Monday, July 31, 2017

World-Class IT Pros Trained in Ukraine

When a new generation IT school, 42 opened last year in the Silicon Valley, few people
in Fremont, California knew that a similar school had already been functioning in the
capital of Ukraine under the name of UNIT Factory. Both of these schools implement the
system of École 42, which has huge success in France.

Located in a newly-built complex in Kyiv center, UNIT Factory has no teachers,
schedules, lecture notes or traditional marks. It uses Peer 2 Peer pedagogy — a type of
participatory learning that allows students to unleash their creativity through project-
based learning. The program is based on gamification, as in role-playing computer
games: students upgrade their skills, open new levels and gain experience. Special
attention is paid to self-education, since this skill is vital for IT pros. And with all that,
training at UNIT Factory is free of charge to graduates who agree to work in Ukraine for
the further three years.

"The program prepares our graduates for work on real commercial projects. And we do
our best to ensure that students never lose their enthusiasm and desire to develop in the
chosen profession," — said Valeriya Zabolotna, Head of UNIT Factory.
The first wave of students has already been studying at UNIT Factory for more than
seven months, showing rapid progress and excellent motivation. The second enrollment
has already started: by the end of 2017 the number of students will be increased to 800
from today's 280. Candidates are taking online tests and undergoing interviews, the next
stage is trial periods (so-called "pools"). Students are selected not on the basis of their
educational degree or programming skills, but solely on their talent and motivation. A
year ago the selection campaign created quite a stir — more than 12,000 applications
were received during the first month.

It is noteworthy that UNIT Factory is not a standalone institution, but the key element of
the ecosystem of the UNIT.City innovation park opened in Kyiv in April, 2017. Both of
these projects were initiated by Vasyl Khmelnytsky's K.Fund. In the future, the park
promises to expand to a "city in the city," a hub of high-tech companies, investors and
talents.