Frequently asked questions...

These are the questions that people have asked us as we've talked to them about this proposition for vets.

If you don't find what you're looking for here, please feel free to call us on our mobiles or send us an email.

We'll do everything we can to give you all the information you need.

  • In short, vets pay nothing for the training
  • When we identify people who we believe will be able to grow into excellent productive squad members, we are happy to give back and invest our time to help them become developers
  • Where funding is available to support training, we use that money as seed capital in our business and every penny goes to pay salaries of developers in our business that we have trained
  • We’ve both enjoyed amazing careers because of IT and believe there are many more people who could also do the same. If we can help some people to achieve that, it’s a reward in itself
  • We believe that helping people without demanding something in return is a good thing to do. And we’ve found that when we freely give our time to help, incredible opportunities can be created for everyone involved (including us!)
  • Our experience tells us there is a significant gap between delivery capacity and demand. Many businesses are undergoing huge changes caused by covid-19 and these changes create even more demand. In short, there is a huge amount of work that needs doing and not enough people to do it
  • And finally, we do it because we’re definitely getting a kick out of creating a progressive, employee owned digital transformation agency staffed with people we’ve helped to become developers that can deliver amazing service to our clients. What’s not to love!
  • We'll start each day at 9.00 with a group video call. The first 30 minutes of that will be spent discussing the previous days work and any common issues that came up
  • From Monday to Thursday, that will be followed by a 2 hour group video workshop covering the days topic and setting the standard and stretch missions for completion by the following day
  • At some point during the day, there will be a paired 90 minute video tutorial between Sush or Peter (all the candidates in pairs will video meet with Sush or Peter). They will be scheduled at 12.00, 2.00 and 4.00. The pairings and tutor will be randomised so everybody gets to spend quite a serious amount of time getting to know each other
  • On Fridays, there will be 90 minute individual tuition from Peter and Sush scheduled throughout the day at 9.30, 11.30, 1.30, 3.30 and 5.30. The timings and tutor allocation will be randomised and tweaked for any pressing individual circumstances
  • There will be a group chat room for all candidates to discuss the work that will be private from Peter and Sush
  • There will be a group chat room for everyone including Peter and Sush for raising items that might affect the whole group
  • There will be chat rooms for each student with Peter and Sush individually
  • The ethos for our group is that everyone must get over the line. Where candidates are hungry to go beyond the stretch missions, we will do everything we can to help them achieve even more
  • We'll respond to chats or calls between 9.00 and 6.00, Monday to Friday
  • We might respond to contacts outside those hours depending on circumstances
  • We're aiming for the total contact time for each student per week to be 18.0 hours. The remainder will be used for completing missions and deep dives into selected subjects
  • As we progress through the programme, we can agree to tune the mix of group, pair, individual tuition and private study time to suit the current topic and progress of the group
  • If covid allows us to then we will definitely spend some time physically together as a group
  • People with integrity, a can-do attitude and a team mindset where getting everyone over the finish line really matters
  • People with good levels of numeracy, the ability to understand logic and can think in a structured way
  • People who have been successful and are now looking for a new career direction
  • Not just vets. Diversity makes us stronger and we’re interested in all people who fit the bill and are attracted by the values and credo of our organisation
  • As our business grows, we'll need many people and not just developers who come through this training. We'll also need programme managers, project managers, project office, business analysts, visual designers, technical architects and data scientists as well as the full range of back office functions
  • We believe in continuous development and really encourage our team to build their skills and take on the most senior roles they can in any of the disciplines they are drawn to
  • First you need to sign up. You can do that here
  • Then you need to log in. You can do that here
  • Then you need to confirm your email address. You can do that here
  • Once those steps are done, you'll be able to visit the assessment section here . And the option will be available on the menu bar at the top. If you have problems, give us a call or drop us an email
  • Yes, definitely
  • We welcome placements of at least 12 weeks. The first 8 weeks will be undertaking the intensive training programme and the final four weeks will be working on a client transformation project with close support from the founders
  • All of the skills needed to build a functioning dynamic site using Python 3.7, Flask, MySQL and Bootstrap 4
  • All the skills needed to be a high performing developer in a modern agile team
  • All of the client interface skills needed to make sure the client is informed and as happy as possible all the way through the lifecycle
  • All of the skills needed to identify and understand the business benefit that the client is trying to achieve and then help keep the project on track to ensure the business benefit is delivered
  • This is a huge amount to cover in the 8 weeks we have available to us. It will take dedication and 40 full hours per week to achieve it.
