Kragujevac:  They were born in the world of information technology and computers and, the same as most of the people of their age, they find it hard to imagine what their everyday life would like if there were no computers. However, contrary to most of the people of their age, they want to go a step further and acquire the latest insights into programming and find a job in IT industry.

They have applied for the ICT cluster academy in Kragujevac in which they can learn the secrets of Java programming language. It’s an opportunity to get a good and lucrative job. And why Java? IT people say that it is a difficult computer language but that Java programmers are among the most-demanded and the best-paid IT professionals in the world.

There is a lack of them in domestic market and therefore they find a job fast, get promoted easily and build their career quickly. According to the data of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, our country still needs up to 10 thousand IT professionals. And they can work from home – even for the companies which are most reputable globally. There are almost no limits to what they can do.

Good examples

Sanja, Mihajlo, and Filip were among the ten students at Java academy. They were the most successful ones and had the best results at final exams which followed a 5-month theoretical training. That qualified them for a job in “Emisia Consulting“ company which develops software for the translations industry. Their first and strongest impression: they are happy because they are doing a job they like. That’s it! – they say.

Sanja Stanimirović (27) will soon graduate from the environmental studies at the University School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Kragujevac. She applied for the classes on Java programming out of curiosity. She had no previous knowledge about programming so she studied for two weeks for the test which the applicants had to pass.

“Before the classes I did not know the first thing about Java. Generally speaking, I was also interested in computers and I spend most of my time at a computer. I was familiar with a lot of different things but nothing specific. In a way, everything was disorganised. At Java academy I was taught to learn what I needed to learn rather than just wander about“, Sanja said.

She added that she made every effort to learn the basics of Java in the course of the training but that she is really happy that even now, in the company, she continued to learn while she carried out concrete tasks. She explained that she is now a beginner and that, together with Mihajlo, she is learning the ropes of using all Java tools to create web applications. She used words and expressions like servlets, Java Persistence API, Spring Framework – all beyond the understanding of laymen. But it’s a language spoken by Java programmers.

“I was very happy to receive a job offer from Emisia Consulting but I am really sorry that I did not get this opportunity ten years ago because that way I would now be a programmer with ten years of relevant experience. I see myself in programming even 20 years from now“, Sanja said.

She does not intend to finish her environmental studies because, as she said, that graduation is absolutely irrelevant for her now.

“Job I am doing now has absolutely nothing to do with environmental protection. But it could have if our educational system would get modernised a bit “, Sanja believes.

Solar, Mockito, Java, Spring Framework

Solar, Mockito…. – Mihajlo Stankov (30), student of the final year at the University School of Electrotechnics and one of the best students of the ICT cluster academy in Kragujevac, has also became fluent in Java language.

“Java programming language is not so much difficult as it is extensive. No matter how hard you study, you cannot know it all. I learnt a great deal at the academy but I need to learn more on the job. You learn every day. And that is exactly what I like: the challenge of continuous professional development. This is a job in which you need to think a lot, and that is another thing I like. My job is just super – to je to“, Mihajlo said.

It was at the university already that Mihajlo got to like programming in which he was doing well. He did not have second thoughts about applying for the academy for Java programmers when he heard what he could learn there. He would recommend to every young person to attend these classes because the knowledge acquired there brings a great opportunity in programming.

„Za ovu obuku  nije bilo potrebno predznanje o programiranju. To je kurs za svakoga pod uslovom da je spreman da dosta uči. Uče se ozbiljne stvari i treba redom da se uči, jer je sve povezano. Mora da se uči non-stop jer ako nešto propustite onda ste u problemu“  rekao je Mihajlo.

He has only words of praise for the instructors, Filip Mišković and Goran Jovičić, who prepared their trainees well and introduced them to the world of Java programming. Mihajlo is extremely happy to have the opportunity to work together with them in Emisia Consulting company in which, as he said, everything is at the top level: organisation of work, working conditions, salary, etc.

“It is precisely known who is doing what and until what hour – the situation that is not often seen in Serbia. The environment is such that you are somehow driven to give your best. I work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and I feel contented. I am sure that I could even work overtime and not feel too tired “.

A job for people of different age!

