cars, I chose transport engineering studies.
Why did you decide to change your professional field to IT?
The first year in transport engineering was interesting, but later I realised that I could not achieve my potential in this specialty. I was very fortunate to participate in the Erasmus programme on the third year of studies, and then I first got acquainted with programming because I had a lecture of programming in C#. This was my first experience in coding, and although it was not easy, I still liked it. When I returned to Lithuania after a year, I thought I should try programming again. I began to take an interest in programming languages. I downloaded software to learn syntax and this is how I came up with an idea to train programming more seriously after graduating from the university.
How did you succeed in studying?
Before enrolling the training I started to study JAVA programming language individually, for that reason I chose it as the first language. With the basics of training, I expanded my knowledge and spent more time on new things. Having successfully completed JAVA course, I took part in a career counselling session. I talked to the Manager of the Career Centre Živilė and together we decided that I could further improve my programming knowledge and learn the basics of WEB Development, taking advantage of the available financing opportunity.
How did you find a job and what kind of help did the school provide you with?
Before the training, I did not look for job because I did not feel well prepared. During the training, I sent my resume to several companies, but this was not an active job search, and after the second training, with the help of the Career Centre of Vilnius Coding School, I attended three job interviews. At the first interview, I did not think that was a place I would like to work in. The second was not the best option, but I realised that I could obtain considerable knowledge in that company. And the third interview that I was called for was with Alchemetrics. Afterwards I had no doubts about the place I would like to work in and I just knew I wanted to be there!
What type of position do you currently occupy in the company?
I basically deal with PHP programming language. Our product is data, so we usually develop applications that download or upload data and process them. Also, we have to maintain a data processing system that is large enough, so sometimes such situations occur where something breaks down and we need to solve the problem.
How do you improve your knowledge? Do you seek to learn new things?
The work of a developer gives a stimulus to learning and improvement every day, since no day is the same. There are always new challenges. In our work, we often try new technologies, so with each task assigned, you usually do not know exactly how to implement it, so you either try to look for answers on Google search, including other expert opinions, or interact with colleagues from the United Kingdom. As an example, we are currently trying cloud migration, and since this is a new technology for us, we need to dig deeper into it and acquire better understanding of it.
How do you feel working with Alchemetrics?
I cannot imagine myself anywhere else. The Lithuanian team consists of 5 people and we get along with each other. In the morning, when I get up, I am never unwilling to go back to work. It has become a part of my life. We meet less frequently with the British team, but they are doing well in maintaining the team relations. We feel like a full part of the team and have a great time.
What would you recommend to people who have doubts about retraining for IT career?
First of all, I think that there is no need to focus on paid training, search for practice or work. Trying and understanding whether you really want it, need it and, in general, whether you could succeed in it is of utmost importance. The easiest way to do it is attending online courses for beginners, because there is plenty of information on the Internet. If you realise that you like coding and it is interesting for you, if you do not want to leave your computer until you write a functioning code, then the next step is to start that kind of training offered by Vilnius Coding School. It gives you new contacts, knowledge and greater opportunities, which was the most important thing for me. Students can create projects with each other, a lecturer can notice you and offer jobs, while joining the Alumni community brings significant benefits indeed.
Dalius Šlamas, a developer from Lithuania, experienced quite a test when applying for job. Now working as a developer at a British capital company having office in Vilnius, he attended a month-long job interviews. “Since my childhood, I dreamed of becoming a dentist. Today, I am glad that this dream has not materialised and I am able to do what I want to do”, Dalius says.
After graduating from school, he took up a study of prospective occupation at a high vocational school and intended to become a dental technician. When he realised that he had gone in the wrong direction during his studies, he hid his diploma after graduation with the highest scores and went abroad, hoping for change in both his personal and professional life. “I left with the intention of learning something, changing something, and improving. I have always been interested in programming, but the code seemed to be an incomprehensible chaos to me that was scary to approach to. While living in England, I dared. I started self-studying. I attended a series of online paid and free courses, I acquired vast knowledge, and after a while I began to look for the position of developer in Lithuania”, Dalius tells about his start in the IT field.
Then his searches led to the doors of Vilnius Coding School, which opened up not only the opportunity to study but also to work. Having graduated Vilnius Coding School, Dalius went straight to the developer’s chair. “In Lithuania, I was looking for programming-related job. I also wanted to have a scholarship with a specific job opportunity afterwards. There were not so many choices and I decided that Vilnius Coding School, where a new and a very exciting professional path started, was definitely the most useful for me,” the man says.
Having started the course, Dalius had a job interview with his current employers. “It so happened that I went through several stages of interviewing, and the last interview, that included a technical part, lasted almost a month. My supervisor and team member in my future job was also my lecturer at Vilnius Coding School, so every day I had to do my best and show not only the interest in the course but also the real knowledge so that I could successfully start working together having completed the course”, Dalius says. At the coding school, he completed active full-time (boot camp) website development course that lasted four weeks. He learned many valuable things and, after all, he got the job.
“At the moment, I am absolutely satisfied with what I am working on. The IT sector is very dynamic. You can learn new things every day, and find out about new and ever-changing systems. I am glad that there are opportunities to change your occupational field after completing the studies and, most of all, to get a place to continue at after the studies. Bringing training organisers together with employers or potential apprenticeship organisations is very helpful, because it is much easier to learn when you know what you are expecting and have a certain goal”, D. Šlamas says.
A while ago Vilnius Coding School was awarded in the Business Woman Awards competition in the category of the most innovative and most valuable business. The school was awarded by the company Investicijų ir verslo garantijos, UAB (INVEGA). In the project Pradėk dirbti sau (Start to Work for Yourself) that the company run, it introduced the business being created, its challenges, successes and lessons. INVEGA is a national development agency that provides a wide range of financial services to help expand, develop and grow businesses in the country.