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Neil Jennings Academy

Overview

The Neil Jennings Academy programme is a 12-week course designed to take people from all backgrounds and with little to no experience, and help them to start a career at Infinity Works as a consultant software engineer.

The programme is run by the Infinity Works Academy team and is delivered in-house. Academites are employees from the day they start the Academy; we believe that our recruitment and assessment process allows us to spot great people with the ability and enthusiasm to do well and bring value to the company. As such they should be a full-time member of the team and be earning a salary from their first day, not at the end of their training.

The Academy allows us to continue to grow as a company, helps us support people from all backgrounds to start a career in tech, and allows us to instil the Infinity Works values in a really effective way. For more details about the Academy in general, speak to any one of the Academy team.

Programme Goals

As an over-arching goal, the programme aims to help Academites take on the role of an entry-level software engineer, as described in our engineer role guide. We also aim to help give them the skills to become an effective consultant.

Programme structure

The 12-week course is split into two halves:

  • Foundations & mini-project (weeks 1-6): introducing JavaScript programming, simple data storage and basic application design from the ground up. This also includes introducing the learners to associated professional programming practices such as version control, unit testing, using IDEs and the Unix shell. The majority of the time is spent delivering taught sessions and guided workshops, teaching learners the skills and concepts, and practising these through exercises. In parallel, the learners apply these new skills and knowledge to a mini-project; a simple UI application that they build individually, and which progresses incrementally over the six weeks. This helps them both solidify and apply learnings, and builds confidence in what they can achieve.
  • Advanced Concepts & Final Project (weeks 7-12): building on the core skills learnt in the first half, the lessons now move on to focus more specifically around engineering technologies, techniques and tools, together with agile delivery and cloud infrastructure. Concepts such as web-scale applications, security and cloud hosting are introduced, together with CI/CD. These concepts are delivered via taught sessions, but more time in the second half is also dedicated to working together in teams on a final team project, with a shared codebase per team. The project builds up a more advanced and scalable web application hosted in AWS. More focus is also placed on consultancy skills within the second half of the course, with the aim being to help the Academites become consultants and not solely software engineers.

Post-programme content

After completing the 12-week programme, Academites join client teams as Associate Consultants. The Academy continues to support their career journey to help them progress to Consultant. This ongoing support comes in two forms:

  • Regular contact and support from their Academy Career Mentor.
  • One day per month further 'post-programme' training throughout their first year. This is off-client, and brings together the Academy cohort for further training sessions on tech and consultancy skills.