Over the past year, several of us at IHIE have been reaching out to local universities to start building relationships. It makes sense. Our objectives are complementary. The universities want their students to be able to participate in practicums and internships, and their graduates to get hired into great positions. IHIE wants an opportunity to try out potential teammates that are really smart prior to asking them to join our team. You can’t get more complimentary than that.
Our efforts have translated into 4 out of our last 6 hires being directly from one of the programs we work with. We decided we needed to give something back. We weren’t sure what would work, but we decided to do something different.
We wanted to provide an experience that most of the students wouldn’t get from their college studies. The experience needed to be relevant to their career pursuits and would provide some benefit to their resume and job search. We needed to make sure that the environment was conducive to the experience and the necessities (food) were provided. Those attending were college students after all!
We decided to promote Agile concepts to students by providing Scrum training which we had delivered to our IHIE team earlier in the year. We chose December 6th and 7th as our training weekend and sent out email invitations to all the students we talked to at the various university-held career fairs throughout the year. Seven brave souls were in their seats at 9 AM on Saturday morning. What followed over the next 33 hours was a mixture of discussion, lecture, and activities with one goal: to begin on the journey of lifelong learning for the participants. To solidify learning objectives, we had each team apply the Scrum Framework as they built a board game of their team’s respective design.
Thirty three hours later, we had seven folks ready to join a Scrum team, and we had a good time in the process. I reminded them throughout the day that this is the start of a journey. I think I got more out of the two days than the students did. It’s a rewarding and invigorating experience to introduce the concept of Agile thinking to the uninitiated. We concluded the training with a Sprint Review of their board game (my favorite part of the training), and a self-organized Retrospective of the class.
Hopefully, the students got value out of the two days. I know I enjoyed teaching again. We are talking about offering it again in the spring semester of 2015.
Thanks for coming in today.