Students hard at work studying lines of HTML during Delano’s visit to the Numericall training centre, 1 March 2018
Photo: Marion Dessard
Luxembourg’s next crop of web developers are hard at work at the Numericall digital training centre, located in the Technoport in Esch-Belval. Delano took a peek inside one of the courses.
In a large classroom, 17 students sit in pairs, examining lines of code on computer screens. The students are enrolled in Fit4CodingJobs, a four-month intensive course provided by Numericall.
Fit4CodingJobs is the centre’s main offering, and it includes 490 hours of trainer-led coding practice. The course covers both back-end and front-end web development, preparing students to work as developers, programmers, designers and more.
“This programme is web development from A to Z,” says Alice, a student originally from Romania who worked in communications before deciding to reorient her career path.
The programme culminates in a team project that might be an app or a website. Some of the projects--an app that facilitates communication between parents and crèche staff, for example--have gone on to be adopted in the marketplace.
Indeed, the programme places emphasis on the transition from the classroom to the professional world. In addition to coding, students learn how to write effective CVs, develop professional networks and pitch themselves to employers. They are also matched up with a mentor, someone from the field of IT or human resources who offers guidance.
Students’ ages range from the early 20s to the mid-50s. Some have been been dabbling with coding since they were teenagers, while others are completely new to the field. Some are from Luxembourg, and others come from as far away as Iran.
Those enrolled in the course do not have to pay. Half of the programme’s funding comes from the European Social Fund, and the other 50% comes from Luxembourg’s Employment Fund (Fonds pour l’emploi).
Most of the students are referred by the national employment agency Adem, where they are screened based on their aptitude and general IT knowledge. They must also demonstrate a basic level of English, the language in which the course is given. Perhaps most importantly, they must show a high level of motivation.
On the day Delano visited in March, the class was hard at work in a peer-programming activity involving PHP 7, the latest version of the server-side language that can be embedded into HTML, the standard language for web pages and applications.
“The market in Luxembourg asks for PHP, so they train us to be directly operational in it,” says Gabriel, a Luxembourger student. (A quick look at jobs.lu or monster.lu confirms that fluency in PHP is very much in-demand.)
Many of the students realise that what they are learning will probably lead to a good job in a growing field, and for this they are grateful to Yves and Brigitte Lepage, who founded Numericall and, with support from Adem and ESF, promote Fit4CodingJobs.
“There is a lot of talent here in Luxembourg, talent that can be upskilled or reskilled to meet demands,” Yves Lepage said. “We favour local sourcing”.