Here at DataServ, we have developed a new enterprise content management (ECM) platform that is the first to feature capture, optical character recognition (OCR), workflow, and retention management all in one SaaS platform bundled with best practices and tailoring services. In addition, this platform, which is set for launch globally later this year, offers a clean, highly intuitive look familiar to Internet users; mobile capabilities; scalability, flexibility and faster performance built with Elasticsearch and MongoDB that allows clients to capture, automate, manage, and analyze documents and data faster than ever; and much more.
To build a software platform this cutting edge, DataServ needed to bring aboard new software development talent, but finding just the right fit in this specialized field can be difficult. To help with these efforts, we developed an alliance last year with LaunchCode – a St. Louis-based company that utilizes “pair programming” as a way for inexperienced programmers to work with experienced software developers within a company – in hopes that we could find just the right candidate.
“When undertaking a large, complex project like developing a new ECM platform, you can never have enough talented people on your software development team,” says Jeff Haller, DataServ CEO/Managing Partner. “We loved what LaunchCode was attempting to do with their ‘pair programming’ model, and we hoped they could match us with a qualified candidate. Our partnership with them has proven to be successful.”
LaunchCode paired us with Jason Williams, a talented but inexperienced University of Missouri-St. Louis student who was looking to break into the software development world.
LaunchCode, which began in the summer of 2013 as the brainchild of startup guru Jim McKelvey, who has launched six companies, including the popular mobile-payments firm Square, specializes in helping people like Williams who have the skills but not the experience to land a job as a programmer. Their model is to pair a qualified candidate with a company in search of a programmer for a two- to three-month paid “mentorship” that allows the candidate to prove themselves capable of performing the job adequately. Once the candidate has done so, the company can offer them a full-time position, and that’s exactly what DataServ did with Williams after he impressed during his three-month mentorship.
“Jason came to LaunchCode as a bright young man looking for a way into the world of computer programming,” says Zach Lou, project manager at LaunchCode. “Based on our discussion with him and our knowledge of DataServ, we thought that he could be a great fit for DataServ's team. Things could not have gone smoother, and DataServ saw the same potential in Jason that we did. DataServ has been a fantastic partner to LaunchCode in this effort, and we're excited that things have worked out so well.”
From the perspective of the job seeker, LaunchCode is a godsend that helps them get their programming career off the ground.
“Programming positions are difficult to get without experience,” Williams says. “LaunchCode accepted me as a candidate and thought I would be a great fit with DataServ. I spent three months pairing with programmers, gaining experience, and learning the code base.”
LaunchCode currently has 106 approved partner companies and, to date, they have placed 49 candidates, with 21 of them garnering offers for full-time, salaried positions. To learn more about LaunchCode, go to https://www.launchcode.org/