Why Liberty Mutual's CIO spearheaded a coding program for existing employees
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. began its GoForCode program in 2016 as a response to the deficit of available software developers, reports the Wall Street Journal. Since then, about 300 employees have either attended or graduated from the program.
Liberty Mutual CIO James McGlennon is responsible for conceiving the project to "teach technology" because "it is the knowledge of the company and insurance that is much more difficult to learn," said McGlennon, reports the Journal.
For example, one Liberty employee turned to the "Java bootcamp" program in 2017 after 30 years with the company. The month-long initiative addressed assignments like front-end web development and allowed her to progress to a three-month Java course at the Software Guild. Since then, she changed positions within Liberty and is a developer on the customer success, corporate functions team.
Finding skilled developers is a struggle for many companies. But retaining and retraining talent is proving to be even more of a challenge.
Attracting the right talent while also offering sufficient salaries is a top concern for CIOs. Full-stack developers make about $111,540 annually, and job openings for the role have risen 198% from 2014 to 2017.
But training an existing workforce can be more beneficial when roles are specialized. Though more than half of developers identify as a full-stack developer, experts believe that can be too much of a "heavy lift."
Instead, developers should look to round out their personal identity in the field to define what kind of development they are most passionate about. Developers happy in their niche only add to the low turnover rate in the field and the focus CIOs have on their software development teams.
- Wall Street Journal Seeking Developers, Liberty Mutual Sends Employees to Coding Bootcamps
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