By Brenda Hall CEO, Bridge360
Hiring managers in Austin know how hard it is to find local talent to fill our technical job openings. In fact, the past couple of hires at Bridge360 were recruited from out-of-state, adding time and cost to our hiring process. This challenge led the management team at Bridge360 to create and implement the ground breaking program:
Think of the military as a giant eco-system where everyone has an important contribution to make. I knew there was a large demographic out there to be tapped – our Veterans. They were returning from active duty and now needed to find local jobs. I believed they probably already had above average computer skills simply because of the work they were doing in the military. I learned that many of them had field communications and networking experience, were responsible for keeping software updates current for surveillance aircraft, were paymasters for more than 10,000 troops, and so much more. Sadly, there just wasn’t a simple translation of their skills into technology companies. They needed help with transition to the corporate environment. That’s when and why Veterans4Quality was launched.
Bridge360 has long and strong roots in the software quality assurance space. For more than 14 years, since the days we were known by our parent company name, Austin Test, Inc., we have partnered with your companies to significantly improve your products and releases. We are thought leaders who guide your business with the same care we guide our own. Our team roster includes talented engineers and programmers who work seamlessly with your teams to protect your new releases and legacy systems. We help you do business all over the world with our unique internationalization and translation teams. So, it was as simple as connecting the dots to build a bridge for our Veterans to join the team.
We customized the courseware that would fast-track a Veteran’s journey into their new career by designing the Bridge360 Fundamentals of Software Quality Assurance Program. This six week program consists of two evenings per week of classroom learning followed by a 90-day internship with a company in Austin. This is where they begin applying what they’ve been learning from our instructors. Classes continue during the internship phase to ensure that each Veteran is supported as they apply their new skills on the job. We supplement the courseware with ongoing meet ups and conversations about their ‘real world’ experiences within their internships. Once they’ve received their Certificate of Completion they often earn a job offer from their internship employer.
Talk about a Win/Win! The program is completely FREE to the Veterans. Even after they have graduated from the entry-level program, we encourage them to continue their journey to become excellent software test engineers. We’ve partnered up with several local companies in Austin to provide additional training and guidance on next steps to grow their skills. Bridge360 has had a number of stand-up partners who were there for us and for the Veterans; Whole Foods, Park University, Alcatel-Lucent, Alchemy Systems, NewComLink, Dell, NetApp and Aspen-Heights. Our work resonates whenever companies hear about how easy Bridge360 has made it for them to hire a Veteran who will always do far more than expected. Their stories abound with positive feedback.
I am very proud of my team and their dedication to this program. I admire their willingness to ensure our Veterans have all the support they need as they launch their new technology careers focused on software quality. If you would like to provide an internship for a Veteran skilled in software testing, please reach out to me at Brenda_Hall@bridge360.com or visit our website for more information at www.bridge360.com.