  • For those that wish to go even further, as mentors, we will use all the time we have to help you on your journeys with extra challenges and detailed reviews
  • You won't achieve mastery of all these areas, there just won't be time. But you will have enough to do the work, join in all the discussions and create value
  • It’s too easy for organisations to say they are “values driven” or that they have “purpose”
  • Fact checking that is much harder
  • The values of dt-squad are: Win Win, Integrity, Innovation and Agility. You can read more about these on my blog here
  • Our credo is a list of easy to understand statements that augment our values and reflect how we behave:
    • We all listen
    • We all learn
    • We all help
    • We all sell
    • We all deliver
    • We all own
    • We all win
  • We don't pay lip service to these ideas. They come from deep within us. If you'd like to discuss the philosophy before applying, please don't hesitate to call or email (yes, we mean it!)
  • Of course, anyone who wants to can look for a job with another employer as soon as they would like to and we hope that all the candidates will want to joins us permanently at dt-squad
  • In the early days of dragging this business out of the ground, the availability of paid projects for us to work on will be lumpy (sometimes too many, sometimes not enough)
  • From experience, that will be the case until we have around 30 people on board
  • When we can see client work within the medium horizon, we'll pick the candidates who we believe will best be able to form a successful team and ask them to join our business
  • As new work materialises, we'll contact past alumni and ask them to join
  • By winning transformation projects with ongoing support work, our highs and lows become easier to manage the more clients and people we engage with
  • Covid has helped nearly all employers realise that not all work needs to be done in a centralised office
  • It's also true that sometimes, it's really good to come together, face to face, and get things done as a group
  • There will be three main locations for work: From home, At the clients site, In our offices
  • At the moment, the only premises we have are in Peter's garden office (AKA The Wendy House!). Whilst it's very nice, it could only accommodate 4 people at a squeeze so something bigger will be secured as and when we need it
  • Whilst Covid has taught us much, there is much we don't know yet. It's too hard to predict the mix of the three locations but if forced to make a forecast, I'd say 60% from home, 20% together in our office somewhere and 20% at the clients site. We'll see how it pans out
  • We don't currently have a big office in a central location. We work from the homes of Peter and Sush
  • As we grow, of course we will need some form of HQ and probably some regional offices as well. We intend to be permanently growing so packing up camp and relocating to more suitable premises will become a core skill for dt-squad
  • We definitely have some geographical flexibility and it can be a real help to have people physically close to our clients locations
  • London is the biggest concentration of potential clients and we'd be wise to remember that
  • And we have other major cities with high concentrations too
  • Planning the number, size and requirements for our offices will become a core skill
  • There's another question about working from home so check that out too
  • You need a dedicated work environment where you won't be disturbed by family members walking through. There is a state called 'flow' where you can become extremely productive. Flow can only be reached in longer periods of undisturbed work
  • You need a desk with a comfortable office chair
  • You need good quality, fast and reliable broadband. There will often be downloads of tools etc. You can't afford to be waiting a long time for those
  • You'll need a good laptop (suggest 17 inch screen) or desktop running Windows 10 Pro. An Intel i7 6 series or better (AMD equivalent is fine). It must have at least 8GB ram and at least 500GB SSD. It must have a good quality integrated or separate webcam with microphone
  • You need a minimum of two monitors (trust us, numerous studies show dramatic increase in productivity when using two or more monitors). The laptop monitor plus one additional is fine.
  • You need a proper mouse (definitely not integrated trackpad or similar on a laptop)
  • If you don't already have this equipment, you can make good savings by buying refurbished almost new. If you'd like specific recommendations, please email us
  • For budgeting, a good enough laptop should cost around £600, an additional monitor is around £100, a good quality mouse is around £30. A great refurbished desktop can be bought for around £300 plus £200 for two monitors
  • In the beginning we'll work with a limited set of tools to include: Python 3.7, Flask, MySQL, Bootstrap4, and enough Javascript, HTML and CSS to achieve our goals
  • Over time, our business will expand the skills base to include data science and all modern languages and tool stacks so we can deliver the work that our clients need.
