Raise your hand if you struggled to choose your major in college. Raise your hand if you felt pressured to select traditional career paths such as Medicine or Law. Raise your hand if you changed careers after college. If you scored 1 to 3 points, congratulations, you are doing great! You are expected to change your mind and experiment with new things.
Culturally, we put formal higher education and profession in the same bucket in Brazil. What you study usually defines your career, putting a lot of pressure on young students who need to make this decision prematurely. With that in mind, we started a new program.
In 2021 a concerned parent reached our team, saying that his 15-year-old son would like to learn more about programming during summer break. The family was not going on a vacation that year, so it would be a productive way to spend time with his son. He had one wish, though, he wanted him to have a corporate experience, an introduction to what the business looks like. In Jan 2022, Barel joined our team to learn basic programming. It worked so well that we had more people interested by the end of the year and created the SummerCode Camp.
The SummerCode Camp is a program focused on teaching basic programming concepts and developing hard and soft skill in young teenagers. Our main goal is to inspire them to pursue IT careers and help them make career decisions. During six weeks, six students will be immersed in our workspace and culture every day on-site in our Porto Alegre office. Our engineers came together to build two tracks for them to follow, the first with basic concepts and the second with a natural sequence and more complex than the first one.
The foundation and first edition of the program have Colégio Farroupilha as a partner providing all support needed and access to the students. Together, we structured the program with the long-term goal of being easily replicable and scalable for other schools and companies to do the same.