Chris Socha
by Chris Socha

I’ve been at ThoughtWorks for just over 6 months now, so I think it’s about time I write a little bit about why I work here, what I’ve been up to, and the graduate scheme.

About ThoughtWorks

ThoughtWorks is a software consultancy firm founded in Chicago by Roy Singham about 20 years ago (That’s right, we pre-date The Google!). I’ve been fortunate enough to chat to Roy a few times since starting; He is a self proclaimed socialist, and believes that we as humans should do everything to better social and economic equality across the globe. He started ThoughtWorks as an experiment in getting the best informatics and software people together to better humanity through software. [1] [2] [3]

If you’ve read a bit about us you will have seen that the company is based on three pillars:

  1. Run a sustainable business
  2. Champion software excellence and revolutionize the IT industry
  3. Advocate passionately for social and economic justice

All the work we do we has to balance across the three pillars. Does it make financial sense for us? Is the project interesting? Is the technology we are going to use interesting? Do we agree with the social ethics of the project? “Social and Economic Justice” goes a lot further than analysing the ethics of the work we do. We’ve got development offices in every continent, and are trying to get the best local talent to work on worthwhile projects in that community. We have offices across a lot of “Global South” countries, such as Uganda, South Africa, India, Brazil, and Ecuador. (How many other big tech companies can you name have development offices in global south countries? I’m not talking sales offices, I mean real software development offices).

You’ll probably also know that we have leaders in software engineering working at ThoughtWorks (Such as Martin Fowler), many who were the original pioneers of the Agile Movement. Something else which is different from a lot of other companies is the male/female ratio and the range of background we hire from. We have ~50% split male/female across all departments (including Development), and a lot of our hired don’t come from traditional CS backgrounds: We’re more interested in potential than experience when hiring.

ThoughtWorks University

As part of the Graduate Scheme, all graduate consultants are sent to ThoughtWorks University. It’s a 5 week training course run by other ThoughtWorkers in India, and all the grads worldwide are sent there. The aim is to teach you about the agile process, make you project ready, and give you a global experience. The time there is split between classrooms and project simulation, where you are split into teams and expected to deliver a working product by the end of the 5 weeks. The scheme is set up to help you develop your technical, project, and consulting skills; your progress is not compared to other graduates, but the focus is on how much you have learnt over the course of the 5 weeks.

Outside of work, I found India to be completely captivating; it is a beautiful country with so much potential, and I am glad to have shared this experience with my new found friends at TWU.

After TWU

I’ve now graduated from TWU, passed my 6 month probation, and have worked on a few different projects. Since started ThoughtWorks has given me so many different opportunities; I’ve done a lot of traveling, had opportunities to learn new languages, tools, and technologies, have paired with interesting ThoughtWorkers at all levels, and it’s been a real pleasure to come to work in the morning.

If any of this sounds like something you would like to do, I suggest you start a conversation with our graduate recruiters, and see where ThoughtWorks can take you… :-)