Instructors are the backbone of our Academies, and are crucial to the success of our learners. This document explains the role of a Generation Data Academy Instructor, and sets out what is expected of you when performing the role.
What is the Generation Data Academy?
If you would like to find out more about this programme, you can read about it here.
What is a Generation Data Academy Instructor?
The job of Generation Data Academy Instructor is to lead a cohort of aspiring data engineers for a 12-week period. You will deliver technical modules, as well as help your learners work through exercises and projects. For many of these learners, the Data Academy will be their first time exploring technical concepts, and the first time they've written code or used a programming language. Your goal is to use your expertise to guide them through the content and help them grow with their experiences. The overall aim is to get them prepared for a career in tech.
What technical skills are required?
Contrary to what the role name might suggest, it's not necessary to be a data engineering specialist; given the course teaches data engineering at an entry-level, most software engineers are just fine with what they know about databases, data processing, and so on. You should however be confident that you're at a Consultant software engineer level, and have likely progressed beyond the initial "entry-level" stage of your career. In terms of tech and language specifics, it is useful if you're familiar with the following, or confident in your ability to learn them rapidly! One or two missing isn't a show-stopper, but teaching the Data Academy will be considerably harder if you're trying to learn all the material at the same time!
- Unit testing with Python
- Docker/Podman for containerisation
- SQL with PostGRES
- Amazon Redshift
This role is usually carried out by those at career level CL9 Consultant and above.
Lead and manage a cohort
First and foremost, you will be tasked with looking after a group of people for a 12-week period. This involves, but is not limited to:
- Confidently delivering curriculum content, as well as helping with understanding when progressing through the material.
- Helping learners with exercises, tasks, and project work.
- Supporting a wide range of learners and capabilities.
- Establishing a strong culture of respect, enjoyment, friendship, and teamwork.
- Maintaining a working relationship with other stakeholders, when needed. For example, we work alongside employees at Generation and The Prince's Trust when delivering the Data Academy for them.
- Supporting other instructors, where necessary.
When considering people for an Instructor role, we look for the following qualities:
You can pick up new concepts quickly. You are likely not going to know all of the material for a given course and so learning these concepts quickly and delivering them confidently is a must.
You have confidence in your abilities. You should be able to spot when you are struggling and look for help when needed.
Patience. Teaching other people concepts that you are already familiar with is harder than you think! Just because you have expert domain knowledge, does not mean you can identify how beginners think and feel about new concepts. You need to be able to get down on their level and ask yourself: if I was learning this for the first time, would I understand it? Am I using technical jargon? Am I going too fast? Am I not explaining a concept thoroughly enough? These are all things you should be asking yourself.
Empathy for learners. This is a quality that overlaps heavily with patience. Put yourself in the shoes of a beginner. They are most likely to want to give up when it starts to get challenging, or when they arrive at a point where they can no longer guide themselves forward. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can aid your learners in breaking through the initial struggles, and help them reach their goals.
You'll carry out your role in accordance with the requirements of ISO9001 and ISO27001 as reflected in the Company's policies and procedures and the ISO9001 and ISO27001 organisational structure charts.