San Diego local technologist discuss hiring and working with our SoftStack Factory graduates!


The opportunities in the technology field are ever increasing and endless, everything we do or use nowadays is somehow connected to programming, for that reason the need for skilled software developers keeps growing. We believe that there are a lot of capable individuals that do not know of their potential and might not be optimizing their potential and instead are flipping burgers.  That is why our motto is “Flip Code, not Burgers!” and our mission is to introduce those young individuals to all the possibilities of being a developer!

At SoftStack Factory(SSF) we do much more than just teach how to write lines of code, SoftStack Factory focuses on many of the skills a student will need to jump in this new world! Learning how to build hybrid mobile applications from beginning to end, client and backend server side, they will be better prepared to face challenges that are presented to them by future employers.

On the last Friday in May our CEO Harold Gottschalk was joined by Erik Birkfeld, Development Manager at MindTouch and Etienne de Bruin, CEO/Founder of 7CTOs, Inc. two local San Diego companies on the Community Spotlight Radio show to discuss what it is like to work with our graduates.

Harold explained about how our 12 weeks immersive camp works, what the students can expect to learn and also, what companies that hire our graduates can expect of them. To explain that last aspect better, Erik and Etienne, who have hired a few of our SoftStack Factory graduates articulated about their experience with them.

Our students go to their new opportunites determined to win, since we are a non-profit and classes are fee free, we are selective with our candidates looking for individuals that are willing to learn, hungry for world experience and passionate about everything that they do. Once they graduate and enter a company they have learned enough to hit the ground running.

The nice thing regarding hearing from companies that have hired our graduates is to learn how they adapt to the students knowledge and how the students adapt to the company routine.  MindTouch and 7CTOs have 2 very different approaches and they both approaches work great, because when you are willing to improve your knowledge and be a part of the team, you can accomplish anything!

Erik started a 20 week training program. “During the training program SSF graduates work on different projects and in different parts of the company, so after completing the training program they will have a larger knowledge regarding how the company works and also of what is expected from them here. At the moment some of the graduated students from SSF are finishing the 20 weeks and enjoying every moment! “

Etienne has a different approach which is more efficient for his company and his objectives, he is testing how well they hit the ground running and independent they can be. His needs were different and is using the initial enthusiasm of what the graduates already know to create hybrid mobile application they need. During the process gaining the knowledge that they still do not know so they can fill in the blanks. “They are sponges, they want to know more, as much as possible” - Said Etienne.

Etienne gives StartUps the suggestion to at least hire in pairs - “because they are so good at pair programming and working together. Hire 2 at a time and let them run with what they know (...) and bring in the concepts that you need from them as opposed to taking them from the school and teach them something completely different”.

As you can see, SoftStack Factory is not only a way to change millennials lives but also creating the workforce that companies need. We are a non-profit that is helping the local deficit in software talent and we need the local community to help us and there are a lot of ways to help!

We need sponsors that can help providing a space for us to run our school, give us a paid project to do and individuals and companies that just believe in our project and are willing  donate operational funds. You can find out more about how to help on:

If you are a student and is interested in our program you can find out more and register interest in our next cohort going on our website:

You can also hear the whole interview here: 

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