Established in Glasgow in 1994, SIMUL8 Corporation is now a key player in the global simulation industry, with CodeClan helping to ensure the company can continue to stay at the cutting edge of software development.
A simulation is a computer model that mimics the operation of a real or proposed system. Traditionally, only operational researchers or industrial engineers could use expensive software to run them, but SIMUL8 Corporation opened the market up to ordinary decision makers with their technology.
“About 25% of our customers are in healthcare, 25% are in manufacturing, and 50% are in a variety of other sectors,” says SIMUL8 Corporation’s Chief Technology Officer, Frances Sneddon. “We provide them with our software, SIMUL8, which helps them improve their processes and helps them test out decisions they want to make in a risk free environment.”
Frances is responsible for product creation and for ensuring the right people are working on the right products. “I look after our development team, our product managers, everybody that’s involved in the creation of that software, so it’s an incredibly exciting role.”
Becoming an employer partner
One of Frances’ biggest challenges is to ensure SIMUL8 Corporation continues to grow and experiment, though the latter requires access to high quality developers.
“Along with every other company in Scotland, we’ve struggled with developer recruitment,” admits Frances. “There just aren’t enough good developers that we can tap into because the technology sector in Scotland is booming. There’s not enough of them, so we’re all fighting for them.”
Intern and graduate recruitment has been extremely successful for SIMUL8 Corporation, but they needed to find additional routes to quality developers.
“When we heard about CodeClan we were really excited,” explains Frances, referring to the model which sees employers engaging with students and providing input into the sector relevant curriculum.
SIMUL8 Corporation joined the employer partner scheme early on. “We thought this is a great new way to potentially find the next set of developers we needed, people who had a bit more real-world experience than all of the graduates that we could tap into.”
Helping Scotland’s digital economy to grow
Frances admits to some initial scepticism towards CodeClan’s 16 week course, particularly compared to developers who have undertaken a four year university course. “I think we were a little unsure,” says Frances. “How could you turn somebody into a developer in 16 weeks?”
One of the graduates that convinced SIMUL8 Corporation that CodeClan could work for them was Chae, who had worked in finance before deciding to move into web development.
For Frances, Chae was a perfect fit. “Chae has come into our organisation and hit the ground running. That means he’s a full, active and valuable member of our development team. We’ve been blown away by how much he could take on from the second that he arrived.”
Frances is now convinced that the intensive CodeClan environment is perfect for training developers. “Unfortunately, this is not a sector where you learn your trade at the beginning and it stays the same. It’s continuously evolving, particularly in an organisation like ours where there are tough technical challenges. Our developers have to understand how to solve those problems and constantly being in a challenging environment has really prepared Chae.”
For other employers struggling to recruit, Frances is quick to recommend engaging with CodeClan students early on in the training process by attending a Friday lunchtime session or a speed networking session.
“Just talk to the students and get to know them a little bit better and I think you’ll be surprised and pleased to see the quality of candidates there. Even if you feel that CodeClan isn’t what you need right now, get involved and help shape its future.
“Let’s make it the thing that changes Scotland and delivers growth.”
Find out more about SIMUL8 Corporation.
Read more about CodeClan’s 16 week course.