None of us are truly self-made; we all stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us. ShopKeep Engineering actively encourages our teams to help grow the next set of industry leaders through a mix of educational and work opportunities. Furthermore, we recognize that not everyone comes to be a technologist in the same way, and via the same path. We look for ways to find and grow technologists through many avenues, depending upon where an individual is in their own personal journey, and where they want to go.
Education takes many forms, from the casual conversation to the more formal mentorship arrangement. We urge our teams to give back to their local communities and the global technology community through engagement across the spectrum.
- Information Sessions – our engineers work with local schools to help students find their way to technology careers. We do this through our participation with organizations like STEM out of our Belfast office, where we act as STEM ambassadors visiting local schools to promote STEM subjects and NYC Industry Scholars, out of our New York office, where we speak to students considering a role in technology.
- Mentorships – Our engineers work with organizations like Pursuit (formerly Coalition for Queens) to help aspiring technologists that are unemployed or underemployed to achieve their full potential by providing technical mentoring while completing their coursework, and career guidance as they prepare for their first programming jobs.
- Conferences – We encourage our engineers to speak at conferences so that they can share what they’ve built, why they built it, and more importantly how. We think that the tools, tips, and tricks that we’ve picked up through our experiences are worth sharing. We also provide a personal discretionary budget to fund engineers attending conferences, where they can connect with their peers and learn as much as possible.
- Meetups – We are fortunate to have offices that can comfortably accommodate visitors, so we enjoy providing a space so that others with a story can share their own experiences. ShopKeep has hosted numerous meetups where industry professionals from across the world have been able to share their expertise.
Technology moves fast and anyone who hasn’t moved with it may find it challenging to catch up or jump in. In some cases, this is because someone is very early in their career but it can be also true for someone later in their career. At ShopKeep we look for the right way to help people join the technology field based upon their own needs and abilities.
- High School Internships – Working with the New York City CTE Industry Scholars Program we help high school students with a desire to learn about technology careers. We have run a successful program for enterprising young technologists to learn valuable job skills that are appropriate for their level of education.
- College Internships – ShopKeep interns work full time, side-by-side with our engineering teams to learn first-hand what it takes to build some of the best software on earth. They may come to us with very solid computer science fundamentals, but there is so much more to learn about working in a team to produce world-class software, and they get a leg up learning that with us.
- Apprenticeships – Attending a coding bootcamp is a great introduction to being a software engineer, but grads of these programs often need some real-world experience to know how to apply and expand upon what they learned. We bring on bootcamp grads in contract-to-hire roles, where they get that experience, and we can see how adept they are at continuing their coding education.
- Returnships – Software engineers who leave the workforce to raise a family, serve in the military, or deal with a health crisis often face huge hurdles when they are ready to re-join the industry. Recruiters and hiring managers are concerned about the long break in their resume, and fear that their skills are out of date and too rusty for the engineer to be of value. We started a returnship to recruit these folks, get them up to speed with current frameworks/languages/best practices, and have them join our team as the seasoned professionals they are.
We aren’t a huge company – we have under 100 engineers on staff – but we think that we can have a meaningful impact, just as each person, and each company can have a meaningful impact. One of ShopKeep’s core values is helping our community, so we prioritize time and resources for ShopKeep team members to host and participate in events and programs that help strengthen the fabric and diversity of our communities. We consider this our duty, we are proud that we can help, and we are humbled by the efforts of others in the industry who are working towards the same goals.