At Nelnet, we always want our associates to feel supported and appreciated. One of the ways we show that we care is by committing to associate development. In the summer of 2021, Nelnet partnered with Nebraska Dev Lab and Galvanize to offer two small groups of technology-driven associates a modern coding education through Nelnet’s first ever Coding Academy.
Nelnet’s Coding Academy is an online, immersive course that grants associates the opportunity to learn technologies such as TypeScript, Angular, C# and more in a fast-paced educational setting. Nebraska Dev Lab is a partnership between Doane University and Don’t Panic Labs that aims to address the shortage of qualified IT and technical talent with a program that provides instruction to better equip both new and experienced developers.
The second group participating in Nelnet’s 12-week Coding Academy is led by Galvanize. Galvanize is a “technology ecosystem for learners, entrepreneurs, startups, and established companies” that helps close the gap in the rapidly changing digital world by providing an educational course designed to foster innovation and technical growth.
Both programs require students to dedicate 40 hours or more a week to lectures, projects, tutorials, and overall learning. Expert guidance and the open, honest communication that has been established between the students and the Coding Academy leadership were critical to the program’s success.
Ramesh Janipalli is a student in the Nebraska Dev Lab group with experience in legacy development practices, but he strived to learn as much as possible in the distributed world of development. He’s had a positive and exciting learning experience through the Coding Academy, and he loved the opportunity.
“One of the things that I haven’t seen before is that we are not responsible for our other job functions. We are dedicated to this program. Nelnet is dedicated to this program. That kind of support is unheard of,” said Ramesh.
Coding Academy student Deb Halvorson explained that this program has shown her how much there still is to learn and how influential working with others can be.
“It’s interesting to be around so many smart people,” she said in regards to her classmates. “We are peer programming, which I’ve never done before, and ultimately just helping each other out when we need it. I think I like that part the best.”
These programs highlight Nelnet’s core value to pursue opportunities for diversification and growth and emphasize the importance for building talents on an individual level within our company. By acquiring new skills, Nelnet participants not only improved Nelnet’s overall competitiveness as it relates to technology and servicing, but they also became savvier technical professionals as the newly acquired skills are more relevant and in-demand for software developers.
Nelnet also strives to develop associates in many other ways. Women Engaged in Computing at Nelnet (We Can) was created for women in IT to thrive at Nelnet and enable inclusion, empowerment, affirmation of value, and advocacy for work life balance. We also have a Mentorship Program which allows any associate to pair up with an experienced team member to receive career guidance and explore new opportunities for growth.
Teamwork has driven the Coding Academy program since the very first day. The students worked together to increase their technical knowledge – just as Nelnet works with our associates to support and foster a positive educational experience. At Nelnet, we’re dedicated to developing our associates – and we’ll continue to find new opportunities, such as the Coding Academy, to prove it.