The Version 1 Digital Academy

Version 1's Digital Academy focuses on the key elements underpinning our strategy for growth for 2020 and beyond.

The Digital Academy is a proven talent accelerator where our engineers learn new skills to better leverage their prior knowledge, and those who are just starting out on their career are offered an opportunity to quickly advance. The Academy, proudly sponsored by Skillnet Ireland, is an intensive 8-week long curriculum and comprises of a series of classroom sessions, lunch and learn seminars, online learning, and practical hands-on workshops.  Covering 4 main modules, participants learn about the Version 1 approach to service design and user experience, understand agile ways of working, learn how to deliver on our commitment to engineering excellence and manage modern software development projects effectively through tooling and automation.

The Academy aims to be of benefit to all: from our graduates right through to our senior professionals, the course provides relevant, up-to-date skillsets and gives our people the opportunity to work on cutting edge technology solutions. A key focus of the course is to distil the core components of these modern ways of working into understandable, quantifiable ways of working, making sure that fundamentals are understood through practical, hands-on learning. The Academy’s approach also layers practical, real-world applications on top of the philosophies of these methodologies, ensuring that our people get a well-rounded understanding of the needs of our customers and how to solve their technology problems.

Service Design and User Experience
This module equips employees with the tools to carry out research, deriving the needs of service end-users within a customer's business. Our people learn how to identify the right stakeholders, run design workshops, prototype solutions and contribute to business cases for modernisation.
Agile Ways
of Working
This module introduces participants to Agile software development and the practical application of the Scrum framework and Behaviour-Driven Development methodology. The module concludes with a deep dive into Version 1's application of Agile Methodology into large programmes of work.
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Engineering Excellence
This module introduces the methodologies in which we have invested to ensure we deliver Engineering Excellence. Our people learn from experienced industry professionals about the pragmatic application of knowledge to solve problems while minimising risk to service reliability.
Tooling and Automation
A commitment to excellence is also a commitment to consistency. This module teaches participants how to make the best use of the Azure DevOps Services platform for software development, describing and trialling the common patterns in use across many Version 1 projects today.
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Service Design and User Experience

Topic 1: Research: Understanding User Needs

Topic 2: Designing Great Services Through Design Thinking

Topic 3: The Economic Case for Good Design

Topic 4: The Version 1 Approach To Discovery

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Agile Ways of Working

Topic 1: A History of Agile and Its Underlying Philosophy

Topic 2: Scrum Theory and Principle

Topic 3: Behaviour Driven Development

Topic 4: Version 1's Approach to Agile Software Project Delivery

Engineering Excellence

Topic 1: Pragmatic Programming

Topic 2: Cloud-Native Design Patterns

Topic 3: Test Automation as a First-Class Citizen

Topic 4: Dev-Sec-Ops: Creating a 'Security as a Code' Culture

Tooling and Automation

Topic 1: Creating and Managing An Agile Project Through Azure Boards

Topic 2: Source Code Version Control Through Azure Repos

Topic 3: Continuous and Progressive Delivery Patterns With Azure Pipelines and Artifacts

Topic 4: Testing and Shipping With Confidence Using Azure Test Plans

We are always looking for ways to enrich and grow our people so that their skills help us to better service our customers. The Digital Academy aligns technical learnings with our planned market growth and we've seen fantastic success in both the up-skilling and cross-skilling our people across the business since the Academy began.
- Enda Diggins - Head of Digital and Cloud Solutions, UK
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2020 Graduation

Our latest Academy intake on their virtual Graduation day in August 2020. Kyle Downey, a member of the winning team project for this intake, had this to say about the course:

“The Digital Academy was a great experience and learning opportunity for me to enhance my digital skillset.  It provided a great pathway for understanding how we help our customers from initial contact, right through to support. As part of the Academy, I learnt more about User Experience and User Interface design and why it’s important to fully understand your customer/end user before you embark on building anything; I also gained valuable development skills and learnt more about using technologies such as git and Azure.  I was able to put all of this together in a working demonstration through eliciting requirements, developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and deploying to the Azure Cloud via Continuous Integration & Deployment.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Academy to anyone looking to improve and refine their skills for delivering top services to our customers.”

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