Infinum Academy: Always moving forward

Karla Landripet
  —  5 min read

In today’s unpredictable world, there’s one thing you can always count on: change. Change is constant and inevitable, both for individuals and businesses. In this ever-shifting climate, if people and companies aren’t agile, chances are they’ll be left behind.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” What’s one of the most effective ways to move forward? Through ongoing education, of course. This is why lifelong learning is so important.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the tech sector, it’s practically impossible for the Croatian educational system to keep up with market demands. At Infinum, we often hear companies complain that they’re having a hard time finding good programmers. Where are these talented professionals hiding?

Without a doubt, there is a massive labor gap in the tech industry. The demand for software is skyrocketing, yet there aren’t enough people with programming skills to fill the need.

Closing the gap

A few years ago, we came up with an idea to help close this tech industry labor gap. We call it Infinum Academy.

When we first dreamed up the academy, our goals were to:

  • Increase the number of the developers in the labor market
  • Offer students free access to high-quality education in the practical segment of their profession
  • Develop new competencies for our employees involved in the academy (transferring knowledge skills, presenting to large audiences, creating the curriculum and designing tasks for students)
  • Give our employees the opportunity to teach their expertise to others and become leaders in our business segment
  • Train new programmers who can immediately start working productively for any company

If you were to ask other people what Infinum does, they would probably say, “Design and develop software.” But this answer is just partially true. In reality, our business model also includes carefully selecting candidates and educating them to do things the right way. We believe when you choose people who are willing to learn and provide them with education and mentorship, they will become pros in their field.

We also realized we could contribute to our community by offering education, ultimately raising the software development scale in Croatia. In other words, Infinum Academy allows us to be a socially responsible business.

academy logo

An array of courses

When we launched the academy, we decided to offer specialized classes for technical students in the summer months, starting in July. In the fall months, beginning in September, we hold classes for students who are more focused on the design. Infinum Academy students can choose between Android, iOS, JavaScript, Backend and Design Courses.

Backend academy course covers all areas of programming needed to successfully build server-side of a web application. We start with building up the fundamentals on the different topics around web development. Later lessons will focus primarily on working with a framework to accomplish higher level tasks such as security, database interaction, permissions and building an API. The end goal is to have a fully functional and tested web application with an API that can be consumed by mobile applications.

The goal of the iOS course is to familiarize students with iOS development as closely as possible to real-world development. The basic idea revolves around learning a concept of iOS development and then applying it to an app each student works on during the entire course. Mentors oversee each student’s homework and progress along the way. At the end of the course, students have a full-featured application connected to a real API showcasing everything they have learned.

In the Android course, students learn how to build scalable and maintainable Android applications. We start with the basics of Android development and progress to more complex concepts like MVP/MVVM architecture and tests. By the end of the course, students can go fearlessly into the real world and write Android applications on their own.

JavaScript course teaches students the basics of JS and browsers (the most difficult aspect of web development.) Students start by using learnQuery, Infinum’s framework for understanding JS. learnQuery teaches students DOM manipulation as well as the features of JavaScript. Afterward, we move to a project that students develop in React and Mobx. We use an API developed in-house, complete with created problems, so students can experience working in real-life situations. Students leave this academy armed with a unique cross-section of knowledge, spanning from interaction with project managers (mentors) to solving problems strictly related to JavaScript projects.

During the design course, young designers learn the full process of creating a user-centered digital product. This class covers everything—from research to final design ready for implementation. Design Academy offers a combination of lectures and practical exercises. The advantage to this approach is designers can use this process to create any product—not just digital ones. At the end of this course, designers walk away with a final digital product.

Graduation day

Real-world experts

As we developed Infinum Academy, our decision about who would lecture students was a no-brainer. We knew we wanted our students to learn from the people who do this job every day—not professors who haven’t touched the practical matter for years. That is why all Infinum Academy lecturers are our employees.

It’s absolutely amazing to see how much students progress when they are learning from people who know their job inside and out and do it every day.

Aacdemy predavaci

Onward and upward!

We have come a long way since we created Infinum Academy in 2015. Within our first three years, we received more than 1,000 applications and helped more than 130+ students graduate. Thirty of those graduates have joined the Infinum family—and the numbers just keep on growing.

Additionally, Infinum Academy has been recognized and awarded by our community. To top it off, we’ve been approved on LinkedIn as a university with our very own page.

In other words, Infinum Academy keeps moving forward—and we’re helping our students do the same.

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