Training 2020 – Highlights of a special year

This is what our trainees experienced in IT and Design 2020. An annual report on vocational training

Swiss Skills Lernende.

If you are passionate about digital worlds, Namics is the right place for you. As a full-service digital agency, we offer young people in Switzerland the chance of a traineeship in information technology or design – in Germany there is the option of a dual study programme. In this annual report, we reveal what our young Namics employees experienced in 2020.

January 2020: an internship via Power Coders

At the beginning of the year, Mubarak Osman started his IT internship at Namics. Internships are not uncommon here, but usually students or graduates apply for them. This time, a young motivated man came instead – with a refugee background and no professional training. Namics recruited him via Power Coders, an integration project of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration. Mubarak and his supervisors were so satisfied with the internship that we offered him a traineeship afterwards.

February 2020: HurryUp! – an interdisciplinary game.

Every two years, the tunOstschweiz job fair takes place in St.Gallen. Namics is also regularly live on site. In 2020, our trainees wanted to present a game they had developed themselves, but unfortunately a certain virus called Covid-19 had something against events...

Even though we will not present the game "HurryUp!" until 2021, it was already finished in February 2020. It was designed and conceived by Elisa Anderwert, a student in Interactive Media Design. It was technically implemented by our IT trainee Maximilian Kaspar.

This is how the game works.

Hurry Up der Lernenden
Fun, games, excitement - in training at Namics.

In "HurryUp!" two people compete against each other. They control the game with the gyro sensor of a mobile phone, which is attached to a rotating office chair. The aim is to race the chair through an office to the meeting without colliding with various objects. The winner of the game is the first person to arrive at the meeting. Here is a small foretaste of the trailer for the game.

March 2020: Eastern Switzerland Professional Championships.

In March, four Namics trainees took part in the Eastern Switzerland Professional Championships to demonstrate their skills.  With success: three of them move on to the next round and are allowed to take part in the Swiss Professional Championships. All participants receive a certificate - perfect to pimp their CV.

April 2020: Home office for trainees

Like many educational institutions, Namics had to find new structures and processes for the trainees from one day to the next in April. After all, the lockdown in practical work and knowledge transfer should not be a disadvantage for them.

Our new training concept is based primarily on three principles:

  • The trainees exchange information with their supervisor on a daily basis. Each trainee is active in a specific area for a certain period of time during their vocational training – for example, our computer scientists are active in frontend engineering for a year. During this time, they are supervised by a specialist. To ensure that this also works in the home office, we use video calls. 
  • The trainees also meet with their trainers and other trainees on a daily basis – in the "Remote Daily". In this virtual format, the trainees report on new experiences and challenges. They can ask questions and get feedback from their trainers.
  • The trainers coordinate closely with each other. In this way, they can deal with many special topics that have become relevant due to the lockdown better and faster.

Automated Curriculum Vitae: "CV Generator"

Keeping your CV up to date is time-consuming. Our trainee Marc Rusch thought so too – and simply wanted to update his CV automatically. The data for this already existed: in our Namics-internal tool Weeks.

CV Generator Lernende.
This is how the CV Generator looks.

Our staffing managers then book the employees of Namics for projects. This creates a source of accumulated experience for a staff member. Marc Rusch has developed a front-end application using Next.js, React, Typescript and Material UI technologies: The "CV Generator" accesses Weeks via API and thus creates a CV of the employees.

May 2020: virtual taster days for trainees.

Normally, future employees and trainees get to know Namics during the taster days. Unfortunately, a real meeting was not possible in 2020. Instead, we created a virtual programme for the "tasters". Of course, it's not exactly easy to convey the typical Namics flair virtually and to replace the pizza lunch. Nevertheless, we created many successful, casual programmes together. This was also due to the participants, who had all already adjusted perfectly to the new situation.

This is how software becomes more secure

In computer science, there is a trend towards automation. A prominent example in software development is unit and integration tests of an application. Every time a code is changed on a cloud server, these tests take place automatically. In case of an error or quality problem, the system immediately informs the developers via email. 

Because software security is extremely important, we want to make sure that secret keys such as API keys are not accidentally stored in the code repository. Our trainee Adam Giesinger dealt with this problem in spring and wrote an ingenious application. 

His application automatically checks every code change and determines whether sensitive keys have been stored by mistake. If this is the case, the application informs the developers via security chat. The developers then renew or replace the respective key. We are already successfully using this important application in our customer projects.

June 2020: Successful training as a computer scientist.

Our trainee Valentin Egger started his traineeship as a computer scientist with a federal certificate of proficiency in summer 2016. He successfully completed his apprenticeship in June 2020. For this, Valentin has programmed a "chaos filing system" with which objects can be found even in the greatest chaos thanks to tracking.

Valentin wrote the application with React.js. He was so taken with the modern frontend framework that he familiarised himself with the topic shortly before the trial IPA. IPA stands for Individual Productive Work. This is a professional examination in the form of a 10-day assignment at the end of the traineeship. So that our trainees already know the formalities and the procedures of an IPA, we do a trial run with a demo task every autumn.

