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Bringing scrum methodology to a digital academy

In the latest of our “My Positive Future” stories, Capgemini manager David Tardini explains how leading a course at the Factoria F5 digital academy provided an opportunity to share his knowledge of scrum methodologies, giving the students an extra tool for their careers in tech.  

Giving something back

David Tardini has a simple philosophy: “If you get an advantage in life, you should give something back.” 

As head of agile at Capgemini Spain, he is passionate about business agility and process improvement, and has written two books on the subject. He’s also passionate about helping others. When David first heard about the Factoria F5 digital academy in Barcelona, through a colleague in the corporate social responsibility team, he was determined to take part.

“I researched the academy and quickly realized they do very important work,” he says. “They enable people who don’t have access to, for example, university education to get high-quality training in tech.”

David had previously volunteered for a similar program in Italy. At Factoria F5, he saw an opportunity to help again.

A deep pool of talent

Through a three-week course at the academy, students learn a range of technology skills and gain important accreditations. In David’s opinion, these recognized accreditations are essential in today’s competitive job market.

“If you want to become a program manager, or a developer, you need to complete certain courses and have specific accreditations,” he explains. “However, this can be an expensive process that not everyone can afford.

“The academy students are very talented and committed – in fact, they’re hungry for an opportunity. But they don’t have the resources to pay for the training and get the accreditations. At Factoria F5, they can get this all for free.”

Adding value: time to scrum down

As well as volunteering his time to run one of the courses, David made a key intervention by introducing scrum management into the syllabus. 

“In this new section, the students learned all the fundamentals of scrum management – the fundamental framework, the different roles involved, and how to apply scrum methodologies in software development.”

As a scrum manager himself, David felt it was important that the students were aware of this approach and that they received an accreditation while taking the course. “It’s the most popular methodology for software development right now. Really, unless you know scrum, it’s very hard to get a job as a programmer. This is why I suggested it was included.”

Positive outcomes

David’s engagement with the students certainly paid off. Every one of the participants in his course passed the certification exam, and seven of the students now have jobs at Capgemini.

Moreover, in David’s course (which is one of several), around 70% of the students were women. For him, this suggests a definite shift in the industry.

“Maybe a decade ago, it was unusual to find many women in the tech sector,” he says. “Today, the market is different. In my opinion, the best programmers are female – they work with more structure and are often more confident in software development. This is a really positive change.”

Building confidence, changing lives

Courses such as those offered by Factoria F5 have the power to make social change by providing skills and building people’s self-esteem, says David. “These schemes give people confidence,” he says. “They provide the knowledge and skills to get a good job and make a sustainable career.”

In David’s view, more companies should invest in development schemes such as this to create a level playing field for people seeking to work in the tech sector. “We need to break down those barriers for people who don’t have access to a full university career,” he says.

After all, it shouldn’t matter where you studied or where you’re from, he adds, it just comes down to your aptitude and your enthusiasm. “So many people have the ability but haven’t had the opportunity.”

Rewarding and fulfilling

Working with Factoria F5 to help the students shape a better future for themselves has been very fulfilling for David. “It’s amazing to work with these talented, motivated people. It gives me a great feeling.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re a millionaire or the boss of a multinational company – only by investing in people and trying to help them will you feel truly rewarded.”

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