Develhope is a project created to contrast youth unemployment in southern Italy, and beyond. Within a short time, thanks to an extremely competent team, it has managed to carve out its own space in the world of work, and provide numerous opportunities for its students. But how did he manage to do it, and why should a computer science enthusiast today choose this very educational path? We asked Massimiliano Costa and Alessandro Balsamo, co-founders of the school.
Why was Develhope born?
"We started from two data, one negative and one positive. According to the latest statistical surveys dedicated to the South of Italy, there is a truly alarming figure on the issue of youth unemployment: more than 50 percent of young people in the South are unemployed. Among the most critical issues is the employment crisis of young people and women, and the consequent migration phenomenon that is emptying the regions of that area. An issue, this one, that we can extend to the whole country if we take a broader territorial context by comparing our country, all of it, to the rest of Europe. Then the positive aspect: when we talk about digital innovation we underestimate the absence of these figures and the role of those who do digitization, mainly software developers. According to a recent research by Microsoft, the demand for software developers worldwide in 2025 will be 98 million, the pandemic has accelerated the digitization process of our society, and the market requires specialized figures who can actually carry out this process of change. So on the one hand the criticalities of the south of our country and on the other hand an extraordinary opportunity given by the market internationally. Develhope was born for this reason: to build a different future that connects the extraordinary territories of the South of our country with the most competitive areas of the world and to reduce the employment gap by training a new generation of professionals in the digital field. The possibility of remote work is consolidating itself as a great opportunity for the future of the South, especially in this sector, allowing talents to not necessarily have to leave their territories," explained Alessandro.
An innovative format
Develhope marks the difference by granting payment for the course only once the student has found a job. In this way, it has developed an alternative way of training people, while also gaining the trust of those who decide to let their team lead them. "Talent must have access to digital skills, regardless of where they are located and their starting economic conditions. That's why we built a school that is entirely accessible and puts the student at the center of the course. Our school covers the cost of student enrollment. Payment for the school is deferred until they start a professional career, only then. Anyone with talent and motivation can enter. In addition, it is entirely online and all activities are remote, which allows us to be able to reach anywhere, from the large metropolitan area to the small municipality in an inland area. Therefore, we decided to invest in the Flipped Classroom model, an innovative model that overturns the educational structure we are used to by placing the student at the center of the path. We invest in his or her ability to manage his or her own time and acquire theoretical skills in total autonomy, urging the growth of skills such as problem solving and learning by doing. Teachers carry out review and correction actions after students have acquired the skills and carried out practical exercises. We work not only on the technical part but also on soft skills with a path dedicated to the labor market and human development by pairing the girls and boys in our courses with professional coaches," Alessandro added.
"Without doubt, one of our strengths is the payment model, which allows students to pay only if they find work, guaranteeing 100% accessibility," Massimiliano later emphasized. "Also important is the focus on coding and software: we don't teach a thousand different things, but optimize our processes to be the best coding school possible. Our incentive, then, is to get students into jobs, so we have a dedicated team, 200 partner companies, and we study specific paths to prepare them for the world of work. This makes it easier for our students to find jobs in short periods, even in large companies and startups. Last but not least, we have scholarships dedicated to women, to incentivize their entry into this still too masculine world," he explained. And that's not all: "We provide a skills pathway aligned with companies in the market, our courses were built after a dialogue with partner companies. This way we can best train students. In addition, we prefer to focus on practical teachings rather than theory: our school is based on learning by doing because we believe that the best way to learn programming is to write code. This is precisely why students are involved right from the start in developing a real project following the agile methodology and standards used by leading innovative companies. Moreover, they are constantly followed by industry professionals who support the growth path from a technical and human point of view," Alessandro said in conclusion. In short: do you still have doubts? If your dream is to enter the digital world, surely Develhope is the school for you!