Since this summer, Valentin has been working as a frontend engineer on international customer projects.

August 2020: Four new apprentices for Namics

After completing a six-month frontend internship, Mubarak Osman started a professional traineeship at Namics in August. A tough, courageous step. 

Because on the one hand, a dream came true for Mubarak, on the other hand, there were many unanswered questions before the traineeship: Does Mubarak understand everything his teachers explain? Does he even have time for himself when he attends support classes in German alongside his training? How stressful are lockdown and home office? Nevertheless, together with Mubarak we dared to take the step – because nothing ventured, nothing gained!

In addition to Mubarak, three other trainees started at Namics on 9 August 2020: 

  • Claudio Frisenna, together with Mubarak Osman, is starting a traineeship in St.Gallen as a computer scientist in application development.
  • Tabea Bolliger is also a trainee for computer science in application development, but in Zurich.
  • Mona Nielsen is starting her traineeship as an interactive media designer in St.Gallen.

September 2020: Three masterful trainees at the SwissSkills.

Swiss Skills Lernende.
Our trainees in full concentration at the SwissSkills.

Our trainees Marc Rusch, Oliver Dietsche and Adam Giesinger competed against around 20 challengers at the SwissSkills. During the Speed Challenge, a camera team filmed the participants, their screen was streamed live on the internet and commented on. But our boys showed strong nerves and mastered the challenge skilfully. We are very proud of our young talents. You can follow the Speed Challenge on YouTube.

October 2020: Excursion with the trainees.

Ausflug mit den Lernenden.
Despite the gloomy weather, it was a fantastic day at the 2020 trainees outing.

Carmen Stark, responsible for trainee management at Namics, put together a great bad-weather programme for the 2020 trainee excursion. The trip led to the Zigerschlitz, a small valley in the canton of Glarus. There, the participants visited the Elmer Citro factory and the Landsplattenberg. The trainees financed the trip themselves with the money they earned from customer projects. 

This year, after a long time in lockdown, the community was particularly in the foreground. After all the time spent in the home office, the analogue meeting was a blessing for the trainees' minds and mental health.

November 2020: New projects by Namics trainees.

Flohmarkt App von Adam.
A screenshot from Adam Giesinger's flea market app.

In order for our learners to get to know the formalities and processes of an IPA in advance, Namics does a trial run with a demo task every autumn. Our trainee Adam Giesinger has developed a flea market app for this. With it, Namics students can easily sell items they no longer need. The app includes a Google login, an upload and download function for photos, data synchronisation with the backend and a user interface with SwiftUI.

The microsite is a traineeship project from 2017. Our apprentices give a very likeable insight into our two apprenticeship professions of computer scientist and interactive media designer. Since going live, new trainees have joined the team on a regular basis, which is why a relaunch is a good idea. 

A relaunch always starts with a concept and design – exactly the right task for our IMD trainee Chiara Carisch. She thought about what content would be suitable for the new website and then created the interactive design for it. We will communicate the following information via the microsite in the future:

  • Information about the traineeship
  • Events such as taster days or trade fair presentation
  • Information about traineeships

Chiara has chosen a playful approach to appeal to young people. Currently, our trainee Kay Wild is working on the technical implementation of the website.

December 2020: Of seats, schools and storyboards.

Maximilian Kaspar, a fourth-year IT trainee, completed his mock IPA in December. His topic is particularly topical in times of Corona: it's about seat booking in the office. By way of background: at Namics, the current workstation occupancy rate is currently not allowed to exceed 50 per cent. For this reason, Namics employees do not currently have permanently allocated workstations, but book them via Google Calendar.

App Sitzplatzbuchung der Lernenden.
This is how to book seats via app.

This process is somewhat cumbersome and consists of several steps. This is where Maximilian's solution comes in: He developed an Android app that makes booking seats much more convenient for employees of Namics. A visual representation helps assign table numbers and their occupancy status. A cool solution to a current problem!

Another sample IPA came in December from Noah Dopslaff, an Interactive Media Design trainee. Noah was asked to create a landing page concept for a newly launched camera. The focus was on the emotionally appealing design as well as the interactive involvement of potential customers.

Namics goes back to school

Since there were hardly any trade fairs this year and we didn't really get close to the students even during virtual taster days, we decided to visit sixth formers at school. We presented Namics and our traineeships at various locations. We received very positive feedback from teachers and students about our school visits.

HR videos for the home office

Our employees are no longer together in analogue life as of mid-March, which has made corporate communication 2020 a little more difficult.  As a digital agency, we naturally aspire to offer our employees that "certain something extra" even in lockdown. Especially with the Corona topics, we therefore relied on video messages that informed about news with a lot of charm.

Dä Bölla der Lernenden.
The star of our HR videos: Dä Böllä.

The videos were made by our IMD students Noah Dopslaff and Chiara Carisch. For this, the two of them worked intensively with scenes and storyboards. The main character "dä Böllä", created especially for internal communication, guided us through the home office period skilfully and with wit. 

We are looking forward to an exciting year 2021 with our trainees. If you are also interested in a traineeship at Namics, you can find our current traineeship positions here.