Education vs Software Quality as seen by SoDA

The rapidly increasing number of various services available within the most popular cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, or GCP, is a great example of how quickly things can change in the IT world. Staying up-to-date is not only an important aspect of computer software — it’s also an obvious duty of every IT professional. It’s also why many IT software companies invest a lot, encouraging their employees to constantly develop their skills, covering their expenses for participation in conferences, training, and workshops, as well as giving them time to learn new abilities. They know that even experienced and talented staff need proper conditions to “stay in shape”, to write the best software possible.

This mindset was the key cause behind establishing the Education Committee within the Software Development Association Poland — SoDA — one of the biggest Polish IT companies’ associations. While there are quite a few obvious reasons for SoDA existence — such as cooperation between members, improving the presence of IT software companies abroad, and exchanging employees between companies with the ‘bench’ approach — a consistent and predictable yet innovative approach to education was required, to broaden the level of knowledge and skills of various employees — from IT professionals, through HR, Legal, Sales departments and upper management, up to the management boards.

The Education Committee undertakes many various activities, always having one main goal in mind — to educate & explain the intricacies of the software development world — both within the organization (sharing the knowledge & new abilities with SoDA members), as well as outside — unraveling the mysteries of our businesses for other types of businesses, in Poland and abroad.

To achieve these ambitious goals, we apply various methods, especially in the new reality of the world affected by COVID-19. We have been organizing webinars with specialists representing various types of businesses, such as lawyers, HR professionals, managers, sales consultants, and many more. Of course, we are not forgetting about the core of our mission — IT — and we are striving to improve the skills of the employees of our member companies, e.g. by organizing invitation-only, tailor-made workshops, available thanks to our unique relationships, like the one with Microsoft. All of the webinars, as well as a lot of additional content, is available within our special knowledge hub — SoDA Academy.

Cooperation with Microsoft is a great example of what we do — it’s the biggest activity we conducted so far, including not only technical events but also business-oriented webinars, as well as showcases of products and projects developed by our member companies, published in a form of case studies in our blog. We are truly happy to have this level of mutual engagement and collaboration, as this gives new educational opportunities to our members.

Another important task we decided to take on is to make a mark not only on the education of our employees but also people who might just become them in the future — the students. We have begun wide discussions about the future of Polish Higher Education in IT, by starting discussions with a few Polish Universities. The proceedings take a long time — especially in the COVID era — but the improvement of the current state is a win-win-win situation — for us, for the Universities, and the students.

Last but not least, we understand education very broadly and this means teaching people & companies who might, one day, become clients of the IT industry. Since it is just a few-decades-old industry, and it evolves rapidly, we cannot expect that clients will simply understand what exactly it takes to create great software — one that perfectly fits their business needs. Such a form of education — and promotion, at the same time — is something we want to achieve, spreading the association between the software of great quality and Polish software development.

To sum up, we strongly believe that our educational activities, provided at various levels — from students, through various levels of employees, up to the clients — present & future — might help to achieve the biggest goals of our association and improve the quality of software in general.

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