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人才缺口带火硅谷工程师速成班

人才缺口带火硅谷工程师速成班

JP Mangalindan 2013年10月12日
硅谷的软件工程师年薪动则数十万美元,依然供不应求。因此,硅谷涌现了一大批短期培训班。这些速成班将顶尖计算机科学学院四年的课程压缩到12周(甚至更短),招生对象不需要有编程经验,学员既有金融人士,也有保姆。其中不少人结业以后顺利地进入了Salesforce这样的大公司。
    Dev Bootcamp、Hackbright Academy和Hack Reactor等速成班让学员们掌握与工程师们竞争所需要的基本技能,而且它们都不要求学员有编程经验。图片来源:Dev Bootcamp

    如今,在硅谷招聘一名优秀的软件工程师就跟创造一件新事物一样困难。硅谷的公司对此都有切身体会。

    时尚网站Polyvore的CEO杰斯•李最近对《财富》杂志(Fortune)表示:“我认为现在的工程市场是史上最糟糕的。” 杰斯•李曾在谷歌(Google)担任产品经理,她发现自己已经实现盈利的初创公司要跟Facebook和Twitter这样的大公司抢人才。杰斯•李补充说:“他们给出的薪酬对我而言简直是天文数字。”

    确实如此。据求职网站Glassdoor统计,谷歌软件工程师的平均年薪目前约为143,000美元,最高可达到550,000美元,还不包括丰厚的签约奖金和公司福利。【Facebook和苹果(Apple)等大公司也毫不逊色。】人才真空对于旧金山湾区的公司而言依然令人头疼,但却给求职者创造了巨大的机会。填补人才真空要比以往更容易。

    欢迎来到硅谷“新兵训练营”。这些新兴的职业学校以编程为主要学习内容,课程包括Dev Bootcamp、Hackbright Academy和Hack Reactor等加速课程。它们为期9至12周,可以让学员们掌握与工程师们竞争所需要的基本技能。学习这些课程并不要求编程经验,再加上被抑制的人才需求,因此,课程的申请者们来自各行各业,既有三十多岁的保姆,也有四十多岁的律师和银行从业人员。

    杰西•法莫尔是Dev Bootcamp的联合创始人,她解释说:“我们的许多学生都是30岁、40岁甚至50岁的人,他们意识到自己目前从事的工作不适合自己。”Dev Bootcamp为期9周,2012年初开课。另外一家新兵训练营的联合创始人解释得更加直白:“人们希望过上更好的生活。”

    要想真正获得录取也是一项挑战。这些课程的平均录取率低于20%,而Hackbright Academy目前的录取率甚至只有5%。女性工程类课程为期10周,学费12,000美元,授课时间从周一至周五上午10点至下午6点。授课地点在旧金山的金融区。Hackbright目前的班级由从400多名申请人当中选拔出来的26名学生组成。虽然不要求之前有编程经验,但CEO兼联合创始人戴维•菲利普斯解释道,Hackbright录取学生的条件是,学生必须证明自己有兴趣成为一名软件工程师。其中包括通过免费或收费在线资源或大学课程,尝试自学计算机科学基础知识的申请人。

    在Hackbright,学生前五周两人一组学习HTML、JavaScript和Python等基础知识。后五周的重点则是最终项目。在招聘日,毕业生们会搭建自己的展位,Twitter、照片分享网站Pinterest和移动支付公司Square等合作公司会在每一个展位拿出七分钟时间,了解他们的项目——软件工程相当于速配交友。Hackbright和Dev Bootcamp的毕业生约有90%在三个月内都收到了工作邀请,目前都在Facebook和在线活动策划平台Eventbrite等公司担任工程师。成立仅一年的Hack Reactor目前总共培养了70名毕业生,其中有68人在客户关系管理公司Salesforce等公司担任软件工程师,平均收入六位数出头。

    Hiring a good software engineer in Silicon Valley these days can seem almost as daunting as creating the next big thing. Just ask the companies.

    "I think this might be the worst engineering market ever," Jess Lee, CEO of the style community Polyvore, told Fortune recently. A former Google (GOOG) product manager, Lee now finds her profitable startup vying for talent alongside Facebook (FB) and Twitter. Added Lee: "The kinds of offers they're giving out are astronomical."

    Indeed, the average annual salary for Google software engineers now hovers around $143,000 and skyrockets to as much as $550,000, according to job site Glassdoor, and that's beforefactoring in generous signing bonuses and company perks. (Larger companies like Facebook and Apple (AAPL) aren't far behind.) While the talent vacuum remains problematic for Bay Area companies, it presents a huge opportunity for candidates. And filling that void may be easier now more than ever.

    Enter the Silicon Valley "boot camp," a nouveau vocational school for the coding-inclined. Such nine- to 12-week accelerated programs, including Dev Bootcamp, Hackbright Academy, and Hack Reactor, arm students with the fundamental skills needed to compete as engineers -- no previous coding experience required. That, coupled with pent-up demand is why program applicants come from all walks of life, from thirtysomething nannies to fortysomething attorneys and bankers.

    "We've had plenty of students who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s and realized that whatever they were doing wasn't working for them," explains Jesse Farmer, co-founder of the nine-week Dev Bootcamp, which taught its first class in early 2012. Another boot camp co-founder puts it more bluntly: "The promise is the promise of livelihood."

    Getting into a program can prove a challenge. The average acceptance rate averages below 20% and can go as low as 5%, as is currently the case for Hackbright Academy. The $12,000 10-week engineering fellowship for women is full-time, with classes taught Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in San Francisco's Financial District. Hackbright's current class includes 26 students winnowed down from 400-plus applicants. And while previous coding experience isn't required, CEO and co-founder David Phillips explains that Hackbright looks for people who have some sort of demonstrated interest in becoming software engineers. That includes applicants who have attempted teaching themselves the basics, whether via free or paid online resources or college courses in computer science.

    At Hackbright, students spend the first five weeks working in pairs, learning basics like HTML, JavaScript, and Python. The last five weeks are focused on a final project. On career day, graduates set up individual stations, and partner companies such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Square spend seven minutes with each, learning about their projects -- the software engineering equivalent of speed dating. Almost 90% of Hackbright and Dev Bootcamp graduates receive offers within three months and now work as engineers at companies like Facebook and Eventbrite. In the case of one-year-old Hack Reactor, around 68 out of the course's 70 total alumni are now software engineers at places like Salesforce (CRM), earning an average salary in the low six digits.

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