Kevin, over at the promising new blog Techie Manager, has a great pointer to a recent article by Joel Spolsky of Joel on Software fame. He recaps it well, but I’ll just pull a few good quotes from Joel’s original article:
To that end, today we’re launching an experimental new program, the
Fog Creek Software Management Training Program. That’s a terrible name,
but bear with me!
It’s an entry level program, meaning, significant work experience is
not required. A college degree is a big plus. The program will last
about three years. It will provide experience working in all aspects of
software development except for the actual coding itself, along with
some formal training.
It’s a job. It includes a great starting salary, restricted stock in
Fog Creek Software, and the full raft of benefits, from Aeron chairs to
free lunch. You don’t have to be a programmer or a CS major, although
you do have to be ridiculously smart and you have to be the kind of
person who gets things done.
Then Joel wraps it up…
To supplement that, we’ll add a component of formal training. There
will be some coursework at nearby colleges, long lists of reading
material, intensive offsite training programs, and we’ll send you to
industry conferences that we think are particularly valuable.
Unlike full-time MBA programs, you won’t have to pay $120,000 in
tuition and $200,000 in foregone salary. You’ll be earning money and if
Fog Creek does well your stock may be worth something. Unlike
management consulting, you won’t have to work 18 hour days and fly to
some small town in the midwest every Monday morning and live out of a
suitcase in a hotel.
The idea of this program is to develop a new generation of leaders
for Fog Creek, but we think that it will be great preparation for a
career leading, running, or starting any kind of high-tech company or
team. If the program is successful we expect, in the long run, to churn
out about twice as many graduates as we need for our own purposes, so
many will tend to head off to start their own companies, take a
high-level position elsewhere in the industry, or go back to graduate
school. Either way we think it’s a fantastic opportunity for ambitious,
smart geeks who don’t see themselves as programmers.
This is such a great idea, and if they’ve got the fortitude to really mentor folks through this process, they’ll have to begin fending off other companies who want to steal away their well groomed talent. They’ll become the GE of software development!