By Noel Pullen on June 30, 2015
In March, Hootsuite kicked off our technology summer job for high school students. Response from our community was both surprising and delightful: 71 applicants, 18 phone screens, eight interviews, three offers, and three new Owls. So many stellar applicants made selecting just three super difficult. Why only three? Three is the number we can currently support with thoughtful and attentive mentorship.
Why does Hootsuite Engineering Offer Summer Jobs to High School Students?Pre-co-op Co-op
Last Fall, Andrew (Product Manager, Web Operations) and Ajai (Chief Technology Officer) got talking about Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), co-op programs, and high schools. During the conversation, they hit on the idea of a software engineering summer job as a way to give high school students practical experience and mentorship. I like to call this the “pre-co-op co-op”.
A Successful Experiment
Chris Bolton is a national youth ambassador for The Next Big Thing, a local nonprofit foundation that empowers our next generation of entrepreneurs. Chris showed his high school app (at the time written with PhoneGap) and told us about his work in the community at the end of 2013. To help with his education, he joined our Mobile Web team on a part-time basis for practical experience and mentorship. He’s been building our mobile web application and APIs for our native iOS and Android applications for the last 18 months. Our experience with Chris gave us the confidence to expand this program further.
Lack of Options?
I’m unaware of any other summer job programs in software engineering for high school students in the lower mainland, but if you know of any, let’s get a dialogue going. Leave a note in the comments section so we can work together on developing, supporting, and marketing these opportunities.
What’s Next? How will Students Contribute over the Next Two Months?The students will join a product team, pair with a mentor during onboarding, participate in all aspects of software engineering as a team, take part in our Q2 open space/unconference retrospective, work out loud in Guild meetings, write a blog post, give a lightning talk … and that’s just the beginning.
We all look forward to learning from this endeavour and working towards a practical, industry-lead educational outlet for high schoolers interested in STEM.