From paper aircraft folding to coding with Python – Booking.com

After much interest in the previous activities, Refugee Talent Hub (RTH) organized yet again three activities in collaboration with Booking.com, this time in the form of bootcamps. Refugee talents have been able to choose between an intensive one-day boot camp in: UX-design, Backend development or an Agile bootcamp. A total of 36 refugee talents participated in these three Booking.com boot camps.

What did the talents do?

The Refugee talents have been put to work in a variety of ways: from folding paper planes to coding with Python. The main focus of the bootcamps were on practical skills: how do you work as a UX-designer? What do you have to do and know to work as a Backend developer at Booking.com? What is involved as an Agile coach at Booking.com? With this focus, the Refugee Talents were set to work immediately after the theoretical explanation of the concepts in question and had to work out assignments individually and in groups – of course under the guidance of the Booking.com experts.

For example, the refugee talents at the Backend Bootcamp immediately started working on the Python programming language. It soon became apparent that the group had more than enough knowledge to carry out the assignments independently. At the UX Bootcamp, talents had to empathize with themselves as real UX designers. And they had to fulfil the role of a UX designer in the form of a role-play. What does a customer need and what do users ask? Some essential questions that a UX designer needs to ask in order to bridge the gap between all stakeholders.

Finally, Refugee talents at the Agile Bootcamp had to carry out many creative assignments in addition to an interesting explanation of the various Agile concepts (Kanban, Scrum). They have learned how Agile is created in practice by means of the Marshmallow Challenge and the Airplane game. Divided into three groups the Refugee Talents had to build the highest marshmallow tower and they had to produce a large number of paper planes to have a taste of Agile project groups. The nice thing to see is that the talents showed a lot of interest in individual development. A number of candidates are already looking around to become scrum masters after the interesting Agile bootcamp at Booking.com.

Continuation…?

This ‘bootcamp’ construction is new for both Booking.com and Refugee Talent Hub, thus, RTH, as an organization, has also learned a lot from these bootcamps. Among other things: how we can make these bootcamps better and even more successful in the future than they already were. For example, RTH is exploring whether there should be multi-day bootcamps and / or possibly a certificate can be rewarded to the talents taking part. All in all, exciting things will happen with the partnership between Booking.com and Refugee Talent Hub.