Filip Maksimoski (21) is the youngest student of Java academy who will get a job. He said that a lot of hard work is the reason for it. Although as a student of High Technical School he has acquired good previous knowledge about programming, he decided to ‘upgrade’ his knowledge level.  He chose to learn Java which provides best opportunities in web application creation as well as excellent opportunity for employment considering that Java programmers are in high demand.

“The training was very intense; you carry out a lot of tasks as required to become a good programmer. Even after the classes at Java academy I had to study at home so as to keep track with all that the instructor was saying.“

Filip got a job at a work position of a QA engineer and his main task is to discover bugs.

“There are many programmers and we all work hard. So, whoever works a lot can make a mistake. When an error occurs, QA (Quality Assurance) engineers come in to find the bug in the system – they are a kind of controllers. For those purposes I use some tools for automatic testing since the project in which we work is quite extensive and you cannot have it all reviewed manually“, Filip explains.

He said that he finds his job really interesting: it’s a teamwork and you need to make decisions fast.

“To get a job at my age is mind-boggling, but the reason lies in my hard work. With this I have made my wish come true. I work in my own country, in a company that respects global standards. Now I need to further develop myself professionally, to learn more and be better“.

Filip Mišković, instructor in the Java workshop and programmer in Emisia Consulting, said that this company joined in the training of young Java programmers because this profile is in deficit. The interest of young people for training in programming is so high that it was known to happen that even several hundred candidates apply for the annual free workshop organised by this company. Thanks to the “Education to Employment” programme, they got the opportunity to systemize their knowledge and acquire training for JAVA programmers with a modern plan and programme, designed following the Swiss model.

A job of the future, only for the best

Only the best are chosen to be employed in this company.

“Our company needs more Java programmers. This training provides to us an opportunity to see the trainees who are standing out, who had properly acquired skills and knowledge, and who could work with us in future“, Mišković said. He praised three of the young students of ICT cluster academy who got employment with “Emisia“ considering that all the required qualities were identified in three of them.

As the best among the trainees, they got the opportunity to be employed immediately after completing their theoretical training and thus skipped a 3-month on-the-job training in that company which was intended within the project.

“Other trainees also did well during the theoretical part of the training. I believe this would ‘springboard’ them to continue the programme through on-the-job training, to improve their skills and knowledge. I expect they will all become our co-workers“.

According to Mišković, students of Java academy were never before involved in programming, and on this training they have acquired basic knowledge of Java programming language which is a quite demanding language.

“Our idea was to ensure that, within the training, they are provided access to modern technologies, to demonstrate to them the relevant production process in our company. In the course of the training they had the opportunity to work in a team as well as to individually carry out specific project tasks. They are now competent enough to apply it all in real life “, Mišković said.

He believes that it is very good for future Java programmers to learn directly from people who are experts in the field since the latter can transfer them first-hand knowledge and empirical evidence. Moreover, the advantage of this training is that the trainees have the opportunity to learn on the job, working together with their future co-workers.

People invited to the training for programmers included unemployed persons between 18 and 30 years of age who, as a minimum, finished a four-year secondary school and have an intermediate English proficiency level. The Academy was organised by the Central Serbia ICT cluster in Kragujevac and 20 trainees were selected, ten for each of Java programming training and JavaScript training.

“Education to Employment” – Kragujevac

 Training for JAVA operators was funded through the “Education to Employment” programme with the funds provided by the Swiss Government, specifically with 10 thousand CHF for 20 trainees. Besides this vocational profile, 145 thousand CHF were provided for financing the training for 134 unemployed young people in Kragujevac for further nine profiles which are in short supply.
In five pilot municipalities under the “Education to Employment” programme, training will be organised for the total of 350 people younger than 30. The implementation of this training is funded by 450 thousand CHF from a donation of the Swiss Government.
The “Education to Employment” programme is a 4-year programme enhancing the employability of young people in Serbia. This is done by tailoring the Swiss method of on-the-job training to suit local conditions in Serbia. In partnership with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the programme is also testing out other innovative employment methods, and the focus is particularly placed on finding a long-term sustainable model for supporting the employment of less employable young populations.

Novinarka: Gordana Mirović  / Uredio: Tibor Jona