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TWN team picture and picture where our team studying materials at the meeting

Trinidad Wiseman's path of development: a good specialist is much more than that of a particular technology or method

Sigrid Viikmaa & Liina Martõnjak & Ave Reimann & Hegle Sarapuu-Johanson

In our previous articles, we talked about the culture and values of Trinidad Wiseman (TWN) and how we work in a hybrid way.

 

At TWN, we believe that a developer is not just a specialist specializing in React or designer Figma. A good specialist is something much more! Today, you will discover why we have created development paths for professionals and how learning and mentoring work at TWN.

 

 

What is TWN's development path, and why is it good? 

"We help you better understand where you are on your way from a beginner to an experienced professional and what to learn to become an even better professional." 

The development path described (junior specialist, senior specialist, and lead specialist) does not necessarily mean that TWN expects all to become leading specialists to supervise others. Instead, this trend is an opportunity for those who feel that being a senior professional is no longer enough.

 

Who would like to take more responsibility and share their knowledge and skills more widely. Who would also like to have a say in developing TWN methodologies and process improvements.

 

If you feel that you could become an excellent leading specialist, you can take on the respective tasks and responsibilities step by step. Some outstanding senior professionals never want to take the lead. They are responsible for their work and mentor others if necessary.

 

We have written down the development paths for different roles to help an experienced developer or designer find inspiration and ask their team leader for support and additional learning opportunities.

 

"TWN has always had a very strong culture of helping each other."

Understanding that we are all working towards a common goal - solving the customer's problem. We do not leave anyone alone, not even an experienced specialist.

 

Everyone has their team and team leader. If you have a question or concern, don't just look for support from your team - all colleagues will try to help you or direct you to the right contact.

 

 

Pilt

 

 

How can you learn and develop in TWN?

The fields of service design and digital transformation are evolving very fast, and there are a considerable number of topics and technologies to learn. 

 

"We enjoy learning and supporting it - when team members research and clarify different topics, it is suitable for both the person and the company." 

 

Mentoring

The intensity and extent of mentoring are individual and depend on how experienced the person is and how quickly they grasp the topic. It can start with a theory or be easy instruction or feedback on activities. We have calculated that 1 year should be enough time for a person to become independent, at least basic level. 

 

At TWN, the principle is that when an experienced person does something for the first time or has a new employee, they always do the first projects with a mentor. The new employee (except for the junior specialist) is not necessarily in the mentee's role throughout the project. According to his experience, he also does some work on his own. 

 

If a person can already manage on their own and no longer needs a mentor, they will continue to work independently. However, if necessary, the task must be repeated. Of course, a person can ask for advice, help, and samples from their team members and employees throughout the company at any time.

 

Here's an example of mentoring designers. Let's say you're an experienced designer who hasn't had to use usability tests before. But now the need arises, and you can't. What's next?

 

First, we will help you clarify the theory to a reasonable extent; then, you can watch the colleague take the test, and finally, you can take the test yourself under the supervision of a mentor. The mentor reviews the work results and provides feedback. Once the mentor is convinced of your skills, you can continue working independently.

 

How does mentoring developers work? When a new developer with little work experience is hired, they will be involved in a project (or several) with at least one mentor. We usually have mentors on a project basis, which means you can have more than one.

 

We use code review of learning methods, which means that an experienced specialist reviews the written code and provides feedback on correctness, efficiency, and optimality. The code is tested, and when everything works, it will be made available to users. The second method is pair programming, i.e., the learner programs with an experienced developer.

 

How does the mentor know that the specialist can handle the project independently?

If...

  • he can solve the given problem entirely on his own, using various sources and asking for advice;
  • he can estimate the volume of his work correctly;
  • his work no longer needs to be monitored or his results checked;
  • he keeps his word;
  • it operates with a minimum number of errors;
  • all parties have the confidence to work with him. 

 

Pilt

 

"An experienced specialist who takes on the role of a mentor also learns a lot." 

During the mentoring, the mentor learns to describe the methodology better and better understand and evaluate whether the work has been completed well. You may have done a task many times, but that doesn't mean you can describe it. In addition to mentoring, describing is also essential for explaining things to clients, training, and presentations.

 

Supporting horizontal careers

If you are interested in topics in our field, we always try to find ways to try and develop them. For some innovative topics, we may even be the only provider in the market. By learning new things, we can also develop our field. 

 

"In some projects, a curious and enthusiastic person can be many times more valuable than an expert with years of experience." 

For example, our UX designer Mari-Elli was already interested in Web Accessibility (WCAG) at the university, where she also wrote a dissertation on the subject. She has become a top web accessibility specialist in Estonia with enthusiasm and diligence. Mari-Ell has been tested a lot and has been mentored by our other specialists. If there is interest and perseverance, you can reach the top!

 

What are other learning opportunities there at TWN?

  • in-house training on all kinds of topics (eg WCAG, development, design, UX, management, analysis, etc.). In addition, we provide in-house training for all new employees, as we have very specific working methodologies and our team needs to work together.
  • specialist meet-ups, or nice free-form events aimed at our specialists (e.g., developers, designers, analysts) to share their knowledge. They get together, eat better, share experiences, and introduce completed projects and new technologies. Sometimes one of the project members prepares a mini-training. For example, designers' meet-ups have talked about creating micro-animations and making design decisions based on Google Analytics data. Developers' meet-ups have talked about automating the design of Figma-Fractal, for example, and the topics of Styled Components and bit. dev.
  • Slack chat channels, where daily information is exchanged. We have channels for different roles and topics, talking about tools and techniques, technologies, decisions, news, and more. The design chat also shares references and links to good and bad designs.
  • paid training programs that we allow our team members to use at the company's expense: Udemy (development topics), LinkedIn Learning (software, creativity, business skills), Interaction Design Foundation (UX design topics).
  • libraries: we are constantly expanding our diverse collection of books. We also have a collection of Kindle e-readers and audiobooks.

 

Sounds exciting?

If our hybrid work modelculture and values speak to you and you feel that working for TWN could be for you, feel free to contact us at careers@twn.ee! We have vacancies in almost every role, from team leaders to developers, analysts, designers, and testers.

 


 

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