  • We will build an organisation with the highest levels of technical and management capability. We expect to be thought leaders on many fronts and have a track record in making the necessary investment to help our people to achieve that
  • For those that are hungry, the scope for continuous learning and development will be huge
  • Our values lead us to have a deep appreciation of lifelong learning and we will see that manifested in our business
  • Over time, we'll create our own academy to help all our people develop to their full potential
  • It won't just be technical skills but include all the knowledge required to help our own business be all that it can be
  • Of course those skills will also help us to guide our clients through their own strategic transformations
  • We will form strategic alliances with the global technology players such as Google, Microsoft etc. It will only be possible for those alliances to be fruitful if our people have the very highest levels of technical capability and are thought leaders in their field
  • It's repeated in another answer but worth saying again here: For those that are hungry, the scope for continuous learning and development will be huge
  • Many ways, but first by sticking to what we believe and delivering an amazing service to every client we have. In our previous lives, we found this to be a critical factor
  • Our credo includes the line: 'we all sell'. Our wellbeing is linked to winning new business and we can do that when we openly invite clients, potential clients and sometimes, even our competitors into our business and show them proudly how we work. This openness is part of integrity which is one of our core values
  • The first of our values is 'Win Win'. It means that we only do work where we believe we can help our client achieve the business benefit they desire and it will be good for all the stakeholders too. Sometimes it will mean that we'll turn work down and it might really hurt us in the short term. Over time, our reputation for providing the very best advice that is untainted by commercial concerns will help us to accelerate our growth and win the biggest and most exciting clients
  • Of course we will need sales people who are great at building relationships and finding the opportunities in our clients and potential clients where we can create value. They'll also need to be outstanding at engaging with our wider organisation to orchestrate the best specialists in pre sales and discovery so that we can have the best chance of winning
  • Growing our business will mean we need to grow capacity and demand at the same time. To achieve that we'll use the Theory of Constraints (it's the root of modern agile practises)
  • By creating a 'Great Place To Work' (again) we'll increase the chances of recruiting the best quality people and the likelihood of our people recommending our business to their friends and colleagues increases
  • As I said on the first line, there are many ways that we will win new business. They will all be in line with our values
  • There is no specific target to achieve a certain size in a certain period of time (and it's unlikely there ever will be (ask us why if you're interested :) )). We'll grow as fast as we can without destroying that which we have
  • Firstly, it's great to hear that :) and thanks for taking the initiative
  • To be successful, we need to be well rounded with technical, commercial and management skills. This is true to a greater or lesser extent for every single role
  • Everyone will need a working knowledge of Google Sheets, Google Docs and Google Slides. There's lots of self study materials available on youtube so find some that are appropriate to the level you've already mastered and dig in!
  • A good knowledge of how business works will always help us to add value more effectively. Many years ago, I bought a copy of Silbigers 10 Day MBA. It's easy to engage with and really very informative over a wide range of subjects. Some people might turn their noses up at such a book, insisting that only a 'real MBA' can help you add value. I would challenge that line strongly. The basic concepts deployed thoughtfully are infinitely more valuable than chapter and verse left on the shelf. Go on, give it a try
  • Agility is one of our values and if you want some deep foundations to help your understanding, then we recommend reading The Goal by Goldratt and Cox. It was once required reading for the Harvard MBA and I recommend it strongly
  • Knowing ourselves as well as we can helps us to work our places within teams and fill the gaps when we need to. A great way to help in that process is to use 'Strengthfinder' from the Gallup Organisation. I worked very closely with Gallup in the past to develop many selection and development tools for my business at the time. You can purchase the online test to find your top 5 strengths here. We encourage all our people to take this test and share the results. It definitely helps us to work together more effectively
  • Of course you could do a lot worse than read our blogs. They contain our thoughts on things that we believe are important in running a business and some things we just thought were interesting!
  • You can get a better understanding of what it's like to be in a team creating change with systems by reading a book called The Phoenix Project. Even if you don't manage to follow everything exactly, it's written in the style of a novel (as is The Goal) and in my opinion throws light on many issues that genuine clients face
  • There are many more books to read and if you are hungry, email us and we'll try to help you find something satisfying!
  • Regarding technical skills, there is a youtube guy called Corey Scafer. He has a really nice style, explains things well and watching his beginner series could really help you. You can find the playlist for Python Programming Beginner Tutorials here.  And, he's got a chocolate labrador! What's not to like?
  • In short, yes. The founders take physical and mental well being very seriously
  • We expect that all members in our group will support one another. Of course, sometimes this may not be sufficient or appropriate
  • In addition, there will always be an open channel to the founders for people to ask for support and we will do everything we can to provide the help needed. Again, there may be circumstances where that may not be sufficient or appropriate
  • We're also putting in place totally independant mentors that will be available for our students to ask for help outside of our group in a completely confidential way