Posts Meetup about apprentice at QoQa GQ

Meetup about apprentice at QoQa GQ

Apprentice at QoQa

I am working at QoQa where there is several apprentices in several teams: Logistic, Multimedia, and Development for several years.

One of the apprentice is in my team, and only one colleague is taken care of him. This is kind of tricky when this colleague need to take vacations and there is no one ready or aware on how to properly taking care of him.

Moreover I have already given some classes at first year of university student and its was kind of nice. Now I am really looking forward to sharing knowledge and helping a young to growth personnally and professionnally

This is why with a second colleague, called Michel, we decided to follow the course to be able to take an apprentice.


As we were looking for any kind of profile, we have decided that C.V. was not that important. Indeed , when you have 10 C.V. of 15 years old teenagers which almost no experience, it won’t help you that’s much.

The RH team at QoQa proposed to the candidate to create a media (video, letter, drawing, song, audio, …) that contains 3 specific words and explain shortly the motivation behind the candidature.

The RH team selected some candidates for the interview. and with my technical colleagues which decided to see 3 of them for a specific day at the office.

During the day we will do several activities to see how the candidate will act.

Activity 1: Presentation of the different jobs we have at QoQa (dev Back, Front, IOS, Android, IT, DevOps, QA, UX/UI).
Goal for QoQa: See if the person ask questions about technology and profession s·he does not know and if s·he take notes

Activity 2: Small tutorial on level 1 and if the candidate is very efficient on the exercises, he can follow with this exercise level 2.
Goal for QoQa: See how candidate analyzes a problem and how he try to solve it. Does s·he asks question and/or takes notes

Activity 3: Lunch with all the team.
Goal for QoQa: See if candidate is introvert or extravert, discover a bit more of his personality

Activity 4: Exchange with another Apprentice to discuss school and organisation
Goal for QoQa: None, activity more to answer questions for the candidate

Activity 5: Exercise guess the number in javascript with a lot of placeholder
Goal for QoQa: See how the candidate achieve to focus on what is important. See the reaction if front of a new problem with many unknowns.

Activity 6: Presentation of the exercise by the apprentice
Goal for QoQa: See how the candidate explain the problem and the solution proposed. See how s·he reacts when we do comment on the code, and asking questions about some choices.

Activity 7: Explanation on how we plan to follow the apprentice and how we will plan his evolution at QoQa
Goal for QoQa:
See if s·he is curious about the four next year of its life, Have a better vision of the reason why s·he want to do the apprenticeship and if this is a well-considered decision.

Activity 8: Mutual feedback on the day
Goal for QoQa: Improve the process and see if the candidate achieve to synthetize what happens during the day and what matters for him

Two days after each interview day, we let the candidate know our decision with some explanation about our decision

Arrival of the apprentice at QoQa

Now that we have found our perfect apprentice, we need to welcome him (his name is Cyril), in the team and offer him the best of us

During his first day, he will joins all the new employees that starts this day, and follow an onboarding process for one day to discover the company and the different sector of activity.

To be sure to have time to follow him properly, we organise a 1.5 hours weekly meeting on which we talk about his time in school but also, and more important, on the projet that he works on at QoQa.

Let’s focus now on what happened with him during his first four month as a developer.

Month 1 - the basis

We have let him configure his computer properly with a proper shell, proper tools that can help him during his process. Now he use some tools like: Obsidian, VScode, Github Desktop, …

We let him follow some tutorials about git to be able to push his work every week and also to let us see easily his code and propose him some changes/improvment in his code.

He pursuited with some exercices about html and css. The goal was to start talking about some concept but with having a visual rendering. Still easier to see what your are doing when you start to learn a new skill. He finishs this part with a small project to display information abour himself and about his new colleages

Month 2 and 3 - POO and java

We have decided to move to java to explained him some quite important topic in programmation. We have created with him a small project to print a music band information in the command line. Each week we have talk about a different subject: primary type, function, constructor, class, isolation concept, unit test and tdd, heritance, abstract class, javadoc, object, Singleton, static vs private

Each week, our apprentice needs to define between 3 and 5 words on which he have to find a definition with his own word for the next weekly point. At the end of each session, we define some goals for the next week. Those objectives are defined according to what happens during the session. It could be: “Write some test for this function”, or “Write a specific function that does that”, or “Let this possibility for this member to change his age”, or again “Prepare some slide to explain your project to the rest of team at the retrospective.”

Month 4 - Back to visual stuff with javascript

A new colleague join the adventure to explain and share skills about javascript. At the beginning, they work on some basis in javascript. So they work with primary type, function, test, date, array, map. The goal was to quickly adapt what we have seen in java to javascript. Our apprentice learned really quickly this part and after only one month, he was able to create a todo list html page where he can add/remove/change some information, sort them, filter them.

Next Step: javascript and more

During the next month, he will continue to work with javascript on a project where he can persist the data, and grab data from public API. Also we will start talking about Webpack and some framework for the front end.

What we have already learned

Our apprentice learns best when he understand and see the concept. This is why our project are bases on some of his passion/interest and we still to draw on paper or board what a function do, or what a compilator will do with his code, or how a concept works.

This is easier for us to be 2 to follow him, especially with holidays. We are sure that one of us his at the office, and can help him.

We let him a lot of autonomy. At the beginning, we need to check regularly and “force” him to ask questions and be sure that he understand the goal for the week. Now, he have all the resources, and he knows when to ask questions and when to search by himself.

This is really important and efficient that some topics are lead by other colleages. Find the right colleagues that is passionate and motivated about a topic (especially if you don’t like it). Your colleague will be really happy to help you on a certain amout of time, the apprentice will work with someone else and improve his social skills, and it removed you a bit of works too.

Meetup to share the knowledge

I can not explain every aspect of how we work with our apprentice, in one article, so other articles should follow this one.

After three months, we (with my colleague Michel) have decided that we should share our experience to everyone who is interesting. The goal was only to create of group where people can share, discover and talk about process, success and failure around apprenticeship.

This is why we have started a meetup group with a first topic “Welcoming an apprentice in your company”. This first event was a greate succes with 35 participants, and some links between differents persons start building up.

Next Meetup

It is really important for us to let this group meet again. So this is why we are planning our second meetup. It will happens next month: 2nd February 2023 at Bussigny (Switzerland) You can find all the details here meetup Apprentice at QoQa/

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.